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Thread: Tai Chi as medicine

  1. #16
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    The medical advice for Type II Diabetics and pre-Diabetics has consistently been to maintain a good weight, eat the correct diet - low fat, lo carb, high protein and fiber, and do aerobic exercise.

    So, unless this advice is totally off base, what i REALLY want to know from a study is if Taijiquan, Qi Gong, or a combination of both is any better than any other form of exercise program at helping to control a person's Diabetes.

    To this end, you really would not have to include the non-exercise group unless you wanted to lay a baseline of "See, exercise in and of itself does a lot of good..." This would then get you out of the ethical problem os "withholding treatment" even though a large number of people with Type II Diabetes or pre-Diabetes are already couch potatoes.

    Now, maybe I am just sensitized...living in Houston with a couple of very large medical schools and a large well known medical center... Quoting a study like this in justifying why to take up Taijiquan over some other program will basically get your lunch eaten.

  2. #17
    cjurakpt Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
    One thing I wonder too is how can you do a controlled, randomized, DOUBLE-BLINDED study for exercise. Is it even possible?

    The researchers could be blinded but there's no way to blind the person doing the exercise. There is no "placebo" exercise that you could do.

    How might this bias the results of exercise studies?

    EO
    well, of course, you can't placebo movement per se - either people are engaged in kinetic activity, or they are not; I think what would differentiate qigong from aerobic exercise is the specifics of the movements and also how they are coordinated by with the breath; for example, some of the qigong I do utilizes end range breathing a great deal, meaning that one maintains an inhale or exhale to the point where the impetus to reverse it becomes physiological as opposed to voluntary (ok, not to be done by just anyone, I agree, especially not someone at risk for aortic aneurism, LOL); that is something that could not be replicated via placebo, if people in a "walking" group just walk without specific instruction regarding breathing in time with their stepping, for example; the idea is that, coordinated breathing practice could have some impact on ANS, the lymphatics, etc., so you could conjecture a differential there...


    Quote Originally Posted by GLW View Post
    The medical advice for Type II Diabetics and pre-Diabetics has consistently been to maintain a good weight, eat the correct diet - low fat, lo carb, high protein and fiber, and do aerobic exercise.

    So, unless this advice is totally off base, what i REALLY want to know from a study is if Taijiquan, Qi Gong, or a combination of both is any better than any other form of exercise program at helping to control a person's Diabetes.

    To this end, you really would not have to include the non-exercise group unless you wanted to lay a baseline of "See, exercise in and of itself does a lot of good..." This would then get you out of the ethical problem os "withholding treatment" even though a large number of people with Type II Diabetes or pre-Diabetes are already couch potatoes.

    Now, maybe I am just sensitized...living in Houston with a couple of very large medical schools and a large well known medical center... Quoting a study like this in justifying why to take up Taijiquan over some other program will basically get your lunch eaten.
    again, same idea - it's not so much what you do, but how you do it: if I teach taiji movements and don't talk about details like coordination of breathing with movement, coordination of eye movements with body movements, specific kinesthetic awareness of weight transfer etc., then I am not teaching taiji, i'm just having people move around slowly - what a good research study would do would be to articulate these specific parameters in terms of physiologically / biomechanically what is going on, and project their possible impact based on analysis of how they might reasonably interact with autonomics, lymphatics, etc.; this of course means that you have to leave behind all the mumbo about "qi" and whatnot, and simply analyze the parameters of what is going on in as relatively objective a manner as possible - so for instance we can talk about coordinating eye and body movement in terms of the occulo gyro cephallic reflex, which is the phenomenon of muscles priming to activate to move the body in the direction that the eyes are looking, ostensibly leading to more appropriate agonist / antagonist relationships in the muscular system, and possibly leading to more appropriate postural tone overall in a group that practiced this way as opposed to one who didn't bother to coordinate where they were going with where they were looking (a not uncommon phenomenon, LOL);
    so again, we need to identify specific parameters of an activity in order to differentiate
    it from something that resembles it in another capacity; only then can you determine if the intrinsic properties of something like qigong or taiji are inherently more "health producing" than something else that does not contain those things; of course, if that is the case, then one might suggest that these parameters could conceivably be practiced in and of themselves in an alternative superstructure of movement, meaning that they do not require the architecture per se of taiji in order to be effective, LOL...
    Last edited by cjurakpt; 04-03-2008 at 03:31 PM.

