Multiple Sclerosis Community
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572651 tn?1531002957

Exercise and MS - Tai Chi?

hi all,
I don't have a dx for MS and am in limbo.  

Through work I can participate in a variety of classes - I am looking at a TaiChi class as a possibility and wonder if any of you have a regular exercise class routine?

Thanks for any input you can supply
10 Responses
428506 tn?1296560999
I too have no dx, have been seeing doctors for whatever's going on since Jan '08.

At first, I didn't change anything in my life in response to my situation.  Then, 'round April, I decided it was time to make some (well needed) lifestyle changes, including starting exercise, quitting smoking, and a dietary over-haul.

I did this in part because I was afraid that my doctors would not take me very seriously as an overweight smoker.  I also felt it was important to give my body any extra help to get through the emotional and physical stress of my situation.  

Now, I am one day short of 5 full months of my current and second "episode" (I don't say "flair" 'cause I don't know what the heck it is, so "episode" seems more appropriate.)  At this stage, eating well and exercise are also becoming a much needed distraction!  It's nice to learn a new recipe or try a new workout instead of spending the time and energy banding my head against the wall.  Plus, I do think these changes are helping me ward off depression.  I have my days, but I really have not gotten too down.

So, I say go for it!  My only regret is that it took me several months to take such action.  The situation of being in limbo stinks, as I am sure you know.  I think any positive change or addition you can make to your life will benefit you greatly.  I haven't tried Tai Chi, but I'm open to anything, so let us know how you like it!

I hope your doctors work quickly and well to help you, but in the meantime, kudos and good luck on investing in yourself.
428506 tn?1296560999
an afterthought:  If you have heat sensitivity, do take care in starting a new exercise routine.  Even if it is not rigorous, you don't always know how your body will respond.  I just felt I should mention that.

572651 tn?1531002957
I hadn't thought of the heat aspect - Tai Chi is not rigorous in the sense of something like Zumba (another tempting choice) would be.  Unfortunately they don't have any water exercise classes on the schedule this term or I would be in the pool!

I am also an ex-smoker with prior sedentary habits.  Quit in January when I had my MI - still ocassionally miss it but wouldn't go back. I watch what I eat, walk daily, and have lost about 50 pounds. After about 40 pounds, the MS possibility popped up.  Good luck with kicking that one - if I can do it, so can you.

Like you I figure they wouldn't take me seriously if I didn't take my own health seriously.  I would like to take another 10-20 off and then I'm done.  

Good luck with the dx stuff - next up for me is an lp on Sept. 9.

Be well,


428506 tn?1296560999

Nice to meet a kindred spirit.  I've been off the smokes since May, and have lost over 30 lbs since then.  I still have a ways to go, my goal to lose 100, so I'm about 1/3 there!  

Good luck with the 10-20 lbs and the lp.  I had one a few months ago, done under fluoroscope.  It was uncomfortable, but not awful.  I drank lots of fluids and didn't get any headaches.  

I've never heard of Zumba, I'll need to google that one!

Take care
Avatar universal
I am also undx, and have been looking for some form of easy exercise.  My fatigue has been so bad the last few months I haven't felt like doing anything.

I have been reading about TaiChi and I agree it sounds like good exercise without the impact.

I want to try to get my energy level up and I think exercise will help.  I have a lot of trouble with my legs, but I think I could do TaiChi.

Good luck and let us know if you like it.

297366 tn?1215816651
I have tried a bit of Tai Chi. It looks easy, but it isn't. It's surprising how tough it is! You use muscles you never knew you had, but it's great. And it's supposed to be really good at helping you with balance issues. I say "go for it"!
572651 tn?1531002957
I have the doctor's permission letter that is required - she specifically put Tai Chi on the release form, so tomorrow I'll see if they still have spots.  I actually did Tai Chi for a year a loooong time ago in 8th grade.  I don't remember anything from then but I know it is a popular movement exercise for us in the  AARP generation! (over 50). I'll keep you posted.

And zumba is a form of aerobics done to latin music - lots of moves and looks like lots of fun.  I don't know why it is called Zumba ....

Be well,

147426 tn?1317269232
I did Tai Chi for years.  It is a slow, moving meditation.  It depends highly on balance, so there is not way I could move beyond the first few movements.  But, Portland does offer a Chair Tai Chi for people without the strength in their legs.

180749 tn?1443598832
Anyone can do this at home and reap the health benefit as well.
The breathing exercises - pranayam is a holistic approach creating extra oxygen supply in the body and will slowly help with the health problem.Do the pranayam to see the benefits.If you feel tired or dizzy stop, and resume after 1 minute or later.Build up your timing slowly and after two weeks at the suggested duration you will start to notice benefits.Share the benefits you experience.

Bhastrika - Take a long deep breath into the lungs(chest not tummy) via the nose and then completely breathe out through the nose.Duration upto 5 minutes.

Kapalbhati -(Do it before eating) Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 10 to 30 minutes twice a day.(Max 60 min/day) Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.

Anulom Vilom - Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day(maximum 60 minutes in one day).
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.

Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 10 times
Only by doing you will benefit and will feel good that you can do something to help the body.Copy and print this to master the technique.This is  simplified pranayam for everyone and you do not have to go to classes to learn. This is for life unlike short term classes where you do it in the class then stop when classes are over.  
Once you are healthy, continue pranayam once a day for rest of life, to maintain health.
572651 tn?1531002957
I just posted a lengthy journal entry about my first Tai Chi class - it's titled Stretching Myself ,if you want to know the followup to my question.

Be well,
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