Tai Chi for Chronic Pain

Relaxing into Life

We have been teaching Tai Chi for Chronic pain since 1997, and have found it to be very successful in helping to manage chronic illness. It has enabled many sufferers to reduce their medication while increasing their mobility and comfort. We have also found that it is effective at returning the confidence that is so often lost when suffering from chronic pain. For a representative selection of feedback from people who have benefited from our classes please see our feedback page.

Tai Chi is not a pill and it does not work over night. However it does provide a range of effective tools for dealing effectively with pain.

In our classes, pain sufferers have:

  • Learned to relax
  • Learned how to cope with pain
  • Greatly reduced their pain and their medication
  • Increased their range of pain-free movement
  • Learned to reduced stress and calm the mind
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Returned to standing and walking without need of support
  • Gained confidence
  • Made friends

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi developed in China about 300 years ago as a combination of the best martial arts movements of the day and much older qigong and neigong energy practices. This combination proved very effective, not only for fighting but also for healing. Today the vast majority of people who practice Tai Chi do it for their health alone. It is now the most practiced health exercise in the world.

There are many types or styles of Tai Chi which emphasize different aspects of the art, as a result some forms, such as the Yang Style are better if you are just physically weak, while others, such as the Wu Style that we teach, are better at healing damaged joints, tissue and organs. Others, such as traditional Chen Style require you to be healthy before you learn them.

The Wu Style that we teach is recognised as being particularly effective at healing the joints and internal organs. It contains many healing aspects that are rarely taught openly, even in China. We have found that with chronic pain it is best not to teach much of the Tai Chi sequence of movements, know as the ‘form’. Instead, we mainly teach elements of the qigong and neigong side of Tai Chi as separate gentle exercises, which enable pain sufferers to gain the benefits of Tai Chi without learning a large number of movements.

What to expect in our classes.

We begin with a gentle warm up, usually done sitting unless it is more comfortable for you to stand. We then move on to various exercises, done very gently to help release different parts of the body. Often patients have particular areas that they ask to look at.

There tends to be a variety of sitting, standing and moving exercises in each class. At the end of the class we usually do some gentle breathing exercises, which are particularly effective for relaxation and for reducing anxiety and other negative emotions such as anger.

Where are the Chronic Pain classes?

At the moment there are no dedicated chronic pain class outside of the NHS. However Dave’s ‘Tai Chi for Health & Relaxation’ classes in Deal and Folkestone and Gary’s ‘Tai Chi Fundamentals’ classes in Rainham and Sheppey are also suitable for people with chronic conditions. Matthew also has students who suffer from chronic conditions in his Canterbury, Faversham and Whitstable Tai Chi Fundamentals classes.

What to wear:

Loose comfortable clothing and flat shoes.