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Tai Chi

I am secondary progressive. I've been taking Tai Chi classes for about a year. I do the standing Tai Chi, however there are sitting Tai Chi classes as well. Studies out of Harvard University have shown that Tai Chi reduces the chance of falls by over 50%. I take a class at the YMCA but I'm sure that you can find classes anywhere near you. I wanted to share this because it's made such a difference in my life. I'm able to do more of the things that I love. This is not to say that all my problems are gone they're not, but being able to do a few things that I just really love make such a difference. I can't backpack anymore, but I can hike. There was a time when I wouldn't even hike with trekking poles. Now I can and I can say that my balance has improved so much. I just wanted to make people aware of this possibility in their lives. Other things that help me are stretching and working with weight machines at the gym. I am certainly not some beefy weightlifter. I'm pretty wimpy but it's still helps preserve some of my strength and I can build on my routine when I want to. Another great thing about it is that when I go to the YMCA I get more socialization. It's a great place to go and do just what I'm up to, without committing to something where people will be terribly inconvenienced if I don't show up. It's perfectly acceptable to go to a Tai Chi class and hold on to a chair or a walker or sit. You just need to find the Tai Chi class that works for you if that's something that you're interested in. The other thing that's working for me is just stretching. I have such muscle spasms that I really need to stretch those muscles to be able to stand up correctly. My calf muscles get so tight. Anyway I just wanted to throw that out there because it may help somebody else. I know that I'm not as bad off as so many, but I think there's something in this for everyone. You can certainly stretch while lying down sitting down. I've read articles that indicate that stretching an exercise can also help with what's going on within your brain not to mention your mental and cognitive health. Don't get the impression that I live a super full life everyday. That's just not reality. I've just chosen to spend the little time that I have when I have the most energy on exercise. It actually does add to the amount of energy I have every day. At first it whipped me but now it's working for me. Good luck everyone find something that works for you and do it.

  1. ,
    That is incredible!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
    It's great to hear that Tai Chi has made such a significant difference for you.
    We appreciate you being a part of this community and inspiring others.
    ~Doreen (Team Member)

    1. There have been studies done with Tai Chi and parkinsons disease. For me at least being still all the time doesn't help. Moving in what ever way people are able to helps. Even if your stuck in bed. Stretching is possible. Any little bit that one can do improves bodily function, brain function and emotional health. I used to focus on what I couldn't do anymore, now I focus on what I can do and keep doing it. This isn't to say that I don't get bummed out when I'm having a rougher time of it. I do, but it takes less time to swing out of it.

      1. , yes! I totally agree with everything you wrote in your comment! I will even do little silly things like brushing my teeth with my non dominant hand, just to give my brain a little challenge.


        You are right that even little bits of movement, activity, and stretching can help. And studies have shown that Tai Chi can be a wonderful form of gentle movement for people of all ages and fitness levels.


        Thanks for sharing and keep moving!


        Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

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