Physical therapists are always looking for new recommendations for their clients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses. Finding a physical activity that not only appeals to clients but also keeps them safe is difficult.
While you might not expect it, Tai Chi is a common technique recommended to clients as a form of physical therapy. This low-impact exercise is aerobic while also offering increases in muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.
Tai Chi was developed in China as a stretching, strengthening, and balancing practice. The practice puts profound emphasis on breathing, relaxing, and focusing the mind in specific postures. Shifting weight and moving the limbs are part of Tai Chi, which ultimately offers a series of benefits for your clients.
Tai Chi Reduces Injuries from Falls
Older adults are at higher risk of falling and becoming injured than others. In fact, falling is one of the leading causes of injury in older adults, and some falls are even fatal. This makes Tai Chi a great option for those who are recovering from a stroke, who are at higher likelihood of falling due to balance issues.
Tai Chi is linked to reducing the number of falls physical therapy clients experience. In one research group, individuals practicing Tai Chi for six months were significantly less likely to sustain injuries from a fall than those practicing lower extremity training.
Tai Chi Reduces Stress
Tai Chi is beneficial for stress reduction and emotional well-being thanks to its focus on slow, thoughtful breathing. Additionally, the exercise is relaxing and allows for more mindful acknowledgment of the way the body moves.
While the two practices are quite different, many people do consider Tai Chi to be similar to yoga in many respects. Both types of activity promote mindful breathing and methodical movements.
Tai Chi Benefits Cardiac Rehabilitation
Tai Chi is also beneficial for individuals in cardiac rehabilitation who are not interested in other physical exercises due to fears it may exacerbate their condition. This is a great use of Tai Chi because it allows low-intensity and moderate-intensity activity.
Tai Chi Is Minimalistic
You do not need any special equipment to begin Tai Chi, which means that your clients will enjoy an inexpensive exercise. Many clients are reluctant to begin a practice that they will not be able to replicate later at home. Tai Chi takes away this barrier.
Tai Chi Is Safe
Finally, Tai Chi is considered safe with only minor muscle pain as a side effect. This method puts very little stress on joints or muscles, which makes it a great option even for those who do not exercise regularly. Few injuries result from the proper practice of Tai Chi, which makes it all the more important for physical therapists to understand the role they play in teaching their clients.
The Best Way to Implement Tai Chi
PDH offers a continuing course focused on rehabilitative Tai Chi. Whether you want to learn more about Tai Chi or you are interested in learning about other methods to become a better physical therapist, Physical Therapy Courses put you on track. Check them out today!