Guides to Prevent Injury
Dr Paul Lam
This is a simple guide to help prevent injury when learing or practicing tai chi.
- Don’t lock the knees. Keep knees aligned over your feet but slightly bent.
- Don’t lean backwards or forwards. Keep your back upright so that the spine is balanced over the pelvis.
- Don’t force any movement. Move without effort as though gently swimming in the air.
- Avoid any abrupt movements. They create tension that will put you off balance or injure the muscles.
- Feel free to modify movements that are uncomfortable. Tai chi should be pleasant and enjoyable, not an endurance contest.
- Include appropriate warm-up and cool-down exercises. This is a must.
- Wear appropriate shoes that are comfortable and suitable for good balance. For people with diabetes, the correct shoes are especially vital.
- Hydration is important. Bring your own water and drink frequently.
- If you feel unbalanced or unstable during tai chi, seek advice from the instructor on how to correct the problem.
- Don’t force yourself into a lower stance (squat or bent-knee) beyond your comfort zone. And stand up if you feel too much stress on your knees.