Back injury, Tai Chi?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by CharlieCharlie, Dec 5, 2017 at 6:39 PM.

  1. CharlieCharlie

    CharlieCharlie White Belt

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    Hi, im new :)
    im 30 and from the UK, i've always wanted to do a martial art for various reasons, but except a couple of classes as a teenager ive never done any.

    i injured my back, a couple years ago, it was a slipped disk at l5/s1, apparently the disk is now fine and i should start exercising. certain things, especially standing up, make it painful still though.

    someone recommenced to me to try Tai Chi, and to google taoist. i did a google search and that bought me here, where it wasnt well thought of...

    so i have 2 questions, is Tai Chi (or any other martial art) suitable for me with my back?
    If it is good for me how do i go about finding a reputable class near me?

    thanks
    Charlie
     
  2. Encho

    Encho Orange Belt

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    Hi Charlie
    Honestly a trained physical therapist would be a better choice or a TCM doctor than the average taiji teacher. Though taijiquan, baguazhang, xingyiquan can help they are martial arts formost.

    Qigong would be another alternative which does have internal and external exercises.
    If someone came to me with an injury like yours, I might teach them some turning which uses more of internal movement and think of it as moving without actually moving, this moves qi and stagnation. Slowly over time the movement would become more mixed with external until the body can move correctly. Certain massages and jow (ointments) may also be used.
     
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  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Even if I was, I could not give you medical advice as I don't know you in person. Take all of what I, and other respondents, say with a grain of salt.

    I will second what Encho is saying. Tai Chi can absolutely help out, but don't use it as a replacement for physical therapy, chiropractic, or whatever else your doctor suggests. Also check with the instructor and inform them of your physical issues.

    Regarding your other questions:
    1) Tai Chi can absolutely be suitable with back issues, although that depends on the severity of the issue (if you can't stand you can't do tai chi), and you should check with your doctor on that.
    2) It's tough to say how to find a reputable class near you without knowing where you live. I would also have different concerns (more martial than pain management), so can't give you direct advice on that. But, the best bet would be to go to any tai chi place you can find, inform the instructor of your concerns, feel him out, and try a class or two if you can. If you enjoy it, stick with it. If you don't, or it hurts your back, try a different school (or focus on different pain management techniques).
     
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  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    I am not a doctor, but I was a martial artist over 25 years ago who had been training for 18 years then. I hurt my back and could do nothing. I returned to Martial arts with Taijiquan and that lead to other arts.

    However I recommend checking with your doctor first and I also recommend starting with Yang style.
     
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  5. CharlieCharlie

    CharlieCharlie White Belt

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    thanks for the replys

    I've seen physios, not done much for me to be honest, TCM= traditional chinese medicine?
    thanks, i have no idea what they are, but i will google them.

    of course with a pinch of salt, its internet advice :)
    all im currently getting help wise from the Dr is a back exercise class once a week, where they encourage us to do other exercise...
    1) the person who suggested tai chi does help people with back issues, and after explaining my situation he seemed to understand it all very well, he said tai chi would be really good, although its standing, it is not standing still, and would help good posture etc when standing.
    2) essex/cambridgeshire/hertfordshire area if that helps, but i will have a google see whats in the area.

    thanks ill look up what taijiquan and yang are :)
     
  6. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Taijiquan (太極拳) the (Chinese) pinyin spelling of Tai Chi Chuan
    Yang is a family style. There are 5 main family styles of Tai Chi
    1. Chen
    2. Yang
    3. Wu/Hao
    4. Wu
    5. Sun
    Tai Chi Chuan Link

    If you are dealing with Back issues I would look for Yang or Sun

    Yang Taijiquan Link

    Yang Family Page
     
  7. marques

    marques 2nd Black Belt

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    Taoist Tai Chi is a quite special organisation, after a quick research I did recently. I live near one of these schools, so I am also interested in knowing more about this specific stream, if anyone knows.
     