  3. #18
    cjurakpt Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    ...as is the fact that they are getting exposure. Now two media sources have latched on to the story and reported it to the general public. That's interesting to me. As a reporter of martial arts, I'm always intrigued to see which stories get reported outside of the martial arts circles. That's why I post so many news article clippings (if that term could be used for the web) here on the forum. It's very important to see how the public perceives us.
    absolutely; it really exists on two layers at the same time: layperson perspective and "expert" (?) perspective; each sub-set will have their own requirements and will vet each example differently; what it indicates sociologically is that the interest is there, to examine something exo-cultural utilizing the endo-cultural apparatus of objective quantification; since most people are not trained researchers, they will simply cut to the chase and look to see if anything changed, and not be so concerned with why or how it happened; on the one hand, this means that something like taiji can enter into a comfort zone for more people to try; on the other, it can give a false sense of cause / effect; and, as Gene points out, it is fascinating to observe the process by which specialized esoterica becomes part of the popular cultural consciousness - kinda like watching galaxies collide...

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    ...as is the fact that they are getting exposure. Now two media sources have latched on to the story and reported it to the general public. That's interesting to me. As a reporter of martial arts, I'm always intrigued to see which stories get reported outside of the martial arts circles. That's why I post so many news article clippings (if that term could be used for the web) here on the forum. It's very important to see how the public perceives us.
    a

    I'd say anything related to health is probably a big factor, its got wide appeal. Also, if you look at the way a lot of Sifu's promote their schools its usually got the term "health" in their somewhere.

    EO

  5. #20
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    Only one of three threads on this forum that mention arthritis

    This is a very subjective article, but I liked the thread title so it will sit well here. Perhaps more will follow...
    Tai chi helps arthritis patient
    07/11/2008 05:00 AM By: Marcie Fraser

    You may have seen them in a class or taken a class yourself, tai chi an ancient form of Chinese martial arts. Often used for meditation is now used for, medication.

    Her name is Lee Shaw; she's been inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame.

    "When I was five I used to stand there and say, I want to do that," Shaw said.

    Her music fills the room, the notes transcend from her fingers. They move smoothly from key to key, a lifelong passion for music that almost came to an end.

    "I damaged the cartilage in my thumb and because the body abhors a vacuum, it sent calcium to fill it up."There was one period of time when I didn't think I was going to be able to play again,” Shaw said.

    She developed a degenerative disease called osteo-arthritis.

    “Typically osteo-arthritis develops as a wear and tear process in various joints. There are some joints that are affected more often than others. For instance, the fingers, the neck, the low back, the hips and the knees,” said Dr. Chris Huyck.

    Symptoms include low grade pain with activity and stiffness. Some folks looking for relief find it with tai chi

    "It's systematically designed to help people with arthritis because the steps are in higher stance than in traditional tai chi, which is an ancient Chinese martial arts form. It's very fluid, the movements are very circular in motion and they flow one right into the other, " said Jane Perkins-Huyck, instructor.

    "Tai chi is very effective because it is extremely well controlled. The movements are slow, it emphasizes balance and appropriate breathing and it allows patients to use their muscles and tone their muscles without hurting them or harming them, "said Doctor Hucyk.

    After a warm up, there are six basic movements. The consistent weight transfer and meditation help the body relax, allowing the muscles to stretch, improving the range of motion.

