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Tai-Chi For Balance

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Over the past 10 years, we’ve supported virtually every industry sector, including many Fortune 500 Companies and Government Agencies
It may be surprising, but falling is the primary cause of death or injury for older Americans. Even more surprising, having a fear of falling predicts the likelihood that someone will experience a fall. To prevent both, many older Americans have turned to Tai Chi for Balance to improve their strength and flexibility. This ancient martial art also offers meditative benefits and has been proven to reduce the fear of falling as well as the actual occurrence of falls in older adults. 

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that’s been around for thousands of years. While there are a wide range of styles, the practice generally involves moving your body slowly and deliberately through a series of continuous motions that are designed to increase strength and improve muscle flexibility. Classes also incorporate meditation and a focus on breathing and the “chi,” the area just below your belly button where tai chi philosophy believes your body’s energy is stored, to promote inner peace and a sense of calm.

Tai Chi is a gentle, low impact practice, making it ideal for older, sedentary, or injured participants. Class members can perform movements at their own pace with minimal risk of injury and minimal amounts of stress to the muscles and joints. For residential living facilities, community centers, and senior living complexes, Tai Chi is an optimal element to add to wellness programming because:
It doesn’t require much space or any specialized equipment.

It can be done individually or in group formats.
Nearly anyone can do it anytime or anywhere.
It’s non-competitive and inclusive of participants of all fitness levels and capabilities. 

The practice of Tai Chi for Balance emphasizes the development of muscle strengthening, flexibility, range of motion, and reflexes and helps to increase body awareness and awareness of your surroundings. It also develops balance with movements that involve shifting your weight – in some cases with one leg elevated – while coordinated with upper body poses, which provides a counterbalance. These improvements in balance and spatial awareness help increase your feeling of stability – or that feeling of being “sure on your feet.” 

In fact, research has shown that tai chi is very effective at reducing the likelihood an older person will fall. One study found that just four weeks of Tai Chi resulted in significant improvements in balance, and another that involved participants in their 60s and 70s found that after six and twelve weeks, Tai Chi had a dramatic effect on improved balance, flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. All of these benefits of Tai Chi have been shown to have a protective effect on fall-risk in seniors. 

Not only does Tai Chi for Balance result in physical improvements that can reduce the risk of an actual fall, but it also reduces the fear of falling, which can affect the quality of life of elderly Americans. The fear of falling is one of the most significant predictors that someone will have a fall, and regular Tai Chi practice has been shown to reduce that risk from 56% to 31% in Americans aged 70 or older.

Of course, there are other benefits of performing Tai Chi for Balance on a regular and ongoing basis. One set of studies involving Parkinson’s patients found Tai Chi provided a better improvement in balance and stability than resistance training and stretching – and participants were also more likely to continue with it after the study was over. Tai Chi also has been found to help improve some conditions, reduce the risk for disease, and:
  • Help lower blood pressure and anxiety levels
  • Reduce cholesterol levels
  • Have positive effects on Type 2 diabetes
  • Develop upper and lower body strength
  • Lower stress and boost mood
  • Improve pain from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions
  • Improve sleep quality, thinking skills, the speed of motor functions, and attention

To reap these benefits for your community, Strive can help you create a Tai Chi for Balance program that’s right for your participants and facility, designating a personal project coordinator to discuss your needs and guide you through the process. Tai Chi for Balance classes from Strive include eight Tai Chi forms that help students learn to align posture, shift weight, and coordinate movements. All classes can be adjusted to accommodate the needs of participants with injuries or physical limitations. Classes are typically 60 minutes in duration and are offered two or three times per week on an ongoing year-round basis. 

Strive’s Tai Chi instructors are certified and have memberships with the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association (ATCQA). Additionally, each instructor is required to have 200 hours of class instruction and must provide three reference letters from other Tai Chi instructors, students, or trainers. Your program will also include services from a Master Trainer, who’ll assess instructors, offer professional development, and ensure each trainer is fully-qualified and fully-capable of teaching your community of older adults. 

Working with Strive gives you access to our nationwide network of certified staff, managers, and vendors – so you can add Tai Chi for Balances classes at one location or in centers across the country. You can also combine your classes with other Evidence-based Community Health Programs, like: 
  • Healthy Living Workshops
  • Diabetes Prevention Programs
  • Art Therapy
  • And many more. 

No matter how few or how many classes you include in your program, your Project Manager will serve as your single point of contact for the entire initiative.

To simplify and streamline your experience, your Project Manager will hire certified Tai Chi instructors specially chosen to suit your participants' needs and will also work with your building resources staff to coordinate class schedules onsite. Depending upon the needs of your program, we’ll also help to enroll or sign up participants and will hand out, collect, and manage liability waivers. Additionally, we’ll take care of marketing, administration, and billing, providing you with one invoice for all components of your initiative.

Another major benefit of choosing Tai Chi for Balance classes from Strive is the comprehensive liability coverage we provide for all of our services. This includes workers compensation coverage and a provision of services so that your organization is fully indemnified of risk.
Contact us to learn about our entire catalog of workplace wellness programming. 
Start creating your customized wellness initiative today.