Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™


What is Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™?

Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™ consists of deep breathing Chi invigorating exercises to specifically target the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the joints of the body that are most susceptible to arthritis.  It was created by the Tai Chi master John Chow and is derived from Tai Chi Chuan (taiji quan) and ancient Chinese Chi Kung (qigong) exercises.  


The exercises have the following characteristics:- 

·        excellent range of motion

·        joint rotation

·        stretching and flexing

·        flexibility

·        muscle and ligament strengthening

·        aerobic

·        endurance


These characteristics satisfies any exercise program for the elderly and arthritis.


It involves slow and gentle movements that are safe. 


Unlike other popular ‘recommended’ or ‘sponsored’ programs which are marketed as ‘specifically designed for arthritis’,  this one really is specifically designed for patients with arthritic conditions! 


Aims of Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis

·        improve Qi and blood circulation to the joints,

·        lubricate the joints,

·        improve muscle strength connected with the joints,

·        increase tendon/ligament strength,

·        increase joint flexibility and range of movement by improving tendon/ligament elasticity.  

·        relieve muscle and joint pain.


The Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™ program was specifically created for treating arthritic conditions by Master John Chow from his vast experience of teaching Tai Chi Chuan since 1977,  with the intention to be effective in improving or relieving arthritic conditions. 



The Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™ program

The Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™ program is divided into 3 main sections:-

·        Warming-up, limbering and stretching (for tendon/ligament strength and elasticity) to increase range of movement

·        Tai Chi Chi Kung for the elderly, weak and arthritic (includes the generic Tai Chi exercises of those highly acclaimed Tai Chi exercises for arthritis on the market, together with specific Chi Kung exercise that are useful for the elderly and arthritic):-

·        Easy Tai Chi (modified  -  for circulation and development of Chi)

·        Joint rotation exercises

·        Joint range of movement exercises

·        Joint muscle/ligament/tendon strengthening

·        Weight-bearing exercises

·        Balancing exercises

·        Specific Tai Chi & Chi Kung exercises for arthritis (specifically targeting arthritic areas)


All the above are performed with deep breathing and a mental focus of targeting the arthritic condition.


Stretching helps to improve tendon/ligament strength and elasticity, and thus increase range of movement at the joints. 


Traditional Chinese medicine believes that Chi (qi) circulation and development is essential for the effective treatment of arthritis.  Thus,  the circulation and development of Chi is the essential base and ingredient for all forms of arthritic therapy.  Easy Tai Chi ™ is specially created by Master John Chow as an easy and effective method of Chi development and circulation through Tai Chi Chuan.  It can be practised regardless of age, sex, and strength.


Role of Exercises in Arthritic Programs – generally

Sensible exercises help to keep the joints healthy and functionally robust.  Arthritic-relieving exercises should be designed to specifically strengthen muscles around joints, enhance flexibility and range of motion, elevate pain and relieve muscular stiffness in arthritic patients.  Joint rotational exercises promote the flow of synovial fluids into and out of the cartilages.  Strengthening and weight-bearing exercises also strengthen the bones.  Regular exercises (twice a day) are a very important part of arthritic programs.  Stretches are an important part of arthritic-relieving exercises.



What is Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung?
Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art from China that uses gentle movements, interspersed with explosive fast movements.  In modern times,  much of the fast movements have been dropped,  but the slow movements are still very good for health and fitness. 


Chi Kung is the art of developing health and vitality through yoga-like exercises and deep breathing.  Such exercises have been amazingly effective in resolving health problem for many centuries. 


Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung focus on building strength, balance, muscular endurance and flexibility through slow, fluid movements combined deep breathing. 


Many therapists have found that Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung are very effective for alleviating or assisting with medical problems. 

Benefits of Practising Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung - generally

Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung greatly improves the respiratory, cardiovascular and circulation systems of the body.  In particular, it:-

·        assists in healing many illness and health conditions (refer list below on health)

·        assists in recuperation and rejuvenation (chronic illness, surgery)

·        improves health and wellbeing

·        increases vitality and energy level

·        improves immunity against infection


Tai Chi and Chi Kung has been effectively used by many health practitioners to help with many medical conditions.



