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Wu Style Taiji

Helping People to Help Themselves:

What our students say about our teaching

You will notice that almost every comment below mentions more than one benefit that students have gained from their Tai Chi, Neigong, Qigong and Beathing practices, so please use the headings as a rough guide only. If you would like to offer some feedback on classes that you have attended with any of our instructors please email Matthew. All students named have given their consent.

Dragon & Tiger Qigong and arthritis

I have severe arthritis in my right knee and I am aware of it most of the time. Since I joined the D&T course and started to practise more than once or twice a week, (that was from step 3), the pain in my right knee has reduced to the point that I am only conscious of it when I have been sitting for a time. When I get up it is stiff and takes a few steps before loosening up. Otherwise the pain and the discomfort has reduced a great deal.
I cannot explain why that is, but I am not a believer in coincidences.
Thank you for the lessons and instruction.

Mr R. Amos, Canterbury, March 2018.

The Journey has been profound and deep

I discovered Matthew’s Tai Chi class by a piece of synchronicity! I had developed asthma suddenly on approaching my 40th year and was faced with the option by the NHS to take up a year’s prescription of steroid sprays. This was never going to be a ‘cure’ so I made use of the fact that our house backed onto a complementary health practice and booked in to try out acupuncture as an alternative to the medical diagnosis. The practitioner suggested I also seek out a Tai Chi class to complement her treatment. As if by magic a class suddenly started about 2 minutes walk from my house – this turned out to be Matthew’s first class! So I have been here since the beginning – nearly sixteen years!

And the journey has been profound and deep. Not only do I never have any recourse to use steroid sprays, I now no longer have any signs of asthma and have not had a day off work for over 4 years – no colds – nothing!

Is this all to do with Tai Chi? Well maybe…one of the things that really settled in my thinking and changed my approach to life was the 70% principle that Matthew shared – the idea that striving for 100% and perfection all the time was both unsustainable and unrealistic – and no good for either physical or mental health.

I initially started learning the Wu Style short form but became curious as to what was going on in the Fundamentals class, made the switch and stayed in that particular flow for the next 10 years. This period also encompassed the breathing courses, the first Dragon and Tiger classes, some one day sessions with Brice Frantzis and some deeper breathing/meditation sessions. For the last five years I have been learning and playing with the Wu Style short form which continues to unfold and reveal its many layers maintaining and holding my interest. One of the things that you notice once you accept the ‘long haul’ nature of Tai Chi practice is that its benefits are far more extensive than the physical choreography of the form. If you are open to hearing it, Tai Chi is a fully rounded approach to living your life and how to engage with the wider world. For the last 5 or 6 years I have been running the charity I am the founder of, along Daoist principles of flow, staying ‘way’ and not ‘goal’ focussed and finding approaches to take the staff team on a journey where they feel safe with a structure that gives enough creative space to not know what is coming next and the confidence to work with what comes up. This is the gift that Tai Chi has given me – to be present and awake to ‘now’.

I need to pay tribute to my teacher, Matthew Brewer, who has never shied away from the deeper philosophical background and the physical connectivity and alignments that are central to the practice. He has done so in a way that is both accessible and multi layered with always enough new info (which is often not that new!) – it just can take a while to both hear and feel it. I have no hesitation in saying that Tai Chi has had the biggest impact on my life of any health practice I have tried and its influence continues to resonate through all areas of my life, enhancing and improving my relationships, family and work life for the better.

M.W., Faversham, December 2016.

If you are looking to make a change in your life for the better

As the reason I came to Dr Matthew Brewer’s classes is probably different from those of other people writing reviews on here, perhaps I can offer a different perspective on them.