  8. CharlieCharlie

    CharlieCharlie White Belt

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    thats great info, thanks, i will look into the differences.
    i think i have 2 option near me, the taoist thing, or one that does 'Tai Chi Chuan'. they have a nice website, the instructor sounds very experienced etc, but they dont state the 'style' i dont think (although have a yang family tree so...?) and encourage beginners to try for 8 weeks so they can make a proper decision if it suits them.
    they dont have prices, what kind of £ would i expect each class to cost?

    well when i googled, this is what bought me here:
    Taoist Tai Chi Society anyone?
     
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  9. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Not sure your exact location, or your ability to travel, but I found two places that (from their website) could potentially work.

    The first one, I did not see the style of Taichi, but the instructors bio suggests that he is an acupuncturist and graduated a school focused on TCM, which considering your purposes for training would probably be helpful combined with taichi. (About | Rising Crane)

    The second one only has classes once a week, but appears to be yang tai chi, which Xue Sheng is recommending (and I would follow his recommendations). (http://www.gkb-martial-arts.co.uk/Index.aspx)
     
  10. CharlieCharlie

    CharlieCharlie White Belt

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    Thanks, i can travel, but obviously would prefer somewhere as close as possible.
    They both look great, but are both over an hour drive away which might be hard sometimes.

    This is the one i found if anyone has any thoughts?
    About - The Art of Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan)
     
  11. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Traditional Chinese (or other oriental) Medicine, even more than western medicine, may be more or less effective based on what was studied by the practitioner, their abilities, and the patient. I have never been hurt by any of it, but have not always been helped by it. You have to find a good practitioner for you, and be receptive to what that practitioner suggests.

    Since you already have a western doctor, I would ask what will be useful in further strengthening your back before I tried any other martial art than a soft Tai Chi Chuan for now.
     
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  12. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    There are various groups that refer to their Taiji as Taoist, but a word of advice, stay away from the Taoist Tai Chi Society (from Moy Lin-shin). I recommend avoiding them at all costs. They teach bad tai chi either add to that they are edging cult status IMHO. If you want Taoist Tai Chi look for folks teaching Wudang Taoist Tai Chi and find out where they learned it from
     
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  13. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    That is not the Taoist Tai Chi Society, and that is a good thing.

    They appear to have a Yang Family lineage about 3 removed.

    There use to be a Gentleman in here that was based in England who knew all about what was good and bad, he went by "East Wind" on MT, maybe he will see this and Chime in.
     
  14. Headhunter

    Headhunter Master of Arts

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    Best thing to do is ask a doctor if you can train martial arts they'll know best but if you've been told to exercise I don't see how tai chi would do any more damage than anything else but again I'm no doctor
     
  15. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    there is no reason why you have to restrict yourself to TC, not that it is a bad thing or not a good place to start. what ever you do, you just need to go carefully and build up the,strength in your lower back and associated muscles. I found glute bridges and straight arm hangs helped a lot

    i had a slipped disc many years ago, and suffered with the,after effects, then ma training and , its better than been bwfore i had my injury, infact I'm the only person from my peer group that doesn't have a bad back
     
  16. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Well, just based on the website, if that place was anywhere near me I would go check it out in a heartbeat. So it gets my approval at least. @Xue Sheng (or @punisher73) could probably give you better info based on the lineage, but just based on the website it's worth checking out IMO.
     
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  17. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Its worth checking out based on the lineage I saw and the stills of the postures look fine too
     
  18. CharlieCharlie

    CharlieCharlie White Belt

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    yeah that seems fair for TCM, i think western medicine is a bit rubbish so it is something ive looked into before, but i wouldnt know where to go.
    havent found Drs too helpful, so im not going back to them to ask that sorry.

    yeah ive always looked at MA and thought it would be good for the body and mind with the discipline etc, but i always had a very physical job and worried a bit i would injure myself doing it.

    thats great thanks, if it looks worth a try from the website thats good enough for me :) thank you all, i'll try that
     
  19. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I should think you might look for telephone numbers, or yellow pages if you have that in the UK. You could also check licensing boards for acupuncture or TCM. If there are communities of ethnic Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese or Burmese, or other orientals, they can probably direct you to acupuncturists.

    Good luck.
     

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