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lethe    199

 

I do these as warm ups, plus a few more, except for the "pole hold'' which I'm going to try..

 

Apparently donyu's  (3rd exercise) and toryu's are the best for balance and strengthening legs...

Edited by lethe

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RickCopple    57

I'm actually going to start doing some Tai Chi today. Adding that into my exercise mix. Currently doing 1 hour of Zumba 3x week, 2 1 hour Pilates classes, and 1 1 hour Yoga class. Along with some weight training thrown in here and there. Figured I could fit in Tai Chi on Tues. and Thurs. I have a DVD I can use we bought several months ago, but have rarely used. It's called "Tai Chi for Health," using the Yang short form with Terence Dunn.

 

The balance exercises we do in Pilates and Yoga have only emphasized my need for focusing on that aspect. I've been interested in doing Tai Chi for some time now. Just never did it. Until today.

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lethe    199

I'm actually going to start doing some Tai Chi today. Adding that into my exercise mix. Currently doing 1 hour of Zumba 3x week, 2 1 hour Pilates classes, and 1 1 hour Yoga class. Along with some weight training thrown in here and there. Figured I could fit in Tai Chi on Tues. and Thurs. I have a DVD I can use we bought several months ago, but have rarely used. It's called "Tai Chi for Health," using the Yang short form with Terence Dunn.

 

The balance exercises we do in Pilates and Yoga have only emphasized my need for focusing on that aspect. I've been interested in doing Tai Chi for some time now. Just never did it. Until today.

 

  Looks like you have a full dance card!  A couple of years ago I never heard of zuma and then suddenly it was everywhere!

 

Let us know how it goes please......,.

Edited by lethe

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RickCopple    57

I believe I've completed 4 sessions of Tai Chi so far. Mostly doing the warm ups at present. Went through about 4-5 steps of the short form one time, then figured I should wait until I'm more solid on the warm up first.

 

One negative is some of the stances seem to really bring out my dyskinesia symptoms. One morning I decided to do it first thing after waking up, before taking meds. Even though I wasn't dyskinesiaing when I started, it kicked in pretty quick doing the Wu Chi (sp?) stance. When that happens, it is hard to keep my breathing even and regular. The leader on the screen says to relax, and I'm doing anything but. Hopefully that will get better as it goes along.

 

On the positive side, even with my short number of sessions only doing warm ups and the three basic poses, I've noticed some improvement in balance. At least this past Wednesday in my Pilates class, when we do some balance exercises, I did better than usual. We'll see if that continues or was just an aberration.

 

From what I can tell, it is going to take a long time to learn the short form. There are so many segments to it. I'd hate to see what the long form looks like! Like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.

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lethe    199

I believe I've completed 4 sessions of Tai Chi so far. Mostly doing the warm ups at present. Went through about 4-5 steps of the short form one time, then figured I should wait until I'm more solid on the warm up first.

 

One negative is some of the stances seem to really bring out my dyskinesia symptoms. One morning I decided to do it first thing after waking up, before taking meds. Even though I wasn't dyskinesiaing when I started, it kicked in pretty quick doing the Wu Chi (sp?) stance. When that happens, it is hard to keep my breathing even and regular. The leader on the screen says to relax, and I'm doing anything but. Hopefully that will get better as it goes along.

 

On the positive side, even with my short number of sessions only doing warm ups and the three basic poses, I've noticed some improvement in balance. At least this past Wednesday in my Pilates class, when we do some balance exercises, I did better than usual. We'll see if that continues or was just an aberration.

 

From what I can tell, it is going to take a long time to learn the short form. There are so many segments to it. I'd hate to see what the long form looks like! Like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.

 

  Yes, I have to wait until "on time" to practice too.

 

Although videos can be helpful, if at all possible it’s best to be taught in person by someone qualified, as Tai Chi is an internal art dealing with very subtle energies, and so personal one-on-one instruction is necessary.  It’s an oral tradition and you mainly learn through silently following the teacher’s movements.

 

There are classes all over, especially seniors residences and communities,  som geared to PD.

 

Learning to relax is the hardest thing....   but the secret to PD!