    There is no cure. It affects more women than men. Treatment includes tai chi, certain medications and lifestyle changes.

    Shaw found relief, both mentally and physically.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #21
    cjurakpt Guest
    I think that a big reason it works on something like arthritis is that practicing taiji (correctly) will help take the body out of stress / chronic immune response stage and so you get less generalized / localized inflammation; not necessarily something unique to taiji, but certainly one of its well-established benefits;

    I think it also is of great benefit because it allows the motivated patient to be actively involved in their own treatment, not just be on the receiving end of meds

    BTW, as far as "subjective" or anecdotal studies / case histories - they can be actually quite valuable in regards to the body of literature / evidence on a given topic; they are not the end-all, of course, but they provide a balance to the randomized, double blind types studies that can be good in regards to general trends, but will inevitably miss out on the nuances that case studies will give you

  7. #22

    cjurakpt

    A pretty good post

    joy chaudhuri

  8. #23
    cjurakpt Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Vajramusti View Post
    A pretty good post

    joy chaudhuri
    thank you

    ////////

  9. #24
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    I'm cannibalizing this thread for my own purposes

    I took the liberty of changing bodhitree's title. I want to develop a repository thread for medical and therapeutic research on tai chi. There's probably more stray medical and therapy threads, which I may merge as I find them, but I want to have them all in the same place for now. It makes for easier archival research.

    Here's a fresh one:
    Regimens: Tai Chi Shows Promise as a Stroke Therapy
    By ERIC NAGOURNEY
    Published: April 6, 2009

    Stroke patients who practice tai chi may improve their balance — reducing the risk of falls, researchers say.

    Writing in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, the researchers reported improvement in volunteers after as little as six weeks of training. The lead author was Stephanie S. Y. Au-Yeung of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

    In earlier research, one of the article’s co-authors, Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan, found that tai chi improved balance among healthy elderly people. For this study, the researchers wanted to see if the same effect would occur among stroke patients.

    They took 136 people who had a stroke six months or more earlier and divided them into two groups. Over 12 weeks, one group did general exercise, the other a modified version of tai chi.

    The tai chi group met once a week for an hour, and were asked to practice at home about three hours a week.

    While the exercise group showed little improvement in balance, the tai chi group made significant gains when they were tested on weight-shifting, reaching and how well they could maintain their stability on a platform that moved like a bus.

    The benefit of tai chi, the researchers said, is that once the forms are mastered, they can be done without supervision.

    Still, they said, some patients lapsed in their practice after the training was over. They might be more likely to continue, the study said, if tai chi were available at places like community centers.
    Short-form Tai Chi Improves Standing Balance of People With Chronic Stroke
    Stephanie S. Y. Au-Yeung, PhD*, Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan, PhD, and Jervis C. S. Tang, MSW

    Abstract
    Background and Objective. Our previous findings showed that 4 weeks of intensive Tai Chi practice improved standing balance in healthy seniors. This study set out to investigate whether Tai Chi could improve standing balance in subjects with chronic stroke. Methods. One hundred thirty-six subjects >6 months after stroke were randomly assigned to a control group (n = 62) practicing general exercises or a Tai Chi group (n = 74) for 12 weeks of training. Each week, 1 hour of group practice was supplemented by 3 hours of self-practice. We used a short-form of Tai Chi consisting of 12 forms that require whole-body movements to be performed in a continuous sequence and demands concentration. A blinded assessor examined subjects at baseline, 6 weeks (mid-program), 12 weeks (end-program), and 18 weeks (follow-up). The 3 outcome measures were (1) dynamic standing balance evaluated by the center of gravity (COG) excursion during self-initiated body leaning in 4 directions, (2) standing equilibrium evaluated in sensory challenged conditions, and (3) functional mobility assessed by Timed-up-and-go score. Mixed model repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to examine between-group differences. Results. When compared with the controls, the Tai Chi group showed greater COG excursion amplitude in leaning forward, backward, and toward the affected and nonaffected sides (P < .05), as well as faster reaction time in moving the COG toward the nonaffected side (P = .014) in the end-program and follow-up assessments. The Tai Chi group also demonstrated better reliance on vestibular integration for balance control at end-program (P = .038). However, neither group improved significantly in Timed-up-and-go scores. Conclusions. Twelve weeks of short-form Tai Chi produced specific standing balance improvements in people with chronic stroke that outlasted training for 6 weeks.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    It's very important to see how the public perceives us.
    It's nice, but in the end, I say fu@k the public. We learn the arts for ourselves, not for them.

