Our Health Educators offer free Tai Chi classes for community members. Classes are broken into two categories; Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention for indoor classes and Tai Chi for Health for both indoor and outdoor classes.
Tai Chi is a mild, gentle exercise that is perfect for beginners and those with advanced practice. At Yavapai Community Health Services, we teach Dr. Paul Lam’s curriculum of Sun-style Tai Chi from the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI). The Tai Chi for Health Institute was founded in 2010 by Dr. Lam and in 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Council on Ageing recommended Dr. Lams program.
Our Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention classes are always held inside, where we can ensure a flat surface for emphasis on fall prevention moves. The Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention Program is the same as Tai Chi for Arthritis program, which was recommended by CDC and evidenced based.
Both programs have the same movements and incorporated Tai Chi principles for improving health and wellness, as well as proven effective for fall prevention. The former has even more emphasis on fall prevention while the later focuses more on arthritis. One-hour classes are held once a week for 8 to 12 weeks.
Our Tai Chi for Health classes can be scheduled either inside or outside. These classes are CDC recommended and include the same moves as Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention except the later has additional emphasis on fall prevention.
Community members who want to work on their balance should attend the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention classes. One-hour classes are held once a week for 8 to 12 weeks.
This largest fall prevention study in the world involved 702 people. After 16 weeks of learning and practicing a Tai Chi program, the results showed that Tai Chi significantly reduced the number of falls. Tai Chi also significantly reduced the risk of multiple falls by approximately 70%.
The study indicates, “findings from this study indicate that participation in weekly community-based Tai Chi classes can reduce falls in relatively healthy, community-dwelling older people. Given that the Tai Chi program used existing community facilities, the study suggests that Tai Chi is an effective and sustainable public health intervention for falls prevention for older people living in the community.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults over the age of 65 fall each year. Treatment of injuries due to falls is the most expensive health cost, estimated 2015 by CDC to be 31 billion dollars per year in USA. There are many studies on measures to prevent falls. A recent review of 111 randomized trials involving over 55,000 subjects singled out Tai Chi and individually prescribed exercise programs to be effective. With regular practice, Tai Chi improves balance by strengthening muscles and co-ordination. At the same time, Tai Chi strengthens the mind. This helps with improving calmness and confidence in not falling. The largest study about the practice of Tai Chi by people with arthritis, published in the Arthritis Care and Research Journal, found that the Tai Chi for Arthritis program not only reduced pain, but also improved the quality of life.
Here is an example of the Tai Chi forms you will learn in class.