TaiJi Qigong for stroke recovery

Studies have shown that
”After 8 weeks of intervention, Qigong exercises can effectively improve the upper extremity muscle activity, balance, and quality of life in stroke patients. Qigong exercise not only improves balance but the coordination and exertion of antagonistic and active muscles in stroke patients, and quality of life”

Effects of health qigong exercise on upper extremity muscle activity, balance function, and quality of life in stroke patients


Out of the Blue
After a lifetime of Adventurous Activity, with over 40 years instructing and coaching a diverse range of Outdoor Skills, from Horse Riding to Mountaineering and everything in between, the unexpected occurred
I had a Stroke
A Cerebellar Stroke
It affected my whole left side, my brain, personality, balance and co-ordination
In short I was F****d

Of course it had been coming for months, if not years

The clues had always been there
Since a car crash in 2002, I had been complaining to my GP about a particularly sore neck for a couple of years, along with numerous other symptoms. I explained that I had had some falls whilst out on the mountain over the recent years and that I had hurt myself.
“Oh, There’s nothing we can do about that”
Was the considered opinion.

The summer of 2018 was one of the busiest years in the Hospitality Industry since the 1980’s
We were flat out from Valentine’s Day. We stole a day down the beach on the 8th of July. I remember it distinctly, it was the last day that I felt well. I had been struggling on and off over the previous months. I would lose my balance and co-ordination, banging my head several times. Once I knocked myself unconscious and ended up in A & E. diagnosed with AF I was sent home with 14 days of Aspirin and no further instructions.
By October half term I was really beginning to suffer
I was beginning to lose all sensation in my legs, which were freezing cold. I had the blood pressure monitored at my GP surgery, told it was low. Nothing further happened. I saw the GP and said my legs hurt, could I have something to tide me over until after half-term as we were incredibly busy. I was prescribed 2x 500mg Zapain four times a day
Within 3 days I was stroking out
An ambulance was summoned and after much persuasion I was ferried up to Bangor Hospital. I spent a couple of hours in the Ambulance before being admitted. Less than hour later at 3.30am I was discharged to make my own way home. Fortunately my wife hadn’t gone to bed and she came to fetch me. All the way home during the hour long journey I was vomiting and dizzy.
By Morning I was no better
The GP was contacted and I was rushed back to Hospital and placed, after an ECG on the Stroke ward. A couple of days later I had an MRI and then 6 days after being admitted I finally saw a consultant, who confirmed I had had a stroke. I languished there for another 7 days, with a couple of physio sessions until I was discharged with, you guessed it, a packet of Aspirins.

So began the road to recovery
Within a month I was back on my feet. Within 12 months I had walked a 25k day.
It’s not all been plain sailing though
I fell again, taking out my left knee and ankle. I struggle with my medication. I’m on Blood thinners and pills for Hypertension that play havoc with my legs. I picked up a bacterial infection playing in a river that plagued me for months

Through it all one thing has been constant

In early 2019 I had gone back to Yoga, that I used to do daily before the stroke. It hurt too much. I needed to find something different.
A colleague suggested Tai Chi to me
I got myself some apps and started to teach myself at home. Something was missing.
It was then that I discovered that the best way to get the most from Tai Chi is to practice Qigong daily
By September 2022 I felt confident to challenge myself to 1000 days of consecutive routines

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TaiJi Qigong
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