  11. #26
    well yeah of course any exercise is a good thing for a person with type 2 they need less fats in their diet along with exercise and tai chi is exercise lol

  12. #27
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    an old article

    But someone went to the trouble of sending it to me today, so I'll post it here.
    Exercise: A Little Tai Chi Can Go a Long Way Against Shingles
    By ERIC NAGOURNEY
    Published: April 17, 2007

    Older people who practice tai chi may be better equipped to fight off the virus that causes shingles or, if they do get the disease, may have a milder case of it, researchers say.

    Shingles, a painful nerve condition, is caused by the virus that causes chickenpox. The virus, varicella-zoster, can linger in the body for many years after a case of chickenpox and then emerge as shingles. The disease generally affects people older than 50, as their level of antibodies to the virus decreases.

    Tai chi, the centuries-old practice from China, is considered a martial art, but it includes aerobic activity, relaxation and meditation. It has been found in the past to strengthen people’s immune systems.

    In a study paid for by the National Institutes of Health, researchers took 112 volunteers ages 59 to 86 and split them into two groups. One was given 40-minute tai chi lessons three times a week for 16 weeks. The other was given health-counseling classes.

    The researchers, led by Dr. Michael R. Irwin of the University of California, Los Angeles, found that the people who did tai chi improved their immunity to varicella-zoster. They also found that when the volunteers were vaccinated later against the virus, the tai chi practitioners had a better response to the vaccine. The study appears in the current issue of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    The finding that the exercise significantly raised the volunteers’ immunity to the shingles virus suggests that it may also offer help fighting off other viruses, the study said.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #28
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    glad to see this thread precolating along nicely

    more grist for the mill
    Tai Chi helps stroke survivors recover
    Shravan Sarvepalli
    Issue date: 4/13/09

    A stroke sometimes causes permanent damage. Survivors have impaired balance. It not only causes discomfort on a daily basis, but could also prevent people from performing essential tasks. Lack of balance also increases the risk of debilitating falls.

    Tai Chi, translated as "internal martial art," or "supreme ultimate boxing," is a form of martial arts exercise that involves slow movements of the head, back and limbs. It is performed with deep concentration with the aim of improving the flow of 'qi,' a vital energy. Currently, it is widely practiced in China and increasingly in the West. Tai Chi has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits, including balance and is recommended by doctors who practice Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese practice, was previously shown to improve balance. It helped patients with Arthritis patients who have trouble with balance. Christina Hui-Chan, Professor and Head of Physical Therapy at UIC, and Stephanie Au-Yeung at Hong-Kong Polytechnic University applied this finding to show that Tai Chi is beneficial for stroke survivors.

    In this study, over a hundred people who had stroke in the six months prior to the therapy were recruited in Hong-Kong. They attended weekly training classes and also practiced at home for a total of three hours a week. Although the training lasted three months, most people were able to master it in eight weeks.

    "The tai chi group did particularly better in conditions that required them to use their balance control. In only six weeks, we saw significant improvements. The ability to shift your weight is very important because all reaching tasks require it," said Hui-Chan.

    At the end, they underwent a series of tests that involved keeping their balance while standing on moving surfaces, shifting weights, or leaning in different directions. Participants who performed Tai Chi did better on several measures compared to a group of subjects that did not take the class, but just did stretches and deep breathing.