 

:)

Edited by lethe

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lethe    199

I've always had cold feet (cold feet=warm heart :) ) but 2 nights ago I was surprised to find the same temperature as the rest of my body. Still is.   Never expected that...

 

Better circulation?

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lethe    199

The following is from Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi pamphlet:

 

Who We Are

 

The Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism is a registered charity run primarily by volunteers. Its mission is to make the benefits of Taoist Tai Chi  arts and the practice of Taoist rituals and ceremonies available to the worldwide community.

 

Our founder, Master Moy Lin Shin, was a Taoist monk and Tai Chi master who dedicated his life to studying the Taoist methods of transformation and making them widely accessible to all who wished to learn. He synthesized a powerful system for cultivation of body, mind, and spirit known as the Taoist Tai Chi arts. His vision, and his goal of helping practitioners return to a natural way of living, inspired the establishment of over 800 locations in 26 countries. Accredited volunteers instruct all classes and perform most of the administrative duties in all these locations.

 

The Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism observes the unified teachings of the three religions of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Its mission is to deliver all from suffering, both the living and the dead, by pursuing the way of community service, rituals and ceremonies, and the cultivation of harmony.

 

Fung Loy Kok promotes the principle of all cultures and religions moving together in harmony. Individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs are welcome to study the Taoist Tai Ch arts.

 

Body

 

In the Taoist tradition, a person’s health depends on the harmony of body, mind, and spirit. The Taoist Tai Chi arts offer access to the tradition in order to help people with their physical, mental and spiritual health in all stages of life.

 

On the physical level, the Taoist Tai Chi arts exercise the entire physiology, including the tendons, joints, connective tissue and the internal organs. Working on these movements under the guidance of an accredited instructor contributes to better balance and posture, increased strength and flexibility, improved circulation, calmness and peace of mind. Rather than depending on tension and the development of hard muscle tissue, the Taoist Tai Chi arts develop a body that is relaxed and resilient at the deepest levels.

 

Mind

 

Taoist philosophy says that we are all born with a spark of goodness. This is referred to as the Original Nature. One goal of Taoist meditation is to achieve a state of stillness by emptying the mind. When we can do this, we turn our consciousness away from the world and inward to our Original Nature.               

 

The focused concentration required to practice the Taoist Tai Chi arts occupies the mind, drawing it away from daily worries and tension. Each step in the training is intended to help the mind return to stillness, clarity and wisdom, and the body to a relaxed and healthy state. Learning to quiet the mind, even while moving through the tai chi set, lays a foundation for integrating the principle of stillness into our daily lives.

 

 

Spirit

 

Taoism emphasizes spiritual development through cultivation of both mind and body, with the ultimate goal of achieving harmony with oneself and with the world. Taoist Tai Chi arts are considered a method of ‘taming the heart’ and developing an attitude of calm, compassion and reduced self-centredness both during practice and in daily life. This aspect is cultivated in particular through the deeply held value of volunteerism present in our organization.

Edited by lethe

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lethe    199

From what I can tell, it is going to take a long time to learn the short form. There are so many segments to it. I'd hate to see what the long form looks like! Like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.

 

 Do you know what style it is?

 

This video is Taoist Tai Chi which has 108 moves, though many of them are repetitions.

 

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RickCopple    57

On the DVD, it says, "Yang Short Form."

 

I'm sure personal instruction would be ideal, but don't know if we can spare the money for it. And I'm not in a big city so my options may be limited as well. There is a person in our church who teaches it, but he lives almost an hour away and don't think I could afford that much time out of my week. It's packed as it is.

 

So for the time being, the DVD will have to do. At least it seems to be helping.

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mickigarden    56

Rick, our senior center has a low cost tai chi class.  Also silver sneakers through some medicare plans have free gym memberships and some places have classes.  There are an incredible amount of tai chi  videos on Youtube and some are much simpler for beginners to follow than others . I love what it does for me and applaud your efforts. Micki

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lethe    199

On the DVD, it says, "Yang Short Form."

 

I'm sure personal instruction would be ideal, but don't know if we can spare the money for it. And I'm not in a big city so my options may be limited as well. There is a person in our church who teaches it, but he lives almost an hour away and don't think I could afford that much time out of my week. It's packed as it is.

