fall prevention

Tai Chi Stepping at an angle

Experience has shown that Tai Chi is an effective practice for addressing the problems of falls in the elderly and others vulnerable to falls, leading to a reduction in risk in the order of 40% to 50%.

However while Tai Chi practice of itself can work well it is not necessarily suited to everyone. There are a wide range of contextual factors that need to be considered and which may improve the acceptance of a program to the participants e.g. the amount of social time and the quality of social interactions built into the class schedule. In addition it is clearly important to establish a lesson plan of Tai Chi based exercises focused on improvement of balance and mobility as well as being within the capabilities of the participants.

Read the full whitepaper here.

Tai Chi and alternative healthHaving for centuries borrowed from everywhere else in developing martial arts, those same ideas and practices are being fed back into the mainstream of society, for example by use of Tai Chi as a source of meditation practice, by use of partner work in developing co-operative approaches, using mindful physical practices to improve balance and mobility for falls prevention in old and vulnerable people, as a therapy for people with special conditions such as Parkinson’s, ME, Alzheimer’s etc., and many other potential avenues.

Personally I have come across many “good” people but few balanced human beings. In fact I think our society positively discourages the path of balanced humanity by seeking to drive out what are considered unacceptable but perfectly human behaviours – thus denying them rather than dealing with them – risk aversion being one such social attitude – emotional expression being another.

Read further here about the link between health and martial arts.

Tai Chi and Vertigo


I have found my balance improving recently and reflecting on my falls prevention work with older people who report similar experiences when practicing Tai Chi – so when a student mentioned her problems with Vertigo I thought I would do a quick bit of research. It seems that this is quite well documented so here are some links which I found interesting:






Ian Deavin and Judy Hammond - Tai Chi and Alexander TechniqueWe are pleased to announce a one day workshop at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living on Sunday 24th November 2013, 10-4pm. The workshop will focus on key concepts and practices from Tai Chi and the Alexander Technique, taught so as to facilitate a real sense of positive change in body and mind. It will cover basic concepts and exercises in Tai Chi and Alexander Technique at a level appropriate for carers of those with such conditions as: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Fall vulnerabilities, Rehabilitation, Age-related deterioration, Chronic back pain, Spinal injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Depression/Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

The benefits of Tai Chi and Alexander Technique are of course well known both for general health and well-being and for people with specific needs and challenges. Since both operate on common principles, when taught together the resulting quality of movement can be truly transforming.

Carers will be taken through a basic Tai Chi/Alexander approach to inform their professional lives or role as familial carers as to the value of these alternative practices. The clear, detailed teaching methods aim to equip participants with a range of self-maintenance resources, plus the ability to pass on relevant material to the people they care for.

Seminar content will include: History and relevance of Tai Chi and Alexander Technique, basic exercises, mindfulness in movement, keeping a “Tai Chi” diary, care points, theory and approach to movement, matching practice to the individual, and clarity in communication.

The cost will be £50. For further information or to book your place contact The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living – www.letchworthcentre.org, also see www.movingmindfully.com and www.sheffordtaichi.org.

Tai Chi for Carers

9 July 2012

A lady contacted me recently – her aged father suffering from Alzheimers had just been admited to a residential home – she refered to research suggesting that Tai Chi is good for Alzheimers sufferers and wanted someone to teach it to her father ideally for 20 mins a day. Unfortunately I could not help her or her […]

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Community class in Letchworth

24 January 2012

I am delighted that we are now holding a daytime beginners class at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living as part of their Community Program – which also includes Group singing and Latino dance.  The Tai Chi class is on Monday mornings at 11.30 to 12.30 when we do some gentle exercises aimed at improving […]

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What’s the point?

30 November 2011

We were discussing this recently in one of my beginners classes – not that there was any doubt of the benefits of Tai Chi – but the class was looking for a way to encapsulate their thoughts. It was of course different for everybody – but may I sugest that for most of us the main […]

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Planning a Falls Prevention program

21 October 2011

I’ve done quite a bit of work recently teaching Tai Chi as a falls prevention program, with some brilliant feedback – but it has got me thinking a lot about the wider aspects of the subject and led me to produce a whitepaper on the considerations of setting up a Tai Chi based falls prevention […]

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Fall reduction research

11 May 2011

I am delighted that The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living have managed to arrange a measured trial of Tai Chi classes to evaluate the effects of Tai Chi related exercises on balance and by extension on the likely risk of falls. Quality of life, longevity and cost to health career stakeholders are all major issues. […]

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R U 50 2 90?

6 May 2011

Tai Chi has been shown to be valuable in reducing falls in the elderly – hold on that means me! – and I have been involved in some over 60’s classes at the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living which have had excellent feedback – so have decided to start some Tai Chi classes for the […]

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