How does Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung help with arthritic conditions?
In line with the advice of medical arthritic experts,  Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung improve muscular strength, flexibility (range of motion), and fitness.  In addition, Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung also improves Qi, blood and lymph circulation, tendon/ligament strength, tendon/ligament elasticity, balance, bone density, postural alignment, immunity against infections, and gives a sense of well-being.  It induces relaxation and a sense of vitality and comfort.  


Of these attributes,  perhaps the most important for arthritic patients are improved Qi, blood and lymph circulation, muscular strength, tendon/ligament strength, tendon/ligament elasticity, and flexibility of the joints.  Thus, most forms of Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung will benefit arthritic sufferers in some way or other to a certain degree. 


Why learn Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™?
Most popular forms of Tai Chi or Chi Kung in the market are generic and do not specifically target arthritis and arthritic joints, as claimed.  Although some claim to, and have the backing of medical authorities, they are actually drastically simplified and cut-down versions of Tai Chi Chuan, without and specifics targeting arthritis.  A specially created program specifically tailored for arthritic conditions would be more effective. 


Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™ is not a generic Tai Chi or Chi Kung exercise.  In other words,  it is not a drastically cut down version of Yang Style or Sun Style Tai Chi marketed “to specifically relieve or alleviate arthritis”.  Unlike other popular “arthritis”  programs on the market,  it genuinely consists of Chi Kung exercises specifically designed for arthritis,  and contains exercises designed to exercise and strengthen the tendons/ligaments and the joints.  This is a distinguishing feature of Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis ™.  This program is simple and safe to practise.   



Other aches, pains, stiffness and injury

Because Tai Chi and Chi Kung for Arthritis™ targets the tendons, ligaments and muscles associated with the joints,  it is also excellent for wrist, elbow, shoulder, knee, ankle and neck pain.  It is also suitable for sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, stiff/locked shoulders and painful shoulders. 



How to use this program

·        Attend a 3 hours  or  two 2 hours workshop in order to learn the program before participating in any exercise routine.

·        Participate in a group practice several times. This is the recommended mode of practice since the exercise leader is trained to correct any mistakes. Wrong exercises can be harmful!

·        If proficient, may perform self practice at home.


All of the warming-up, limbering and stretching exercises must be done. The exercise leader (master John Chow) will vary the content of the Tai Chi & Chi Kung for the elderly and the specific Tai Chi & Chi Kung exercises according to the needs of the group. For example, if the group comprises mostly of elderly people without any arthritis, then the Tai Chi & Chi Kung for the Elderly is emphasised. If the group has arthritic people, then more of the exercise specific to arthritis will be included. Thus, the program is very flexible.



Other modalities to complement Tai Chi and Chi Kung for Arthritis ™

·        Chi Massage (Chinese therapeutic massage used with Chi breathing).

·        Medicated liniment/oil/wine from Chinese herbs.

·        Acupuncture, cupping, guasha.

·        Heat treatment (hot water bottle, hot shower, medicated sauna, heat lamp).

·        Water aerobics exercises.

·        TENS.

·        Diet (consult a naturopath as well as  doctor of Chinese medicine).

·        Supplementaries such as glucosamine and chondroitin combination, fish oil, flaxseed oil (consult a naturopath).

·        Weight control.

·        Postural alignment.

·        Lifestyle and occupational changes.



Medical Warning

Tai Chi and Chi Kung for Arthritis ™ is not a wholesale substitute for normal medical treatment.  Its effectiveness is to be used as a complementary treatment.



Note:  ‘Tai Chi Chi Kung for Arthritis’ is definitely not the same as the ‘Tai Chi for Arthritis’ created by Dr. Paul Lam of Sydney.


Contact information:

John Chow   Mobile: 0415122616


Email:   vajra_master@yahoo.com


Written by John Chow, a practitioner of Chinese medicine, acupuncturist, masseur, healer and teacher of Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, martial arts and spiritual paths in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Copyright:-  No part of this article can be used, quoted, copied in any form without the permission from the author. 


Legal caveat:-

The information provided above is for general reference only. Although the author(s) has attempted to be as thorough as possible in compiling the information in this article(s), no legal responsibility nor liability is accepted for any errors or omissions. The information is presented for educational purposes only. Please refer any medical matter to your doctor before acting on any health-related information.