 

So for the time being, the DVD will have to do. At least it seems to be helping.

 

     A guy who works where I live does that style. My visual impression is that Taoist Tai Chi might be easier to learn, initially, because the moves are more angular and so easier to remember, whereas Yang style is visually more esoteric - because they are not angular it is harder to recognize it's value - the stretching aspect is more obvious in Taoist Ta Chi.

They're all good!

 

Most places will charge less for or nothing for those cash-strapped.

 

I have a feeling you gonna like tai chi, Rick. And I suspect over time the desire to explore it more will make an hour's drive seem less problematic.   :)

 

Up until the last couple of weeks going to class has been a challenge for me, because of PD anxiety and lethargy - I  walk an hour to get there - as much as I enjoy it. Not any more.....  Now that I'm seeing unexpected results I'm highly motivated, but timing pill-wise makes it difficult to have time to do it more than once a day.

 

I'm really glad you are trying it. Feel free to ask if you have any questions...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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mickigarden    56

Lethe, this may sound like a dumb question but I have to ask.  I have been doing my Tai Chi daily and consistently after a few minutes I feel as though I have on a heavy bracelet or watch on my left wrist.  My PD primary site is on my left side.  It goes away when I am finished with my set. Any thoughts  ?  Micki

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lethe    199

Lethe, this may sound like a dumb question but I have to ask.  I have been doing my Tai Chi daily and consistently after a few minutes I feel as though I have on a heavy bracelet or watch on my left wrist.  My PD primary site is on my left side.  It goes away when I am finished with my set. Any thoughts  ?  Micki

 

   I'm not sure what that might be, but it could be an old injury, area fatigue, small block age of energy, or just a passing sensation. I'm sure it will pass and is unlikely to be serious. Try to relax whole body when going through the exercises.

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Captola    15

This discussion has been so inspirational.  It inspired me to get up and start moving. When I was dx last month I could barely walk across a room.  I could not take shower unassisted or prepare a meal or turn in bed. I started Tai Chi a few days after dx and starting sinemet.  The change has been startling. I have regained much of what I had lost. I know that I have along way to go and realize that I will have to make adjustments as my PD progresses. However, I can honestly say that Tai Chi has greatly improved my life both physically and emotionally.  Some days it so hard to get moving.  Then realize I have an obligation to myself and my family to live the best life that I can with PD. I am beginning see to Tai Chi and exercise in general is going to be a huge part of my daily life.

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mickigarden    56

Captola, I am so happy for you.  I have never been one for athletic endeavors, was not a couch potatoe but not into sports .  As my pd progressed and I read more and more both on forum and internet and my neuro's prompting I realized I had to start moving or would decline even further.  For me Tai Chi is something I can do daily in my own home no matter how tired or down I feel.  Some days I have to really push myself to do it but once I get started I feel much better physically and mentally.  It doesn't take much to get started...just a dvd player, tv or computer and 45 minutes.  Good for you! Micki

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lethe    199

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/tai-chi-improves-balance-and-motor-control-in-parkinsons-disease-201305036150

 

  Tai chi improves balance and motor control in Parkinson’s disease

 

Posted May 03, 2013, 8:30 am

Peter Wayne, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
 

It isn’t every day that an effective new treatment for some Parkinson’s disease symptoms comes along. Especially one that is safe, causes no adverse side effects, and may also benefit the rest of the body and the mind. That’s why I read with excitement and interest a report in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that tai chi may improve balance and prevent falls among people with Parkinson’s disease.

 

This degenerative condition can cause many vexing problems. These range from tremors and stiffness to a slowing or freezing of movement, sleep problems, anxiety, and more. Parkinson’s disease may also disrupt balance, which can lead to frightening and damaging falls.

 

A team from the Oregon Research Institute recruited 195 men and women with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. They were randomly assigned to twice-weekly sessions of either tai chi, strength-building exercises, or stretching. After six months, those who did tai chi were stronger and had much better balance than those in the other two groups. In fact, their balance was about two times better than those in the resistance-training group and four times better than those in the stretching group. The tai chi group also had significantly fewer falls, and slower rates of decline in overall motor control. In addition, tai chi was safe, with little risk of Parkinson’s disease patients coming to harm.

