Tai Chi is an excellent exercise which has many unique features making it ideal in the rehabilitation of many conditions, such as back pain. In order to do Tai Chi, the beginner only needs to be able to stand (although it can be adapted for sitting), walk and move in slow motion!
The short form, which takes about 20 minutes to do, is performed entirely in standing so that the muscles which support the spine get a good workout. Upright posture is encouraged whilst slowly stepping forwards, backwards and sideways further strengthening the deep postural muscles.
In order to move the body through the form the student is taught how to contract to lift the body up and then relax downwards, an action which is similar to doing a very small jump except the feet remain on the floor. This movement gently compresses and stretches the spinal joints and muscles.
Moving mindfully in slow motion gives the student time to relax and develop an awareness of the movements of their joints so that over stretching of tendons and ligaments are rare making Tai Chi a very safe form of exercise.