Why I'm helping teach tai chi movements to people living with a lung condition

Sandra helps teach Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing (TMW) to people living with a lung condition. She explains why it can help.

Tai Chi

I’m part of a growing number of BLF Active instructors who are teaching tai chi movements to people living with lung conditions.

TMW is a form of tai chi that is low impact and incorporates slow, graceful and continuous movements with the transferring of weight from one leg to another.

For a few years, I ran a maintenance class for COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But soon, I noticed how new students often struggled to perform some of the exercises. It made them anxious about becoming breathless, so they would be reluctant to continue.

I began to investigate TMW classes, as I thought they'd be a form of exercise that everyone living with a lung condition could participate in.

"The training was different to anything I'd done before."

But to teach it, I first needed to train as an instructor. The training was different from anything I’d done before, as I had to embody the principles of tai chi in my own life before I could share the movements with others.

Practicing tai chi helped me develop a sense of mindfulness.

Practicing tai chi movements on a daily basis has helped me develop a sense of mindfulness that I can now share with my class.

Tai chi is one of the best exercises for the health of both your body and mind. It can help to reduce stress, improve balance, increase strength and improve mobility.

If you live with a lung condition, it will also help you to manage breathlessness.

"Tai chi allows you to focus on yourself"

The routines in the class are simple and can be done either sitting down or standing up. 

You may enjoy tai chi more than another form of exercise because you won’t be challenged to push yourself outside of your physical limits. The movements allow you to focus on yourself, as opposed to worrying about what's around the corner – something a few of us are guilty of.

Each class is like a little family. Each person brings something special to the group and it's a pleasure to watch the social interaction and to see personal relationships develop.

"I feel so privileged"

I feel so privileged to work in this field. I’m in a position of trust. When someone walks into your class for the first time and places their health in your hands, it is something to value and respect.

Each person is on their own personal journey to try and improve their health.

Although it’s a class setting, I see each person as an individual on their own personal journey to try and improve their health.

When I put the class programme together, I think about my clients and their needs and what I can do to make things just that bit better, so daily activities are a little easier.

After we finish, people often come up to me and say that they used to find going up and down the stairs very difficult, but now they can get to the top without stopping.

That's when I know I am doing my job properly – making a difference in someone's life.

Where's my nearest Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing class?

Find out how you can attend a Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing class by following the link below. 

I want to learn more

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20 February 2018