 

Other smaller studies have reported that tai chi can improve quality of life for both people with Parkinson’s disease and their support partners.

 

These studies are significant because they suggest that tai chi can be used as an add-on to current physical therapies and medications to ease some of the key problems faced by people with Parkinson’s disease.

 

Into the clinic

Parkinson’s disease affects more than one million Americans. This brain disorder interferes with muscle control, leading to trembling; stiffness and inflexibility of the arms, legs, neck, and trunk; loss of facial expression; trouble swallowing; and a variety of other symptoms, include changes in memory and thinking skills. These changes can greatly reduce the ability to carry out everyday activities and reduce quality of life. Medications can help, but they sometimes have unwanted side effects.

 

Since the appearance of the New England Journal of Medicine study, tai chi classes specifically for Parkinson’s disease patients have sprung up across the country, and the benefits of tai chi for Parkinson’s disease have been endorsed by the National Parkinson’s Foundation. (You can see a video of a tai chi class at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for people with Parkinson’s disease at the preceding post above).

 

Several colleagues and I have developed a tai chi program for people with Parkinson’s disease. It brings together Harvard Medical School doctors and other clinicians with tai chi experts. The 12-week program uses the traditional tai chi principles that I describe in my newly released book, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart & Sharp Mind. This program is jointly sponsored by the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. So far, about 50 people have completed the program.

 

We have also begun a small, preliminary study across multiple Harvard Medical School hospitals focused on understanding the interactions between cognitive function, mobility, and motor function in early stage Parkinson’s disease. The idea is to examine how the mind-body connection of tai chi slows the loss of mobility and cognitive function in individuals recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The results of this pilot study will be used to guide randomized trials to further test the impact of tai chi.

 

I foresee a growing number of hospitals in the country developing similar tai chi programs for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. In addition to easing balance problems, and possibly other symptoms, tai chi can help ease stress and anxiety and strengthen all parts of the body, with few if any harmful side effects. I look forward to the day when evidence-based tai chi programs become widely available and used by individuals with Parkinson’s disease world-wide.

 

Peter Wayne, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Research for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also the author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart & Sharp Mind.

Edited by lethe

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RickCopple    57

Update.

 

My church friend who teaches it offered to teach me for $10 a session. 2 hour round trip. I did that 2 weeks before deciding the 2 hour drive wasn't worth the 10 - 15 minutes we were doing Tai Chi (I guess he was giving me $10 worth of a class).

 

Decided to start going to a YMCA Tai Chi class on Mondays. It is also a one hour drive, but cost is offset by already being part way there on Mondays, making the trip from Burnet to Cedar Park 40 minutes, and subtracting another 20 minutes from the return trip to Marble Falls that would have been my return trip from Burnet. So over all, it is adding only an hour and 20 minute round trip to what I'm already doing. In addition, the class is included in my membership, so no extra charge there. I calculated approximately a $70 cost savings per month to go to the Y instead of my friend. Not counting wear and tear on the car.

 

Had my first class there this past Monday. They are in the middle of learning the fan 18 form, I think I caught the next to the last segment of it. They've apparently been working on learning it for a while now. I'm not very good at the fan pop. lol.

 

But I think this will work better, so I'm planning on going for the foreseeable future. But does make for a long Monday of classes. Zumba and Pilates in Burnet, then Tai Chi in Cedar Park. After that I helped my wife clean a house. Barely made it through all that.

 

This morning in Pilates, I noticed significant improvement on my ability to do the balance exercise. Not sure if Tai Chi can help that fast, but it does seem to be helping.

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lethe    199

Rick Copple posted;

Update.


But I think this will work better, so I'm planning on going for the foreseeable future. But does make for a long Monday of classes. Zumba and Pilates in Burnet, then Tai Chi in Cedar Park. After that I helped my wife clean a house. Barely made it through all that.

 

Glad to hear it Rick...... 

 

My class is on Tuesdays at 12:30 until 2pm.  It takes me about 1 hour to walk there and after class I detour to shop so i usually don't get home until 4 to 5 pm, walking the whole time, so I now try to treat Wednesday as a official day of rest. i don`t make any appointments or plan anything major for Wednesdays..

Edited by lethe

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