Osteoporosis and Taoist Tai Chi® practice

Philomena's spine: On left, 2016. On right, 2015.

Philomena’s spine: On left, 2016. On right, 2015.

Did you know that Taoist Tai Chi® arts can straighten out severely damaged osteoporotic vertebrae without the aid of analgesic or prescription drugs? These two X-rays show: left the spine in 2016 and on the right 2015.

2016 shows the expansion created by straightening things out so now I can sing again as the air reaches to the tips of the lungs. The diaphragm has stretched out too and I feel close to ‘normal’ and less ugly.

2015 image shows how the chest is compressing the lungs and, by default, other vital organs.

With fractures throughout the spine in lumbar and thoracic areas my spine curved over and I couldn’t imagine it ever being straighter again. Thoughts turned to what such a damaged body could not do – return to clay working, draw, walk properly, wear decent clothes, tie shoe laces, lower a clothes pulley, hold my dogs’ leads, carry anything at all, such as a small shopping bag; find balance when walking or standing.

Two years and three months on I can do these things and I become stronger day by day through diligent practice involving mind, body and spirit. The pleasure found in the stretching during the tai chi movements calms the mind enabling a relaxation; this in turn has benefits throughout the day as challenges are managed in a calmer way. When the body is calm there is less tension in the body so less pain.

I have been a member of the society for a long time during which I have helped out through the various tasks in Great Britain of tea making, hosting, instructing, branch chair, national director and member of the national instruction committee. Sincere and grateful thanks go to the International Instruction Committee who invited me to Orangeville for several weeks in 2015 and 2016 where the healing, caring environment of Taoist Tai Chi® arts in many forms (chanting, attending class, resting, taking part in events and workshops and living with the volunteers) helped me to deepen my understanding of Mr Moy’s intentions. Heartfelt thanks Mr Moy for giving us the tools to manage pain. – Philomena

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