    Tai Chi is now popular in the West, and stroke survivors have many opportunities to be trained in this exercise. It cannot be easily learned with a trainer. "It can be taught at community centers, YWCAs or YMCAs, or in parks in the summer," added Hui-Chan.

    Dr. Hui-Chan's research will be published in the coming issue of the Journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. UIC also offers Energy Martial Arts, comparable to Tai Chi, through the Body and Brain Club.

    For more information, e-mail bnbuic2006@gmail.com or stop by the Student Recreation Facility on 737 S. Halsted.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #29
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    Koa

    10 modified forms from the classical Yang style - I wonder what the modifications were exactly.

    Ancient Chinese Exercise Relieves Knee Pain

    Description
    Tai chi is effective in the treatment of pain and physical impairment in people with severe knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

    Newswise — Tai chi is effective in the treatment of pain and physical impairment in people with severe knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

    Osteoarthritis, or OA as it is commonly called, is the most common joint disease affecting middle-age and older people. It is characterized by progressive damage to the joint cartilage—the slippery material at the end of long bones—and causes changes in the structures around the joint. These changes can include fluid accumulation, bony overgrowth, and loosening and weakness of muscles and tendons, all of which may limit movement and cause pain and swelling.

    Osteoarthritis in the knee and hip areas can generate chronic pain or discomfort during standing or walking. According to the Centers for Disease Control, knee OA affects 240 people out of every 100,000 people per year.

    Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise that uses an integrated mind-body approach to enhance muscle function, balance, and flexibility and has been known to reduce pain, depression and anxiety in those who practice the exercise.

    Researchers set out to determine if tai chi could successfully treat the physical and mental effects of severe knee OA. A total of 40 patients were randomly chosen to participate in the study. On average they were 65 years old and moderately overweight, and had knee OA for approximately 10 years; 75 percent of the patients were female and 70 percent were Caucasian.

    Participants were introduced to either tai chi (10 modified forms from the classical Yang style) or to conventional stretching and wellness education. Each group received the intervention twice-weekly for 60 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. Patients were evaluated with a self assessment questionnaire (WOMAC) that evaluates pain, stiffness and physical function in hips and knees at the beginning and end of the study.

    Additionally, researchers studied WOMAC function, patient and physician global assessments, timed chair stand, balance tests, knee proprioception, depression, self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life. These assessments were also done at weeks 24 and 48 to determine how lasting each intervention was for the participants.

    Attendance for the 12-week interventions was 85 percent in the tai chi group and 89 percent in the stretching and wellness group. Participants who took part in tai chi exhibited significantly greater improvements in pain, physical function, depression, self-effectiveness and health status. Patients who continued participating in tai chi after the 12-week intervention also reported long-lasting benefits in WOMAC pain and function.

    These results lead investigators to believe that tai chi is effective in the treatment of the pain and physical impairments in people with severe knee OA. Chenchen Wang MD, MSc; Tufts Medical Center, Division of Rheumatology, and lead investigator in the study explains, “Tai chi mind-body exercise appears to provide an important approach for self-care and self-management for knee OA; however, these results should be confirmed by future large studies.”

    Patients should consult their rheumatologists before beginning this, or any, exercise program.

    The ACR is an organization of and for physicians, health professionals, and scientists that advances rheumatology through programs of education, research, advocacy and practice support that foster excellence in the care of people with or at risk for arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. For more information on the ACR’s annual meeting, see www.rheumatology.org/annual.

    Editor’s Notes: Dr. Wang will present this research during the ACR Annual Scientific Meeting at the Moscone Center from 11:30 – 11:45 AM on Sunday, October 26, in Hall C. Dr. Wang will be available for media questions and briefing at 1:30 PM on Sunday, October 26 in the on-site press conference room, 114.

