First Aid for Tai Chi for Health Instructors


Leslie Roberts
First Aid knowledge has been proven to be an essential part of working with groups of people. It isn’t about Tai Chi and First Aid, it is simply about People and First Aid.

First Aid for Tai Chi for Health (Arthritis, Diabetes and others) Instructors

By Lesley Roberts, Master Trainer (UK)

Whilst taking registrations for my recent Tai Chi for Arthritis workshop, many enquiries were about the new requirement that participants wishing to qualify for a Teaching certificate must have a current First Aid qualification.

For me, First Aid knowledge has been proven to be an essential part of working with groups of people where there are quite likely to be instances when First Aid may come in handy. It isn’t about Tai Chi and First Aid, it is simply about People and First Aid and three recent experiences, 2 faints and one bad bleed in a week reinforced my feelings about this. Lesley at the Sydney Tai Chi workshop

The first, a diabetic who became faint and hypoglycaemic, recognising the text book signs of pallor, sweating and trembling I knew where to find glucose gel as previously advised, this quickly relieved the symptoms so that the person could perform a self diagnostic blood test to check sugar levels and take appropriate action.

The second faint was a person generally debilitated with fatigue and a poor nutritional regime after a long period of caring for a sick partner. A chewy cereal bar and sweet orange juice from my ‘kit’ helped and soon had her feeling better, while a little TLC and advice on the importance of breakfast before class put a knowing smile on her face.

The third a severe cut with heavy bleeding and a near faint, the cut being caused by a piece of broken glass which had, unbeknown to the lady, fallen into her handbag earlier that day at home when she had dropped and broken a bottle. This involved quickly stemming the blood loss, assisting the injured party who became faint with the shock of seeing so much blood, then making a trip to the local hospital for 5 stitches.

It was quite a week which has been cause for much reflection since reminding me of human fragility, about people and real life situations. How glad I was that in August I’d updated my First Aid certificate which helped me to deal with each incident caringly but efficiently minimising distress to other people present. Over the years I have found that a first aid procedure is useful for each venue including information about where to find First Aid equipment, name of qualified First Aider present, telephone number of local hospital, emergency procedures too. A couple of minutes taken to set this out possibly at the same time as your risk assessment can save precious moments when an incident occurs.

First Aid is a valuable qualification which for little cost keeps us regularly updated and brings us in line with the first aid standards required of other exercise leaders. Above all it gives us the necessary confidence to help other people and may even save someone’s life. Though we all hope that such situations will never arise, surely it is better to be prepared, in fact for me it would now seem irresponsible not to have this knowledge and hope that others will consider making it one of their qualities too.