The UTC professor who has developed a wheelchair form of Tai chi wants to introduce this gentle form of physical exercise to residents of local nursing homes. Tai chi is one of the ancient Chinese martial arts.
Dr. Zibin Guo, a medical anthropologist and head of the UT Chattanooga Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography, partnered with the Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging last month to offer a workshop. Nearly 60 nursing home employees learned the basic moves of wheelchair Tai chi.
“Wheelchair tai chi is one of the simplest ways for people who use wheelchairs to improve their physical and mental health,” Guo said.
Steve Witt, director of the Area Agency on Aging, said individuals who work with senior citizens are excited to introduce seated Tai chi to nursing home residents.
Along with Siskin Hospital medical personnel and other UT Chattanooga faculty members, Guo has conducted research to explore the potential benefits of practicing a simple seated Tai chi program for people with ambulatory disability resulting from health problems or injuries.
Guo is currently featured in the spring edition of “T’ai Chi” magazine for demonstrating his “Thirteen Moves of Wheelchair Taijiquan Form” in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. His work was also featured in “People with Disabilities,” the only magazine for readers with disabilities in China and the websites of National Public Radio (NPR), ModernHealthcare.com, and the Tennessean.