Bhathen

Exercise suggestions for seniors

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Hello everyone,

Can you please suggest exercises for seniors for well-being purposes?  (taichi/ qigong/ or anything comparative)

Some of them have lower back and knee issues and no ideas regarding energy exercises.

Searching for a simple, daily-routine based course if possible.

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There are quite a lot of research on simplified short taiji forms for seniors. 

Try Google Scholar for references. 

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My only experience has been with baduanjin for a short period.

Saw a lot of videos and some courses for seniors but am unable to decipher which is appropriate.

 

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Genuine Taichi is not suitable for seniors if they only start to learn when they are no longer young.   The simplified form do not offer much health benefit and being strenuous.   In recent years Taichi is used for rehabilitation as it improves balance.   Chikung is more focused and much faster in achieving results.

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Thank you so much for all your suggestions.

@Cleansox Saw the sample videos with clear and easy to follow instructions. DVD seems to be a good option.

 

@silent thunder : Thank you for sharing your valuable insight and wishing you well. Most of the seniors were swimmers in their youth, but now it may not be an option.

 

@Master Logray and @con. : You may be right about qigong having faster results. Though baduanjin is a simple form, it is very potent and would recommend it only with an in-person master.

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Fragrant qi gong can be very good for senior people

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Chikung is mostly practised by middle age to seniors.  But care must be taken in choosing which one.   For newbie seniors, they should avoid those being too strenuous, having too much twisting or stretching.   e.g. in the case of stretching, Chinese Kung Fu or Chikung or similar are mostly done on moving or standing forms.   The body is unstable, the movement cannot be precisely controlled and can thus get hurt easily.   Comparing with Yoga, the stretching is done on static surface, with ample time, the person can fine tune the stretching.

 

Sometimes the whole series is quite ok, but one or two movements are not.  In that case, it is better to drop that particular movement. e.g. kickings in Taichi; the swinging upper body in circle in Baduanjin etc.

 

Standing usually is very safe.  But seniors tend to fall into light sleep, they can easily fall, which can be very serious problem for them, recovery for them take substantially longer time if ever.   Sitting is more suitable for them. 

 

Teachers are usually not young.  But they mostly started from a young age.  So they may not pay enough attention to seniors' condition as they themselves can handle the movements.

 

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 10:33 AM, Bhathen said:

Hello everyone,

Can you please suggest exercises for seniors for well-being purposes?  (taichi/ qigong/ or anything comparative)

Some of them have lower back and knee issues and no ideas regarding energy exercises.

Searching for a simple, daily-routine based course if possible.

 

I can think of no better exercise for senior well being than taijiquan.

I find it to be better than most qigong forms in that it requires shifting of the weight, stepping, and cultivates leg strength and balance which have been shown to reduce falls and fractures in seniors. One caveat, I do not think learning through books or videos are adequate, particularly for seniors. I base this on having taught taijiquan and qigong to seniors, several of whom had tried to learn without live instruction for a time through books, videos, and online resources. My experience was that seniors often require a little extra time, patience, and explanation/demonstration to become comfortable and self-correcting in their form practice, as compared to younger adults. Several of my students had significant health challenges - back, knee, and shoulder issues, arthritis, cardiac and respiratory issues, and more. The majority of them stuck with the program for long enough to feel tangible benefits. Qigong can be wonderful for them as well but, provided they are capable, the weight shifting and stepping requirements of taijiquan make it an optimal exercise for seniors, IMO. 

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8 hours ago, Master Logray said:

Chikung is mostly practised by middle age to seniors.  But care must be taken in choosing which one.   For newbie seniors, they should avoid those being too strenuous, having too much twisting or stretching.   e.g. in the case of stretching, Chinese Kung Fu or Chikung or similar are mostly done on moving or standing forms.   The body is unstable, the movement cannot be precisely controlled and can thus get hurt easily.   Comparing with Yoga, the stretching is done on static surface, with ample time, the person can fine tune the stretching.

 

Sometimes the whole series is quite ok, but one or two movements are not.  In that case, it is better to drop that particular movement. e.g. kickings in Taichi; the swinging upper body in circle in Baduanjin etc.

 

Standing usually is very safe.  But seniors tend to fall into light sleep, they can easily fall, which can be very serious problem for them, recovery for them take substantially longer time if ever.   Sitting is more suitable for them. 

 

Teachers are usually not young.  But they mostly started from a young age.  So they may not pay enough attention to seniors' condition as they themselves can handle the movements.

 

 

 

Thank you, those were very insightful pointers.

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5 hours ago, steve said:

 

I can think of no better exercise for senior well being than taijiquan.

I find it to be better than most qigong forms in that it requires shifting of the weight, stepping, and cultivates leg strength and balance which have been shown to reduce falls and fractures in seniors. One caveat, I do not think learning through books or videos are adequate, particularly for seniors. I base this on having taught taijiquan and qigong to seniors, several of whom had tried to learn without live instruction for a time through books, videos, and online resources. My experience was that seniors often require a little extra time, patience, and explanation/demonstration to become comfortable and self-correcting in their form practice, as compared to younger adults. Several of my students had significant health challenges - back, knee, and shoulder issues, arthritis, cardiac and respiratory issues, and more. The majority of them stuck with the program for long enough to feel tangible benefits. Qigong can be wonderful for them as well but, provided they are capable, the weight shifting and stepping requirements of taijiquan make it an optimal exercise for seniors, IMO. 

 

Thank you Steve. Most online instructors don't seem to take into account all kinds of students and changes experienced, that's a drawback. Hope to see if videos geared towards seniors go over instructions slowly and easy to follow along. Master Logray's suggestion of a seated practice seems a good idea.

 

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Is there a difference in energy movement and different progressive stages between taichi and qigong?

 

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Another thing to bear in mind, the vast majority of people who can stand for long enough to practice qigong can also walk, at least enough to work with a smaller frame form. Standing in place can be as challenging for the balance as mindful stepping.

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23 hours ago, Bhathen said:

Most online instructors don't seem to take into account all kinds of students and changes experienced, that's a drawback.

 

That can happen in person too.

You need the right teacher.

And to be in their presence... especially in the beginning. Once you learn to self correct you can get the most from video instruction. Before then  it’s a bit like miss by a cm, miss by a km...

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Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2021 at 3:04 AM, Toni said:

Fragrant qi gong can be very good for senior people

Reading about Fragrant qigong has made me suggest it to a few other people. The words "resentment and lack of compassion" in the qigongchinesehealth website, made me think twice about suggesting it.

Edited by Bhathen
word usage

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20 hours ago, Bhathen said:

Reading about Fragrant qigong has made me suggest it to a few other people. The words "resentment and lack of compassion" in the qigongchinesehealth website, made me think twice about suggesting it.

What do u mean?

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FRAGRANT QIGONG is easy to learn and practice.  It need only be done twice a day for 15 minutes.  But the student must believe in it.  Resentment or lack of compassion towards others will negatively affect the practice.

 

From: http://www.qigongchinesehealth.com/fragrant_qigong

 

I think a deeper understanding of this qigong is required since it seems to be a bit different from the rest and if it is suitable for everyone. Just leaving it at that.  

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On 4/13/2021 at 1:05 PM, Bhathen said:

Reading about Fragrant qigong has made me suggest it to a few other people.

 

Have you practiced it yourself?

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, steve said:

 

Have you practiced it yourself?

:) Haven't tried this form of qigong.

 

My suggestions for fragrant qigong have been for people whom the medical world had given up hope, have no cure and been told their time is short-lived. Hopefully it could be their last course of action, but none have taken it up. 

 

Edited by Bhathen

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