Tai chi is a case study for my PhD research. I was interested in tai chi as a self-cultivation practice that addresses all those deeply sedimented habits that make our lives worse than they need to be. I had been travelling all around Kent and London, and attended several tai chi and qigong classes before finding what I was looking for with Matthew’s tai chi fundamentals in Canterbury. As with most things in life, it is not so much about what you do but more about how you do it. Tai chi classes can be dramatically different from each other. If you’ve already attended a tai chi or qigong class and were disappointed by it, it is certainly worth giving it another go with Matthew’s classes.

I attended too many classes where tai chi was no different from typical Western sports like boxing, or, at the opposite end, where it had been turned into an esoteric and spiritual mental activity. In this respect, if you are looking for a quick (and potentially harmful) self-defence course, or want to learn how to display impressive (yet meaningless) choreographies, Matthew’s courses might not be for you. If instead you are looking to make a change (no matter how big or small) in your life for the better, you might have found the right place.

In a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere, Matthew will wisely, skilfully, and safely guide you step by step through a process that will ultimately provide solid foundations on which to build more complex tai chi, qigong and neigong sets. On top of the Daoist tradition, Matthew possesses a wide range of knowledge cutting across human and natural sciences. This knowledge comes through in his tai chi and you will soon notice how the relationship between you, your body, and the world is changing.

I cannot recommend Matthew’s classes enough, and, indeed, I believe that your actual experience with tai chi will always exceed the words of any written review.

Vittorio Giovine, Cannterbury, June 2016.

M.E. – Returning to Peace

I just wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated Tai Chi Fundamentals. Having had ME for such a long time I withdrew from most social activity as I used to find it too stressful and therefore exhausting. However since getting much better, and moving back to the area, I have been seeking ways to meet like-minds and discover new skills to enable a return to a more normal life and I have found that in your classes. I have amazed myself by attending 12 weeks in a row which is something I did not foresee. The classes have been an opportunity for me to experience group meditations (something I have practiced alone for many years) and come away from them feeling a deep sense of peace. I really feel safe and welcomed by you all.
Anon, Whitstable, December 2015.

M.E. and Back Problems

I’ve had M.E. for over 27 years which caused, among other symptoms, constant headaches, continuous pain and weakness in my joints and muscles, plus other problems; pain due to cervical spondylosis and spondylolithesis from a back injury sustained 30 years ago while nursing. Cognitive problems due to M.E. lead to stress, anxiety, panic-attacks and social-phobia.

ALL of these problems have been helped by attending the Tai-Chi classes. When I started attending the classes I was extremely apprehensive about going through the doors to somewhere new. However, everyone was friendly and supportive, a caring attitude and healthful atmosphere pervades the class thanks to Matthew’s calm, understanding and wise approach.

For years I have been unable to sit, stand or try to sleep without being in severe pain and discomfort. Now I use the techniques throughout the day and also at night to help me sleep better.

The gentle techniques and lessons patiently taught are very powerful. They have helped me to manage and lessen the pain and prevent worsening pain. Also my energy levels are more balanced, my mental and physical energies have improved.

With M.E. you have to learn to ‘pace’ yourself and you can feel quite useless and worthless. With Tai-Chi I have learned how to ‘pace’ my life with better grace and more understanding.

I have other treatments (osteopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, cranial-sacral therapy and aromatherapy) less often now because the techniques and exercises learned in Tai-Chi build on the other therapies and deepen and continue the benefits for longer. What Matthew teaches so clearly and patiently helps us to learn how to benefit our health and help ourselves to heal.

GREAT NEWS! My osteopath has observed a change for the better in my spine particularly the cervical vertebrae which were usually very tightly compressed. She commented that the neck area was lighter and more open and the vertebrae moved more freely. When I explained the aim of the neck exercise that Matthew has taught us she said that was exactly what had happened. The improvement can only be a direct result of the Tai-Chi exercises.

Also my G.P who has been treating me for M.E says that he can see the difference in me and that it has made a new person of me.

I am so grateful to have been attending these classes. After years of struggle it has made such a difference to my health. It has improved my life, my sense of well-being and I feel like a different person to when I started a year ago. Thank you Matthew.
M.R., St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class, May 2013.

