on Tai Chi and Qigong appears to demonstrate the potential benefits these slow, meditative movements can offer adults and older adults looking to remain active into later life. Participants in our classes and at our workshops regularly report, anecdotally and via our evaluation forms, the benefits they feel after joining one of our classes.
We have found these benefits tend to fall in three themes or groups:1. Functional Benefits
Being more active, improved balance, better coordination and mobility, feeling stronger, deep sense of relaxation, reduced stress, enjoying higher quality of sleep.2. Emotional Benefits
Feeling more connected, more confident, sense of authenticity, more resilient, feeling of mastery, a sense of calm, humility, grace and ease, a willingness to take on other activies, a sense of Mindfulness throughout the day.3. Social Benefits
Becoming more engaged in with others, within their community, as a volunteer, or expressing an interest in assisting or even leading a class, and becoming an accredited instructor too.
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Dr. Peter M. Wayne, at Harvard Medical School, talks about the benefits of Tai Chi as being cohesive and integrative. In his book, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, Dr. Wayne describes Tai Chi as having a number of active ingredients beyond the common therapeutic factors normally associated with public health programmes:
'Perhaps what makes Tai Chi so special is that this holistic, multicomponent exercise affects us at physical, psychological, social and philosophical levels. Its multilevel effects are especially important for complex chronic diseases that involve many systems throughout the body…' P. 29
Wayne Peter M. PhD. with Fuerst Mark L. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi. Boston: Shambala, Harvard Health Publications; 2013.
We think the active ingredients described by Dr. Wayne fit within the evidence based model for wellbeing by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) called the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
The Five Ways offers people a simple way to take an active role in their health and wellbeing. They include:
Image source: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/ways-to-wellbeing/five-ways-to-wellbeing-downloads/