When Does Tai Chi Not Work

Although there are very few occasions when the practice of T'ai Chi can be considered dangerous, it is necessary to list those rare situations in order to protect the student from an unfortunate injury.

The primary consideration would be the health of the knee joints. Because the regular T'ai Chi and Qigong stances use a slightly bent knee, anyone with torn cartilage or other knee injuries should be extra careful not to overextend the knee.

Arthritis in the knee is not necessarily an expulsion from T'ai Chi practice. The secret is to go slowly, don't overextend your limits, and stop at the first sign of pain in the joint.

High blood pressure or cardiovascular weakness should not be a limiting factor, again as long as a degree of moderation is practiced.

Another point concerning T'ai Chi is related to its healing abilities. Just as Western medicine and surgery is not 100-percent effective in all cases, so too with T'ai Chi. For a small percentage of people, T'ai Chi will be either impossible to perform, even with adaptations, because of the severity of their afflictions, or it will have no observable healing effects. This could be due to improper practice techniques or not incorporating breathing into the movements. Regardless of the reasons, it is vitally important to remember that Western and Eastern modalities should be combined to create the perfect health regimen.

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