Tai chi (also known as taiji) is an ancient art of movement from China that was originally a martial art. While appearing simple and gentle, tai chi offers personal training that is equivalent to an energising, full-body workout to improve health and fitness.
When practised regularly, tai chi helps build strength, improves balance and coordination, and can promote a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. You can practise tai chi alone or with a group of like-minded people. Qigong complements the art and means "Working on the life force". The social aspects of practising tai chi in a group can prove particularly beneficial for older adults living with an amputation or limb changes as well as wheelchair users as it can be a great motivation to become more active again, thereby improving your quality of life. The extra motivation you can receive from regular social contacts has proven to be one of the main reasons people enjoy tai chi.
Positive effects for body and mind
Training improves balance, physical control and motor activity as well as the ability to relax and concentrate, and lifts your inner mood. It's particularly suitable for people with movement disorders or limitations and is a perfect complement to conventional physical therapy. With the friendly support of the Bundesverband für Menschen mit Arm- oder Beinamputation e.V. (Germany's federal association for people with arm or leg amputations) we collaborated with tai chi instructor Mirko Lorenz to put together a comprehensive tai chi training programme that's ideal for training on your own at home.
Who is tai chi suitable for?
There are various ways to individually adapt tai chi to your personal fitness level, which makes it suitable for everyone, with or without a disability. Our training videos are great for people with limited mobility in particular, since Mirko Lorenz supports a needs-based approach with his "Keep Moving" training programme, for example, by training while sitting down.
Anyone – from beginners to pros – can do these five tai chi exercises on their own at home.
Introduction to tai chi | Training videos with Mirko Lorenz
15-minute warm-up | Keep Moving with Mirko Lorenz
11-minute standing meditation | Qigong with Mirko Lorenz
7-minute cloud hands with Mirko Lorenz
10-minute meditation with Mirko Lorenz
10-minute 7th form with Mirko Lorenz
I'm a real bundle of energy, but the tai chi exercises helped me relax in no time and focus my thoughts. I definitely recommend doing it every day! In particular, the fact that tai chi exercises can be adapted as needed makes them especially suitable for amputees with low mobility as well.
Keep Moving tai chi therapy
Mirko Lorenz is a certified tai chi instructor who created his own therapeutic training programme called "Keep Moving", tailored especially to people with movement disorders and Parkinson's disease.
FAQs about tai chi
What is tai chi?
Tai chi is a traditional Chinese art of movement that combines physical and mental training through meditation and gentle movement patterns. Tai chi has a positive influence on our vitality, so it can help us balance our body and mind. Tai chi is a great fit for people with chronic diseases and those with any type of physical limitation.
Can I also practise tai chi with a prosthesis?
Tai chi can also be practised with a prosthesis. In the training videos, Mirko Lorenz offers many alternatives for people with various mobility levels.
What does tai chi do?
Practising tai chi and qigong regularly can have a positive effect on the body and mind. On the one hand, the flowing movements and meditation that are part of tai chi and qigong help relax the body. They lift your inner mood, which can significantly boost your vitality and improve concentration. On the other hand, your motor activity and body posture are strengthened. Balance is also improved through a range of equilibrium exercises – the balance between yin and yang, between tension and relaxation. Exercises such as "cloud hands" in the third training video boost coordination and simultaneously have a positive effect on inner calm and relaxation.
What is the difference between tai chi and qigong?
The health benefits of tai chi and qigong are based on the same principles. Tai chi is a martial art; qigong is a system of health. In most cases, qigong is only practised standing up. Tai chi offers more options for individualisation, making it very versatile. Both approaches serve to cultivate the life force, or “qi”.
How are the training videos structured?
The training videos can be practised individually or one after the other, depending on personal needs or the available time. Each tai chi training video is seven to 12 minutes long. The training videos build on each other. For this reason, we recommend that beginners watch the videos in the specified order, one after the other. For pros, the individual training sessions are also suitable as a complement to their own training plan. Of course, the individual videos are also great for fitting a bit of exercise into your daily routine when you have a moment at home or in the office.