Dr Alison Merrick

Need a Tai Chi fix?

Need a Tai Chi fix?

As I can’t teach any classes at the moment, I thought I would share a few useful links. I have tried looking at doing some classes myself online but my house isn’t big enough! And there are plenty of great classes out there.

I do my own practise classes with Phil Sheridan and Helen Parsons of ‘Discover Tai Chi’ an award-winning local social enterprise. In the last 5 years they have been responsible for bringing ‘Tai Chi for Health’ to the Aire Valley and now run 13 classes in the area.

Phil has been an inspiration to me and has supported me throughout my training, my aim is to emulate his teaching and inspire others to enjoy the fruits of this gentle martial art.

Phil and Helen have now set up on line classes here https://www.patreon.com/discovertaichi  and I highly recommend them.

I trained with Val Preston who started classes with Discover Tai Chi at the same time as me and we went through our teacher training together. Val is also doing some small group online classes, you can find out more on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/TrulyEssentialTaiChi/ here  or email Val at valpreston@live.com

Useful links if you want to find out more



There is a lot of anecdotal evidence for the benefits of Tai Chi which I have seen and felt for myself. However, when Dr Paul Lam developed the ‘Tai Chi for Health’ programme he worked with many clinicians and Tai Chi experts to investigate and evaluate the benefits. As a result, there are now clinical studies to demonstrate the benefits of the programme. These benefits include reduced pain, increased mobility and improved balance (in terms of falls prevention). 

For those of you who like to delve into the evidence base for these things, below are just a few of the published studies

Leigh F. Callahan, Rebecca J. Cleveland, Mary Altpeter, and Betsy Hackney. Evaluation of Tai Chi Program Effectiveness for People with Arthritis in the Community: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2016, 24, 101 -110

A Randomized, Controlled Trial of tai chi for the Prevention of Falls: The Central Sydney tai chi Trial

Alexander Voukelatos, MA (Psychol) et al. Published in the Journal of American Geriatric Society, August 2007. 55:1185–1191, 2007

Fransen M, Nairn L, Winstanley J, Lam P,  Edmonds J.  A Randomized Control Trial Of 200 Subjects Comparing Tai Chi, Hydrotherapy And Control, To Measure Improvement In Pain, Physical Function, Muscular Strength And Walking Capacity. Arthritis Care and Research.. Vol.57, No.3, April 15, 2007, pp407-414.

Effects of tai chi exercise on pain, balance, muscle strength, and perceived difficulties in physical functioning in older women with osteoarthritis: a randomized clinical trial.  Rhayun Song, Eun-Ok Lee, Paul Lam and Sang-Cheol Bae.  The Journal of Rheumatology September 2003, 30 (9) 2039-2044

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