We offer two levels of training for Taiji For Balance. This program began due to a need to help prevent falls in the state of Ohio. Falls are the leading injury for people 65 and older.
Currently, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults.
2.3 million nonfatal falls were treated in emergency rooms and over ½ million were hospitalized. The direct cost of medical bills in 2010 was $30 billion.*
Taiji for Balance: Levels 1 and 2 are training programs for those who want to teach people who have lost their balance to regain their independence, to lose their fear, and to strengthen their stability, balance and agility.
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Accessed August 5, 2016.
Equilibrioception is our sense of balance. It helps prevent us from falling over when we’re moving, or when we’re still. Many of our bodies’ systems work together to keep us upright and able to move about: the eyes (visual system), ears (vestibular system) and the body's sense of where it is in space (proprioception) all need to be working properly in order for us to maintain our balance.
However, when we limit our physical movements, due to an illness, a disease, an injury or simply aging - our balance is deeply affected and the risk of a fall increases dramatically.
Our sight changes over time. Our hearing changes over time. Our physical bodies change over time. But if we have the ability to move, we've got to keep moving.
Moving muscles maintains the neuropathways innervating them.
Neuropathways are part of the communication system of the body. The more varied our movement is, the more neuropathways are build and the better our balance becomes.
So, if we always exercise in ways that don't challenge us, we lose our ability to respond. Walking, running, biking, elliptical, are all great exercise, but they use the same muscle patterns over and over and we are limiting our patterns of movement.
Which one of those exercises practices stepping out to the side? None.
Taiji challenges our brain to communicate deeply through safe, gentle movements. But the movements are multilayered and don't repeating the same pattern over and over.
In Taiji For Balance: Level 1 Teacher Training, you will learn:
The eight movements of the beginning form; why they are important AND how to effectively teach them.
1. Strike Palm - Builds gait and proprioception
2. Grasp Bird's Tail - Builds awareness of moving from the center; keeping the eyes trained while the body continues moving
3. Single Whip - focuses on anchoring the body, moving from the core and turning the head with the hand movement
4. Wave Hands Like Clouds - challenging stepwork while the eyes look in one direction, the hands shift, the foot steps out in an opposite direction: great for proprioception, equilibrioception and building neuropathways!
5. High Pat On Horse - Eases the mind, creates a focus of stillness and reminds us of where center equilibrium lives (Zhong Ding)
6. Cross Wave of Water Lily - builds balance by challenging weight shift and centering the body over one foot
7. Bend Bow to Shoot Tiger - challenges awareness of moving from the center of the body, using the strength of the pelvis and guiding the mind to focus
8. Grand Terminus - eases the mind, emotions, breathing, settling everything back to stillness.
You'll be taught a set of warmups and you'll understand the importance of warm ups for people who are struggling with balance:
1. Massage - massaging is a vital practice, especially for those who have arthritis and stiff connective (fascial) tissue. Massage includes specific acupressure points as well as brushing the skin to build proprioception and qi flow.
2. Joints - moving every joint builds neuropathways so we work to maintain the range of motion and possibly increase it
3. Multijoints - these exercises also build proprioception by challenging movement in different joints at the same time
You will be taught the importance of mindfulness through meditation and how to lead your clients through guided imagery meditation that reduces anxiety, settles the chattering mind and brings simplicity back.
Meditation is a vital part of taiji. Without the practice of quieting the mind, balance will always be fleeting.
As a vital part of every practice session or class, you'll learn the importance of cool downs to the physical body - as well as the spirit.
Cool downs are not only important for the physical body, but are vital for settling the mind, easing the emotions and bringing the body into rest and digest - or activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Learning To Teach
You will learn these movements, but you will also learn HOW to teach them. Leaving perfectionism behind you will explore observation, noticing, building awareness and letting go of harsh judgment, analyzation, and evaluation. You'll build the ability to observe, notice, and witness your students with love and compassion.
That is the gift of taiji.
Finally...you will be given tools to understand your client base and give them feedback showing their improvement.
You will also learn how to assess where your students will be placed: seated or standing.
Through Timed Up and Go and Functional Reach tests, you'll be able to know where your students should safely be placed.
These assessments also give students a baseline of comparison to see how their practice of taiji has helped them along the way. As you retest them, they'll see their achievements!
This is an empowering practice. When you show each person in your class how they've shifted since the beginning, you can also give them the satisfaction and empowerment that they did it!
They listened. They tried the class. They practiced. They achieved the results.
This builds empowerment for your students and when they feel they've done this, they're going to feel empowered to do other things.
1. You must have experience taking live classes with a certified Taiji For Balance Instructor, or have taken our online course and passed all assessments.
Learn to teach this 8-movement form to populations who are struggling with balance.
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After learning Taiji For Balance: Level 1, you have the option for continuing to Level 2!
You must have previous experience and instructor approval to continue with Taiji For Balance Level 2.
Friday and Saturday
April 24 - April 25
14.5 CEUs Available for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists
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