Anxiety

After suffering anxiety/panic attacks, Matthew recommended applying the Longevity Breathing. After a month or so, I found not only the panic attacks subsiding, but a feeling of being in control of my condition, which helped with my self esteem and well being. Having had no medication, just applying the breathing technique, I am pleased to say I really feel 100% better, more relaxed and in control. I’m still practising this technique and hopefully my Tai Chi is improving.
Mrs S. Woodnott, Faversham Still Breathing Class, July 2010.

Hip Pain

I fell badly 3 years ago and sustained a compression fracture of my right hip – since the fall I experienced constant pain through out the day and night. I have attended Tai Chi classes once a week for the past 4 years: Dragon and Tiger encouraged me “not to over use my hip” these changes improved my sleep. Fundamentals taught me to regain control of my hip muscles with very small repetitive exercises. Happily this term, my pain has cleared by 80%. I have had other treatments whilst attending Matthew’s classes i.e. acupuncture and physiotherapy, but Fundamentals and Dragon and Tiger have done more than the other modalities to improve my pain.
Mrs T. Miles, Physiotherapist, Canterbury Tai Chi Fundamentals and Dragon & Tiger Classes, July 2010.

Pelvic Instability and Pain – After 6 weeks

Just to say what a big difference your ‘Tai Chi Fundamentals’ classes have made to my life in only seven weeks. I was very apprehensive at first. As you may remember I just wanted to observe the class, having very little confidence because of my pelvic instability (frequent dislocation of the Sacrum, SI joints and lumbar sacral joint). I have tried various forms of exercise over the past 10 years, religiously working out every morning because without it I seemed to deteriorate quickly, and have had to wear a support belt for ten years to hold it all together.

One of the great things about your classes is that it doesn’t matter what level you are at, what your ability is, everyone is treated as a valued individual, with individual needs and you don’t feel marginalised because you cannot move your limbs as far as the person next to you.

Even in the first week, when I learnt that slow is good, there is no gain with pain, and that standing bolt upright (from early conditioning) is actually not beneficial, I noticed a relief from the pain I had been living with for so long. Even my chiropractor noticed a marked difference in my stability and circulation on my last check up.

Each week my range of movement has increased with daily, and sometimes not daily practice. If I miss a day now, I do not have the aches and pains that I had before.

But I had the biggest breakthrough this week. After last week (my 6th week) I managed to take off my pelvic support belt, after 10 years of being strapped up 24 yours a day. It feels a bit weird but I have survived the week without dislocating.

That’s just the Fundamentals. Together with the Still Breathing classes I have found it so much easier to switch off from work stress and I am sleeping much better. So all in all, a big difference to my quality of life and confidence already, and so a BIG THANKYOU for that.

Finally, what a friendly class! I have always felt welcome and not like a new student. Everyone helps each other. I have never come across that in exercise groups before where the focus is generally self-centred. So as well as the physical benefits, it is a pleasure to take part in the classes. Long may it continue.

Ms G. Woodfield, Faversham Tai Chi Fundamentals and Still Breathing Classes, July 2010.

Pelvic Instability and Pain – One year on

Hard to believe that was a year ago now:

I no longer need to carry my stick with me; I no longer need to drive an automatic car; I do not have to carry a portable wedge seat with me when I go out for a meal/drink because the seats are too low; I can get upstairs, hands free, for one flight – (3 flights with hand rail); I can bend forwards both in a ‘spinal stretch’ and ‘drinking bird’; I no longer need to wear a pelvic support belt during the day; I can walk for at least an hour without being in pain; I can stand and wait for a train without being in pain; I rarely take painkillers unless I have an incident; Incidents are less serious, one every 2-3 months months instead of weekly/fortnightly; I recover and get back to normal life much quicker after an incident; I can walk on uneven ground – on the beach or in the woods again; My exercise is no longer painful as it was with physio; I feel able to go on holiday next year for the first time in many years; I do not feel depressed any more about my future and what I thought I had lost; I do not feel so much like a disabled person any more.
Correction – I am not going to be a disabled person any more! I am in a much better place than I was, even before I lost my mobility. Life is great!
Thank you for your time, your patience, your support and your words of wisdom. I cannot thank you enough for helping me to change my life.

Ms G. Woodfield, Faversham Tai Chi Fundamentals and Still Breathing, Canterbury Dragon & Tiger Qigong and Heaven & Earth Neigong, May 2011.

Pelvic Instability and Pain – 2013 update

I continue to be amazed at how much my flexibility is still increasing, (notice l no longer call it mobility). I used to feel like, a disabled person trying to get better. I am no longer disabled.

I cannot say it has been an easy year but I put that down to something Matthew warned us about in class – how Tai Chi opens up your mind as well as your body and if you do too much opening it can have some scary affects. Well, yes I think I’ve got that now!!

On the plus side, now that I have come out the other side my tailbone has dropped and my whole balance has changed. I do not need props any more to get up from ground level. In fact I can swoop down and pick things up without a thought. Last week I even found myself almost running for a train. 2 weeks ago I sat on the floor! That’s a first in 10 years. My muscles cannot hold me up yet but small steps. I’m on my way.

These may sound like basic movements to most people but when you lose the ability to do these things and then you are told by a health care professional that their is no cure, then you believe it. Well at least I did.

I never thought I would be able to walk on pebble beaches again, trudge through the woods and the fields breathing in the scent of wild flowers or crunching my way through the snow. At best it became so difficult to walk on uneven ground that I stopped doing it for fear of falling and injuring myself which was a frequent occurrence. We take these simple pleasures for granted. When we lose them it is a great loss to our senses and life becomes a little more grey every day.

Tai Chi has given me my life back and more. And it is not as if I do hours every day. I learnt my lesson there so please be warned. All I do most days is:

Warm up
Cloud Hands
2 Drinking Birds
2 Spinal Stretches
The Form – minimum of twice

That’s before breakfast. I can do more and if I had the energy after work I would. I think setting yourself a small amount is best then you can always add to it.

Speaking as someone who has had back and pelvis problems for many years and ended up with a care package, I still can’t believe I have come out the other side.

I cannot thank you enough.

Ms G. Woodfield, Faversham Tai Chi Fundamentals and Tai Chi Short Form, November 2013.

General Well Being

After a year of Tai Chi Fundamentals I feel better now, in my thirties, than I did ten years ago, in my twenties.
Ms H. Addley, Faversham Tai Chi Fundamentals Class.

I have less pain generally and when it flares up then it is also less severe.
Mr S. Spratt, Ramsgate.

Neck Pain

Tai Chi has proved very beneficial to me in every day pursuits and with hindsight I should have started this form of exercise at a much earlier age – by regularly practising the exercises, which have been taught to me in an ‘easy to learn’ way, I feel more in touch with how the muscles and nerves react to tension. Less tension = less pain. My skeleton seems to be working in harmony with my muscles and nerves and I have experienced far less pain in my neck. The deep breathing exercises are very helpful in aiding restful sleep. I find that I can do simple tasks in the garden – using the Tai Chi awareness of not overdoing things. This allows me to achieve everyday tasks in a way that does not have a detrimental effect on my pain. Also, my circulation is much improved. Overall, Tai Chi is helping me to do more with less pain.
Mrs P. Dillon, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

I have found Tai Chi to be most beneficial with neck pain (Cervical Spondylosis). The first few weeks my neck gave me a lot of pain, but after 5 weeks of Tai Chi there has been tremendous improvement. There have been significant changes with my back pain as well.
Mrs D. Athow, Folkestone.

High Blood Pressure

There has been a significant improvement in my high blood pressure. It has also helped my standing, breathing and peace of mind, and I am taking much less pain relief. Thank you.
Mrs P. Newnham, Ramsgate.

I have had high blood pressure and have been on tablets – atenolol & amlodipine – for many years. Even on the tablets my B/P was still high. Breathing using the diaphragm and belly over the last fourteen days, my blood pressure reading has significantly reduced. I use the diaphragmatic breathing technique whenever I think about it, watching the television, at the sink, on the train, in bed etc. I am at the moment still taking the tablets, which I hope to cut down. My blood pressure is now nearly normal.
Anon, Canterbury, October 2011.

Pericarditis

After collapsing in my garden with severe chest pain, I was diagnosed with pericarditis, a virus which attacks the lining of the heart. During the attack I went into Tai Chi mode and used the breathing technique, which I learned at classes. My Dr in hospital commended me on my breathing and suggested that it had significantly contributed to my recovery.
Mr S. Searle, Ramsgate.

Mid-back Pain

I was walking around the bed and as I turned a pain ‘gripped’ the middle of my back. I let out a yell and dropped to my knees, (very, very slowly). Luckily the bed was there so as I was down I laid my arms onto it. (My wife was in the shower and did not hear me) I stayed there a while until I felt I could stand. I sat on a chair and as I did I thought of the Tai Chi lessons and how Matthew had taught us to bend our back. So I let my tail bone sink into the chair and very slowly started to bend forward trying to open up every vertebrae. I must stress I was doing this very, very slowly and only twice, not wanting to do too much. I sat for a while and then stood up. I found my back was a lot easier than I had imagined it would be. Still damn sore but easier. After a couple of days I was fine. A lot faster than I thought it would be. Thank you Matthew. I am convinced that particular exercise accelerated the recovery process.
Mr M. Cleaver, Ramsgate.

Holistic Approach

I have found the holistic approach that Matthew uses with his Tai Chi enables me to look at all aspects of my life. His sensible approach to how we deal with pain and the gentle exercises he guides us through, together with the breathing and quiet way that he teaches the class, helps to calm the pain and understand how to cope with the bad spasms as they happen.
Mrs J. Davies, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Every aspect of my life has been affected by Tai Chi. I know now that I can help myself as well as knowing that I have other people to help me, physically and psychologically. I have a brighter outlook now. Going to Tai Chi has taught me how to cope a lot better with my various pains, and to be more patient with myself and also with other people. Matthew is a very patient, kind and understanding man and has helped me enormously. I am with a class of friendly people, all with similar physical problems and psychologically we all help each other to feel good.
Mrs B. Rider, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Helping Ourselves

Tai Chi helps me take more control of my life.
Mrs S. Fasham, Ramsgate.

It is very useful because I am the master of my body. I can exercise my whole body without causing unwanted pain (more than what I have already). So I will continue exercising at home thanks to the class.
Mrs B. I., Ramsgate.

Lower-back Pain, Joints and Height

By practising some of the movements each day I have found that I can relax and feel in better control of the pain in my lumbar spine. In addition I feel my general mobility in shoulders, feet and ankles has improved. Overall my experience of severe pain has diminished slightly in intensity and duration. Attending the classes is a pleasant, relaxing experience and the various movements are clearly explained and demonstrated. Also I have regained 3cm in height.
Miss G. Lamb, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Regained Height

I lost two inches in height due to a car accident many years ago with no changes until now. During my recent annual, diabetic M.O.T. my nurse reported a height increase of one inch. The only change in my life over the last year has been Tai Chi. God bless.
Mrs A.D.Cooke, Ramsgate, May 2011.

Shoulder Pain

Tai Chi has helped me to relax and at home I practise the movements daily. The breathing is particularly relaxing. The pain in my left shoulder has improved. The social aspect of the weekly class enables me to chat to other members of the group and we share tips on managing our health problems.
Mrs D. Headdon, Folkestone.

Sleep

I find Tai Chi to be very relaxing. It does help to control pain and I find it helps during the night to relax me and help me back to sleep.
Mrs L. Little, Ramsgate.

Mood

I find that Tai Chi has helped to lift my mood and relaxation exercises help as well. The exercises help to motivate me particularly on rising when my joints are very stiff.
Mrs J. Crole, Ramsgate.

I find I am generally better in my well being. I am a happier person since coming to Tai Chi.
Anon, Ramsgate.

Mobility

I find that Tai Chi is continuing to make me more mobile and able to do things that I was unable to do before.
Mr D. Massey, Ramsgate.

I feel that attending this group has improved my quality of life. I have found that my pain tolerance is a lot better and my movement has improved greatly.
Mr R. Weaver, Ramsgate.

Reducing Pain Killers

I am more mobile and am using the walking stick less. I am more positive and relaxed. Since taking part in Tai Chi I find I can do with less pain killers.
Mrs J. Skinner, Ramsgate.

Socialising

The gentle exercises are not overwhelming. After a time they become automatic, which in turn helps with general life and mobility. Part of the teaching includes a social aspect – meeting other people with similar problems helps take away the possible loneliness of the house bound. It makes for something to look forward to. The effort is worthwhile, also friendships are made. It starts off as pain control help, then it includes a smile or two which lifts the moods a lot. In other words it is a good idea and benefits us.
Mrs Gill P., Ramsgate Chronic Pain Class.

I really like going to Tai Chi because it’s relaxing, entertaining and I can have a nice chat and a bit of fun. The exercises are easy to do at the class and at home. I look forward to going to learn more, and to learn a new exercise each week. The instructor, Gary, is very nice.
Mrs L. Earl, Sittingbourne.

Including Family

The breathing definitely helps, it’s very calming also. Although I hate having my neck touched the ‘neck movements’ certainly help. Also my husband is usually anti any ‘formal’ exercise and he comes and really enjoys it so that helps me, as it gives us something to do together and gives him a better understanding of my pain. I also feel that I am actually achieving something positive, so thank you.
Mrs M. A., Ramsgate.

Overcoming the fear of falling

Under Matthew’s tuition I have gained confidence and lost a lot of my fear of falling, although still aware of some imbalance. To walk in the Tai Chi manner is, I know, going to improve my balance. I look forward to “going forward” under Matthew’s direction.
Matthew’s explanations on how to improve on muscle tension are very helpful – this tension has always been one of my problems and on which I have to focus.
Matthew is a patient and tolerant teacher. His explanations on the effect of gentle movements on our skeletal, muscular and circulatory systems he makes interesting and easy for us to understand. Thank you Matthew.
Mrs G. Milne, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Balance and Breathing

I have noticed that my balance has greatly improved and I am standing more erect. Walking is much easier and I no longer trip or fall. Also I think the breathing exercises have improved my lungs as for the first time in many years I didn’t get a chest infection this winter.
Anon, Ramsgate May 2009.

I have found Tai Chi has helped me to relax more so with breathing and it’s also helped with getting my head around a lot of things.
Mrs A. Holness, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Emotional Balance

(I have found Tai Chi useful for:) Self relaxation, temper control, no pain a lot of gain, just understanding my pain, going each week talking to others with pain, hearing different ways of self calming and relaxation, getting off to sleep, not pushing myself too much, doing a little at a time, enjoying the company of others with pain.
Mr M. Darsley, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Back and Hip Pain

I have found Tai Chi to be very beneficial to my back and hip problem. It has helped with my heavy left leg. Also, I have found it very helpful being in a group of people with different pain problems.
Mrs C. Sharpe, Folkestone.

Back and Walking

Tai Chi really helps my back and in turns helps me to walk better, but Tai Chi has helped me as a whole person to understand my body better. Thank you Matthew I really enjoy your class.
Mrs C. White, Ramsgate.

Improved Recovery Times

When in queues I do hip and shoulder exercises, these help while waiting. The problem with my back comes in spells, and although the pain is about the same the time between spells has lengthened from 3-4 weeks to 5-6 weeks and my recovery time is faster.
Mr P. Rudkin, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Quality of Life

Tai Chi has changed my life. It has improved how I view my day to day life. Before I did Tai Chi I was always rushing and putting myself under pressure. I have learnt to listen to my body and well being: from breathing when I awake, to movements throughout the day, to relaxing to help me sleep. Meeting Dr Brewer has made a huge difference to the quality of my being. I broke my leg in the middle of this course and found the things I had been taught in Tai Chi a great help in dealing with this also. Matthew is a great teacher and the calmest person I have ever met in my 61 years. Thank you to Matthew.
Mrs E. Badcock, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class.

Leg Circulation

The circulation has improved in my legs and ulcers have healed a lot better.
Mrs M. Elmey, Ramsgate.

Gentle

I was surprised to realise Tai Chi could be such a gentle exercise and I try to remember to continue when I get home. Matthew is such a good teacher and makes the class very enjoyable. We all get on well together.
Mrs W. Grisby, Ramsgate.

Mental Attitude

Apart from a lessening of pain and an increase of mobility, I find that the sessions lift my mood and improve my mental attitude to living with chronic pain. The more I understand, the better I am able to deal with problems. Matthew gives very clear insights into why certain Tai Chi moves will improve things.
Mrs G. Lamb, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class, February 2011.

Tension Hedaches

When I started Tai Chi I suffered greatly with tension headaches, which made me physically sick and kept me awake at night. Now, with the techniques Matthew has taught me, I have the ability to stop these headaches at source. There is only one word I can use about Matthew and his Tai Chi and that is fantastic.
Mr M. Cowell, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class, May 2011.

Leg circulation, Sleep and Regaining use of the Hand

I have attended Matthew Brewer’s Tai Chi classes for some time and I know they have been of great benefit to me in many ways. In the past I have proved that by following his advice I can prevent my ankles from swelling if I’m travelling long distances by coach or train; also using the special breathing exercise helps me to get off to sleep at night. When chatting to others in the group we have agreed that we often use the Tai Chi movements automatically, without really thinking about them, because they’ve become a big part of our daily lives. Recently I started to have severe problems with my right hand – I couldn’t straighten my fingers or the palm of that hand, it was becoming more like a clenched fist. When I talked to Matthew about it he demonstrated some particular movements to follow and I am totally amazed that I am now able to straighten my hand after practising them every day for about a month. I am now convinced that all of my joints would have “closed down” by now if I hadn’t been going to Matthew’s special Tai Chi classes!! So, thank you Matthew for your teaching skills and your patience.
Mrs B. Goodwin, St Peter’s, Broadstairs Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Preservation and Rehabilitation Class, June 2011.

No need for facet joint injections

Following my 3rd session with Matthew at the Portland Centre, I noticed that my lower back and leg pain were significantly reduced. I have severe degeneration of the lumbar and c-spine and am awaiting facet-joint injections. Two days ago I felt that I could dispense with the pain tablets, did not need my walking stick all the time and actually walked the dogs for a short distance – progress indeed! Thank you.
Mrs S Webster, St Peter’s, October 2011.

Update: Following my first report of the progress I was experiencing from the classes, I would now like to update this. I have been awaiting facet joint injections since June, however, due to the excellent results achieved since starting the classes, it is now no longer necessary for me to have this procedure. I feel that I now have control over the high level of pain that I have been experiencing over the past year and believe that this is due to these classes. I have been totally dedicated to the methods taught and practice them regularly. I now only take over-the-counter pain killers two or three times a week whereas before I was taking the maximum dosage daily. The relaxation method in particular has proved very beneficial. I have informed the Pain Clinic of this progress and they will contact me again in January to ascertain whether I no longer need the procedure and I will then be taken off the waiting list. Thank you Matthew!
Mrs S Webster, St Peter’s, November 2011.