By Dr Paul Lam
Tai chi is a complex art from ancient China, nowadays used mostly for health improvement. Specially designed tai chi programs for health purpose have many advantages. All instructors from the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) teach one or more of Dr Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Health programs. A number of medical studies have shown them to be effective for health improvement, also safe and easy to learn.
Tai Chi for Health Institute has established an effective instructors training system since 1997. It is based on Dr Paul Lam's original work with his medical and tai chi colleagues, in collaboration with organisations around the world including the Arthritis Foundations of America, Australia, Singapore and UK. Many organizations such as Health department of NSW, Aged Victoria, Health department of South Australia, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC – a New Zealand National Governmental body); Universities, Arthritis and Diabetes Foundations around the world support the programs.
The largest study of Tai Chi for Arthritis, by Professor Leigh Callahan from the University of North Carolina, shows significant health benefits for people with all types of arthritis. This landmark study was presented at the annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology on 8th November 2010.
In the study, 354 participants were randomly assigned to two groups. The Tai Chi group received 8 weeks of lessons, while the other group was a control group waiting for Tai Chi classes. It was found that there was significant pain relief, less stiffness and better ability to manage daily living. The participants felt better about their overall wellness, as well as experiencing improved balance.
Ongoing studies are conducted and published regarding the efficacy and safety of these programs, and with regard specifically to the teaching of the programs.
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