That's the idea behind Tai Chi 4 Health & Balance Program (TC4HB) - our evidence-based Tai Chi Exercise Program.
Think of TC4HB as Tai Chi without forms. Wait. Isnít Tai Chi a series of long flowing movements called forms?
No. Tai Chi is a way of moving. A way of moving designed around the way the body works. A way of moving that keeps the body healthy and functioning. Forms are just one way to practice Tai Chi. And not everyone likes forms.
The simple version. TC4HB breaks the common movements of Tai Chi into small pieces and does more of them to maximize the benefits of Tai Chi.
Instead of learning coordination stumping, difficult to remember strings of moves, the Tai Chi 4 Health & Balance (TC4HB) program presents an easy to follow exercise routine made up of Tai Chi movements, Tai Chi Fundamental Exercises, Physical Therapy Exercises and Best Practice Adult Exercises.
You still get all the good stuff. Actually you get more. Instead of doing the varied and multiple components of a movement/posture all at once, in the TC4HB we do just the arms, just the waist turning and just the legs/walking as separate exercises. This way makes it simpler to follow and you can concentrate on one area at a time while doing more repetitions.
In a form-based approach to Tai Chi, you would do a movement/posture like Brush Knee Twisting step 6-10 times in an average session. Meanwhile, your attention is divided between all of the parts of the movement AND what came before AND what comes after. In TC4HB you would do the arms twenty-four times (twelve per arm), the waist/core work 16-24 times (depending on the exercise), and the stepping pattern 16 times per side (32 total repetitions). And you would do it at different times so you can really concentrate.
Dividing the movements into individual components provides the same researched and proven health benefits of the multi-movement forms based systems. The arm movements still stimulate the endocrine system, strengthen the shoulders, help shoulder flexibility and work your co-ordination. The waist turning still strengthens the core, stimulates digestion and internal organs. The stepping/leg exercises still improve leg strength and balance and provide low impact stimulation for bone growth. BUT there are more repetitions of the exercise, a wider variety of exercises and you can concentrate on a simpler physical process to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
But thatís not all thatís in TC4HB. In addition to the individual movements of Tai Chi, the TC4HB program incorporates many fundamental Tai Chi training exercises to further augment the health, strength and balance benefits of tai chi. Many form based programs do not include these additional fundamental exercises.
Tai Chi has been called the first form of physical therapy. There is no doubt that the two share common exercises and movements. The TC4HB program incorporates exercises from traditional physical therapy into the exercise routine for additional health benefits and to allow the TC4HB program to act as a source for continuing and augmenting physical therapy.
TC4HB also has a seated strength and flexibility component made up of exercises found in best practice exercise programs.
TC4HB rounds out the whole body in small pieces program with the MAI deep breathing routine
(Qigong) to improve breathing and stimulate the endocrine system and self-massage to relieve pain and stimulate blood movement to the freshly worked muscles.
There are 16 individual lessons that repeat allowing each exercise group to be presented twenty-four times through the course of the year. There are also "special lessons" that get put into the mix from time to time.
This keeps the exercise sessions fresh while working a large variety of muscle groups - balanced with enough repetition to increase health, strength, flexibility and balance.
All that is transparent to you. You get an organized, easy to follow, familiar but fresh, exercise routine that combines all of the wonderful benefits of Tai Chi with continuing physical therapy and best practice strength and flexibility exercises.