Special Needs

Whilst Tai Chi is not, itself, a therapy, there is a growing body of research on the therapeutic effects of regular Tai Chi practice, and increasingly it is being adapted in order to supplement medical intervention for people who have particular health conditions, whether physical (such as arthritis) or emotional (for example, depression). The celebrated Harvard Medical School states:

This gentle form of exercise can prevent or ease many ills of ageing and could be the perfect activity for the rest of your life. Tai Chi is often described as “meditation in motion,” but it might well be called “medication in motion.” There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren’t in top shape or the best of health.

Berkshire Tai Chi’s normal scheduled classes are not generally suitable for people with special needs.  Equally, not everyone will improve their condition by taking part in a custom-designed Tai Chi-based programme.  However, in certain cases, we are able to work closely with relevant healthcare specialists to help design and deliver customised programmes for individual students, or groups, with specialised needs.

Each request is assessed on its individual merits, but as a general guide prospective candidates should normally be moderately fit.  That is to say, they will normally be able to stand and walk unaided.  They will need to be able to stand with their weight on one leg; either free standing or lightly touching the ground with their other foot for support.  They would also need to be able to bend from the waist, to keep their knees flexed at all times, and to breathe easily.  As a starting point, a reasonable amount of joint mobility in all joints is presumed.

Since 1996 we have worked with early-onset Parkinson’s sufferers, recovering cardiac patients, mild arthritics, and some mental health patients.

If you would like to discuss a Tai Chi programme tailored to the needs of your own particular group, please: Contact Us