"I have found that gentle exercise can invigorate you more than aerobic exercise"
"It has helped very much with balance"
"Tai Chi is very gentle, but it has made me much more agile and sure of myself"
"I enjoy the stillness, it has given me more awareness"
"I’ve found that I’m capable of moving slowly which I’ve always found beforehand
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan (often shortened to ‘Tai Chi’) is a martial art which also provides
great health benefits. Developed in China over many hundreds of years, Tai Chi is
very popular with older people in China who know how useful it is to keep the body
supple and mobile, and maintain a healthy, active life. Many of the great masters
of Tai Chi originally took up the art to help improve poor health.
Literally anyone can benefit from Tai Chi, even those who have limited physical movement. Exercises
can be adapted to suit each student so that everyone can participate.
Even watching Tai Chi is restful and relaxing. From my experience, the benefits of
playing Tai Chi include:
Increased energy levels
Improved general physical well being
Sleeping better, waking feeling more refreshed
Able to choose to relax
Reduced stress and increased confidence
Better coordination and balance
Having more fun
Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends Tai Chi for a wide range of health problems.
More recently, there have been a number of clinical studies by doctors practicing
Western Medicine and systematic reviews of research on Tai Chi and health. The firmest
evidence to date is that Tai Chi can led to less falls and has positive psychological
effects. See Resources for more information about research on Tai Chi and health.
Tai Chi Based Exercise Training can be provided for Special Schools staff, and those
working with adults with health and mobility problems, as well as people with learning
About Alison Smith
Alison first began Tai Chi Chuan in 1979. In 2003 she set up Tai Chi for Everyone
and now specialises in teaching Tai Chi for people with health and mobility problems, and
for children and adults with special needs.
Alison trained originally in Tai Chi Chuan with Alan Peck, founder of the Natural
Way Tai Chi School. Alan's teacher was Dr Chi Chiang Tao who studied under Cheng
Man Ching. Alison now attends courses with Alan’s senior students, including Angus
Clark of Living Movement and has also studied with a number of teachers specialising
in tai chi for people with disabilities and health issues, including Dr Paul Lam
and members of the Tai Chi and Chi Kung Forum for Health. A qualified teacher, Alison
holds a PGCE (adult education), and is an Advanced Instructor of the Tai Chi Union
for Great Britain.
Alison is also a qualified ARNI Instructor, offering personal and small group training
for stroke survivors who want to improve their functional movement.
If you have any doubt about whether you should take part in our Tai Chi classes,
please consult your doctor or other medical practitioner first. If you or your practitioner
would like further information about Tai Chi, I will be delighted to speak with you.
On 3rd March 2010, Alan Peck passed away. He inspired many, many people to study
Tai Chi, and with great care passed on the knowledge he received from Dr Chi Chiang
Tao, and the fruits of his personal study. I am deeply grateful for Alan's very generous
teaching which I draw on every day. You may like to look at Alan’s website and blog
where you will find articles and other resources, as well as the special tribute
site which has many beautiful photos and tributes to Alan.