PARKINSON's Disease and TAI CHI
By E.K Yeap
Parkinson's Disease, or PD, is most common amongst the elderly. It generally affects people in the 70's and 80s. Sadly it is also beginning to affect the 'younger' set - and people in their 50's also have the disease. The illness is a movement disorder characterised by the decrease of or slow physical movement, trembling of the arms, jaw or head, legs, hands, rigidity of the limbs and diminished balance.
If you are facing Parkinson's disease or you want to help others, you should keep reading. Do you know one of the most effective ways to manage or potentially slow the onset of this disease?
Have you heard of Tai Chi?
This methodology is certainly one of the best exercises that assist Parkinson's disease. And how does it help?
Many medical researches demonstrate quantifiable improvements in muscle strength owing to the unsupported arm exercise which strengthens the upper body and enhanced core strength and gains for the lower extremities. The possibility of falls in old age and equilibrium is improved reduced owing to the discipline's power to preserve proprioception, which is the capability to feel the location of the body of one's in space. Healing is facilitated by developments in muscle strength and flexibility. Tai Chi has also been found to decrease the fear of falling, which actually reduces the likelihood of a fall.
The cardiac benefits OF THE POWER OF Tai Chi are also notable, especially regarding hypertension, heart failure, heart disease and recovery from strokes. Furthermore, Tai Chi is of advantage to those with depression light to fairly severe Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis.
How does Tai Chi chuan help Parkinson's?
Many different variations of Tai chi has developed over the years and each type has distinct advantages. The most famous 'forms' or sets of movements are Yang style, Wu style and Chen style.
Each has its similarities and differences. The common thread among them all - is that Tai chi is a set of flowing, non-stop set of movements. They are a linked choreographed set of patterns of moves involving the arms and legs, fingers and eyes in a beautiful and enchanting harmony and synchrony. The movements are not repetitive. And they are asymmetrical.
It is different from say, calisthenics or yoga - which have moves which are "stop-start" in nature that is you do a particular move and you repeat it a certain number of repetition. Then you move to the next move. In Tai chi, you move on, as if in a trance - one move after the next, without repetition (until much later).
These moves require your brain to work, and neurons to fire in new and wonderful ways. It requires mind and body to communicate and harmonize. And to begin to move as one. Tai chi's other main characteristics are the participant is relaxed, though alert. Movements require slowness, and balance. These requirements bring the body-mind-control to its ultimate peak of experience for most of us normal people.
In advanced levels, there is self defense modules in many schools. Even students of Tai chi will almost always feel that self defense is "not for them". Until they try it. If the class is geared more towards health and wellness - then students find that there are additional "patterns" of footwork to learn and master - linear, circular, cross, backward etc; and arm work - patterns of focus and isometrics that will highly benefit them in terms of further advancement to body conditioning, and mental agility. Not to mention additional boost in confidence. Finally it is also to experience the beauty of the philosophy that "softness overcomes hardness" can be made alive for them.
Yang style is made up of 108 in the traditional sort and 37 or 24 moves in its simple form. It is suited for beginners as it is not too demanding; the knees are flexed almost all the time and also the stance is wide. Wu consists of 108 in the conventional kind and 56 moves in its simple kind.
Even though this "meditation in movement" is a gentle type of exercise and includes no impact on joints, it is always advisable to consult your physician prior to embarking on a fresh exercise regime. Before registering for a class, inquire if you could discover one if it offers the type of motion to see that you will be after. Speak to the teacher to learn more concerning the type and to gauge his or her degree of expertise practiced.
E.K Yeap is a Wellness coach who has been teaching Tai chi for the past 3 decades. He has developed a program for Parkinson's Disease and people interested in anti-aging. He lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His website: http://WellnessBioChi.com.com/taichi/