    Presentation Number: 636

    Tai Chi is Effective in Treating Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Chenchen Wang1, Christopher H. Schmid1, Patricia Hibberd1, Robert Kalish1, Ronenn Roubenoff1, Ramel Rones2, Aghogho Okparavero1, Timothy McAlindon1. 1Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA; 2Mind-Body Center, Boston, MA

    Purpose: Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is a major cause of pain and functional impairment among elders and has no medical remedy. The basis of KOA is multifaceted and includes impaired muscle function, reduced proprioceptive acuity, and the psychological traits of chronic pain. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese exercise that uses an integrated mind-body approach to enhance muscle function, balance, flexibility, and reduce pain, depression and anxiety. Tai Chi may thus be especially suited to the therapy of KOA.

    Methods: We used a random number list to randomize 40 eligible individuals (age > 55 yr, BMI ≤ 40 kg/m2 with knee pain on most days of the previous month and tibiofemoral OA K/L grade ≥ 2) to Tai Chi (10 modified forms from classical Yang style) or an attention control (stretching and wellness education). The 60-minute intervention occurred twice-weekly for 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was change in the WOMAC pain score at 12 weeks. Secondary endpoints included WOMAC function, patient and physician global assessments (VAS), timed chair stand, balance tests, knee proprioception (Biometrics electrogoniometer), depression (CES-D index), self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life (SF-36). We repeated these assessments at 24 and 48 weeks to test durability of response. The Tai Chi and control groups were compared by intention-to-treat using t-tests.

    Results: The participants had mean age 65y (SD 7.8), mean disease duration 10y (SD 7.6), mean BMI 30.0 kg/m2 (SD 4.8), and median K/L grade 4; 75% were female, 70% were white. There were no significant differences at baseline in demographics, radiographic score, and outcome measures. Participants’ baseline expectations of benefit from exercise intervention were also similar between the two groups [outcome expectations for exercise score for Tai Chi =4.1 (SD 0.6), controls =4.3 (SD 0.4)]. Attendance for the 12-week assessment was 85% in the Tai Chi group and 89% in the attention control. Participants in the Tai Chi arm exhibited significantly greater improvements in pain, physical function, depression, self-efficacy and health status (Table). Patients who continued Tai Chi practice after 12 weeks reported durable benefits in WOMAC pain [between-group difference -150.2 (SD 116.6), p=0.04 at week 24 and -185.3 (SD 54.1), p=0.001 at week 48] and WOMAC function [between-group difference -572.7 (SD 257.8), p=0.02 at week 48].

    Conclusion: Tai Chi is efficacious for treatment of pain and physical impairment in people with severe KOA. Further studies should be performed to replicate these results and deepen our understanding of this therapeutic modality.

    [Table included with press release and full abstract at www.rheumatology.org.]

    Disclosure Block: C. Wang, R21AT002161 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2; MO1-RR00054 from the Clinical Research Center funded by the National Center for Research Resources of the NIH, 9; C.H. Schmid, None; P. Hibberd, None; R. Kalish, None; R. Roubenoff, None; R. Rones, None; A. Okparavero, None; T. McAlindon, None.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #30
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    Gene,
    It was not necessarily the posture(s) per se (my favourite word) but the elements that incorporated elements of physical and rehabilitative therapy, to wit,

    a. continuous movement
    b. Small to large degrees of movement (per individual)
    c. flexed knees with distinct weight shifts between legs
    d. eye-hand coordination/movement with corresponding trunk/torso action/motion
    e. asymmetrical and diagonal arm and leg movements
    f. unilateral weight bearing with constant shifting to and from right/left leg as a method of building strength. Awareness of proprioception

    The basic postures were
    begin (qi shi)
    Grasps Birds tail (wardoff/rolback/press/push)
    Cloud hands
    single whip
    brush knee
    kick left/right
    ending (shou shi)
    Last edited by mawali; 06-04-2009 at 05:33 AM. Reason: oops! forgot something

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