After reading a few dozen articles extolling the virtues of Tai Chi for those of us with Fibromyalgia, I finally broke down and gave it a try. I knew I needed something I could do that would get me moving slowly, but I found many Yoga moves too stressful on my upper body/neck issues. After reading some reviews on Amazon, I settled on giving Tai Chi Basics a try. It was available for instant download for only $3.99. I figured at that price, even if I only tried it once it wasn’t a big loss.
The first time I did the workout I only did the first two sections. The video is broken down into 3 sections. The first is a simple warm up that works to get your body moving and loose. The second section walks you through the individual Tai Chi / Qi Gong moves. The moves involve slow movement and holding positions. Some are similar to those you my have done in yoga, if you’ve tried it. The third section combines the various poses together into a “form” and really gets you moving a bit more. The whole workout takes about 35 minutes but it doesn’t feel like it takes that long because the movements are slow and not intense.
Matthew Cohen hosts this video and does an excellent job of walking you through the poses, explaining how to move. The video moves slow enough that you never feel like he’s rushing ahead of you. During the latter sections he shows you how to do movements deeper, if you choose to, but you can continue to do them without going deep and still get the benefits of the workout.
If you continue to watch after the workout there is a short interview with Matthew where he explains where the ideas of Tai Chi came from as well as why Tai Chi is good for us (everyone). He makes a point about how Tai Chi allows us to move slowly and trains our muscles to move slowly so that when they need to move faster they are able to do so without us hurting ourselves. This combined with the many of the moves that work balance and I can really understand why Tai Chi is so good for those of us Fibromyalgia.
I’ve worked out with this video almost every day for the last two months now and I still love it. Unlike many workouts, I’m not getting bored with it. It is just enough of a workout that I feel like I’m getting one and because of the way the video is broken down I can do a little bit even on a bad day (most of the time). That said, I have to say that on my bad days when I wake up feeling awful, if I do this Tai Chi workout, I actually feel better after doing it. That doesn’t mean that it will take me from feeling terrible to out and about but it does make me feel a bit better.
On a really good day, I can do this and then turn on the Wii and do a little Just Dance. When I do the Tai Chi first, I’ve found I dance a whole lot better (as far as the game goes) and I simply move easier.