WALK-IT Walkers: Taoist Tai Chi

Over 90% of those who are regularly doing the gentle movements of Taoist Tai Chi (TTC) have come to it with an issue that needs tending. People dealing with Parkinson’s disease, early Alzheimer disease, cancer, surgery, or injuries from falls and accidents will not find an instant cure or antidote but will learn ways to relieve or solve some of the problems and the stress that come with these issues.

By gradually and steadily improving balance, flexibility, leg strength and calmness, everyone who practises TTC receives rewards for their efforts but none so much as those with major issues such as Parkinson’s disease.

Joan Skelton has been a member of the Owen Sound Taoist Tai Chi group since 2007. “I was constantly in awe of the determination and positive spirit of the participants and observed many miracles, both small and large, of relief and improvement that occurred with continual practice over a period of time,” she said. “The personal enjoyment and sense of accomplishment within the group were definitely infectious!”

Therefore, it was a given when in 2009, one of the TTC group members and the wife of a Parkinson’s patient invited the group to participate in the local Parkinson’s walk. “We jumped in with a team of TTC walkers and an offer to do a demo at the event,” said Joan. But their participation went beyond just entering a team and doing a demo. “When we got to the event, we noticed that there seemed to be a need of volunteer help, so we offered assistance where needed and we’ve helped at every event ever since.”

The Owen Sound TTC group enjoys having the opportunity to socialize with those living with Parkinson’s and with their families and friends at the annual WALK-IT for Parkinson’s. Their participation fits very well with the objectives of the TTC group. “Our participation in WALK-IT for Parkinson’s realizes these three of the four aims and objectives of the Taoist Tai Chi Society: to make TTC arts available to all, to promote the health-improving qualities of TTC art and to help others,” explained Joan.

For more information on the Taoist Tai Chi Society and its programs, please visit: www.taoist.org.