An innovative 13-postures Tai Chi designed for wheelchair users is described in the current issue of Technology and Innovation- Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors®.
The innovation has brought the traditional Chinese martial and healing arts to people with ambulatory impairment, thanks to the technology and program developed by Zibin Guo, PhD, of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
"Too often, social and cultural barriers discourage people with physical disabilities from participating in fitness activities," said Zibin Guo, PhD, who collaborated with the China Disabled People's Federation and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Committee to introduce the Tai Chi Wheelchair at the 2008 Beijing Olympics/Paralympics Cultural Festival. "Wheelchair Tai Chi can be practiced seated for those needing simple, low-impact, upper-body exercise by integrating wheelchair motion with the gentle, dynamic flowing movements of Tai Chi. It lifts the spirit and give practitioners a sense of command of space."
The 13 Posture Wheelchair Tai Chi incorporates 13 of the 24 Tai Chi movements and, according to Dr. Guo, the 13 Postures of Wheelchair Tai Chi transforms the wheelchair from an assistive device to a tool of empowerment and artistic expression.
A demonstration event from the 2008 Beijing Olympics/Paralympics Cultural Festive can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR0DbXlS4GI
Tai Chi (Taijiquan) has been part of Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years, but has not been an accessible form of martial arts, therapy or exercise for those with disabilities. Dr. Guo estimates that 83 million people in China are living with disabilities, particularly those disabilities that limit mobility. Most of the 83 million live in rural China where "social and economic development lags behind urban areas," he said.
He also cites a National Health Interview Survey that suggests that about 73 percent of people in the U.S. with disabilities have no or infrequent physical activity.
"Studies conducted in China and elsewhere suggest that these individuals, and especially wheelchair users, have significantly lower self-esteem and are more vulnerable to depression," explained Dr. Guo. "The rationale behind developing Wheelchair Tai Chi as a fitness and recreational alternative for people with ambulatory impairment was first based on the documented benefits of Tai Chi in terms of health, accessibility, low cost and acceptance in the popular culture. Second, it was based on the perceived benefits for health and fitness that a modified Tai Chi could have for people with ambulatory impairment."
Wheelchair Tai Chi movements allow a wide range of lower back and hip movements, said Dr. Guo. Also, the movements help promote upper body mobility and internal circulation. Vertical and horizontal circles improve and stimulate the rotation and range of motion for the torso, waist, back, shoulders, arms and wrists.
"The slow, guided muscle movement has a way of helping to reinforce the muscle patterns that may not have been present before," said Dr. Glen F. Haban, a neuropsychologist at Siskin Hospital for Rehabilitation in Chattanooga when commenting on early clinical studies related to Wheelchair Tai Chi.
The National Academy of Inventors™ is a 501c3 organization comprised of U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes. It was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida to recognize and encourage inventors with a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of university technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. Email email@example.com; web www.academyofinventors.org
The editorial offices of Technology and Innovation are located at the University of South Florida, Office of Research & Innovation, 3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 175, Tampa, Florida, 33612 USA. Tel: +1-813-974-1347. Email TIJournal@research.usf.edu
News Release by Florida Science Communications, www.sciencescribe.net
Cecilia Vindrola Padros | EurekAlert!
A ski jacket that actively gets rid of sweat
30.01.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
A fashionable chemical and biological threat detector-on-a-ring
12.10.2017 | American Chemical Society
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences