Tai Chi: Bristol expert preaches its health benefits

Claire Mitcham, Tai Chi instructor
Claire Mitcham, Tai Chi instructor

A Bristol based Tai Chi expert is preaching the physical and mental  benefits of the practice

This comes after the Prime Minister, Theresa May, spoke about mental health earlier in the week.

Claire Mitcham is a Tai Chi instructor based who’s in Bristol.

She has been teaching the Chinese practice for several years now.

After getting involved in Tai Chi in the early 2000’s, Claire began to enjoy the classes that she was taking. She began feeling more relaxed and, step by step, she began to notice bigger changes both emotionally and physically.

Her energy levels were greatly increased and she started feeling less weighed down emotionally.

The benefits of participating in Tai Chi are widely reported to be both physically and mentally stimulating.

“You don’t have to be physically fit to get involved. It is quite hard work, and we do get quite a sweat up, but you can come and do Tai Chi with any level of fitness and mobility – I’ve taught 90-year-old ladies in chairs”.

Tai Chi in action
One of the many Tai Chi movements

“It’s hard at first, but the more you come and the more you put into it, the more you’re going to get out of it”.

More people in the U.K are now suffering from mental health issues due to things at work or home. There’s also an issue with obesity and exercise levels of people in the U.K, particularly in England. Could Tai Chi be a viable way to help combat both of these problems?

“Tai Chi Is of benefit to everyone and it can definitely give you both mental and physical health benefits”, Claire said.

The ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi was originally developed as a form of martial arts.

In recent times, Tai Chi has become a way to healthily counter the stressful challenges of everyday life.

The practice combines free-flowing movements with deep breathing and relaxation techniques, making it perfect for people young and old.

If you’d like to give Tai Chi a go yourself, then Claire runs her classes twice a week.

They’re Wednesday lunchtime from 12:30 at UWE’s Bower Ashton campus, and the same time Thursday at Frenchay campus. The sessions are open to all members of the public, staff and students.

Listen to a clip of Claire talking about Tai Chi below.

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