Tai Chi for Balance Problem

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My neurologist just suggested something that I've been wanting to do anyway... taking a Tai Chi class! I wonder if the damage I have (now thought to be a "perfect storm" of result brain, poor VOR, and possibly mild peripheral neuropathy) can be reversed with this exercise. Vestibular retraining just isn't working for me (the head turns, the balancing exercises, the eye exercises, etc.).

Any thoughts on Tai Chi, have you done it or what else might help reverse this? I have read that eating WALNUTS, which contain a certain nutrient can help to rebuild neurons! Accupuncture, or any non-traditional remedies? I'm desperate now. Thank you and wishing you all continued success...

He said betahistine was not avaiailbe here in the US because of the FDA doesn't think it's profitable enough (money).frown

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    I have done Tai Chi and it is nice. I don't think it will fix a dizzy problem but it could help relax you and that could make things better. I will tell you what I tell everybody. Look into Vertical Heterphoria which is an eye condition and look up SCM Muscle issues which is a muscle in your neck. I have been working on my neck and I feel some what better.
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    • Posted

      Thanks, rock. but I already looked that up and asked my eye doctor, las visit. Not the problem. I am not dizzy at all, just very off-balance, caused by brain problem they think (vessel) and maybe a little migraines. Some vestibular problem too, and neurologist said it would help retrain brain.

      Thanks though. I'm also not anxious at all.

       

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  • Posted

    yes imthink like,you Tai Chi would be better for your brain to retune your balance as the brain messages to your leg muscle's will help.  also,,like,you, nine of the VRT helped me and I gave. Up,doing them a while,back as I was fed up doing them and getting no results.i did Tai.Chi years ago before any of this happened and liked it.

    Walnuts are meant to be good formthe brain i know  that so cant hurt,tomeat a few everynday. also Periwinkle,is good for brain, as is Ginko,but didnt get much help from either though tbh.  i do get travel,sickness and take Coccululus which is a homeopathic which is also good for jet lag,,and that does seem to,work for that part,of things.the Betahistane med made me worse!! Its basically an antihistamine and i used to,take an over the counter product for seasonal hayfever,but i cannot tolerate that now, so be wary of those histamine meds.

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    • Posted

      I think Betahistine actually increases histamine in your body, which somehow tells the brain to lower signals from you inner ear to your brain.

      Can't get it anyway, so no problem confused

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  • Posted

    Dee, Tai Chi would be a really gentle way to help your brain retrain. in fact any balance exercise is the way to go.  VRT didn't work well for me either so I started doing some balance specific classes at my local gym, and they use a combo of Tai chi and Fitball balance exercises.  I also take part in aqua aerobics in deep water - you are constantly off balance in the deep water. I told my specialist this and she said, best thing you could have done.  Good luck. Christine
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  • Posted

    If you're sold on wanting to try the Betahistine you may want to research ordering from a Canadian online pharmacy.  I believe they are available there.  Also, check to see if a local pharmacy can compound it for you. 

    Tai Chi is highly recommended for retraining balance.

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    • Posted

      No, 'will wait on the BH I guess. I'll try the Tai Chi, and see if that helps, before giving in to a vestibular sedative. I asked my doctor about getting it from out of the country and he said you couldn't (I have friends in England, so they could always get it for me if I asked them). Don't you need a prescription for it though?
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  • Posted

    Hi Dee,

    After nearly two years of suffering I have started Tai Chi very recently and immeditaley felt that it is good for me on physical as well as on a mental level. I struggled to keep up with any other exercise groups which only added to my frustration and anxiety but Tai Chi is very gentle and relaxing and good for muscle tension in neck and shoulder. To get the benefit out of it will take time. I also eat wallnuts every day and eat a few pieces of fresh ginger for the nausea. Most recently I found a wonderful specialst for vestibular problems (after nearly two years of suffering) and she has diognosed me with otogenic chronic subjective dizziness which can be adressed with cognitive therapie, SSRI medication and VRT or Tai Chi. I can only stress the point to never give up and try new exercises/doctors/foods etc as just having a plan gives a little more quality of life. 

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    • Posted

      Good, will definitely sign up for a class. It sounds like yours is eye-related too... my oto-neurologist thinks mine is caused from da,age to my small vessels in the brain (history of stroke) and it is also affecting weird things in my vision. Swirling dots, migraines, lights leaving a trail behind them, and failure for my brain to keep images in the center of my retina (retinal slip, oscillopsia). If it wasn't so dibilitating, I would find this stuff fascinating! Dr. Roizen (of the YOU books, with Dr. Oz) also suggests ping pong for balance, eye-brain co-ordination I guess. Now if I could only find a place to play ping pong (table tennis for those in the UK!)...

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Dee. I have VN - permanent  total loss of balance in left ear. Have been unwell for exactly 1 year. My consultant recommended tai chi. I've been attending a class once a week for 4 months. I would like to practise it everyday but have low will power! I read a few research papers regarding the benefit of tai chi on balance disorders and from what I found the 24 form - Yang style is recommended. This is the one I do as well as the Eight Brocades.  I have cognition/memory issues  due to the VN which I attribute to my slowness in picking up the routine! It's taken me this long to learn only the first eight moves. It's harder than it looks but it is very relaxing. Reducing stress must also aid recovery. Once I eventually learn the whole sequence and practice daily, I would hope to see an improvement in my condition. I think it could help the brain to compensate balance loss  through the repetition of movement, shifting balance from left to right continually. I'd be interested to hear how you get on. 

    Also, when I first got ill I took betahistine and didn't find any change in my symptoms. I believe it can help some during the acute vertigo stage, but after this its better not to use it as it slows down compensation (so I have been told).

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    • Posted

      HI,can I ask you which of the two forms is the 'short' form.?  I practiced Tai Chi for a while when living in the US and my instructor referred to it as the  short form.  I've forgotten the moves as such now as it,was many years ago. And cannot,afford classes, but want t,look up,on line t see if i  can reconnect as i think I would benefit more from TC than the vestibular exercises i have been given over the last 6 years!!
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    • Posted

      Thanks, Helianthus. I will look into what is offered. A mutual friend actually teaches the classes, but she is not repsonding to my messages so I do not know what she offers or if she thinks I would benefit. I'm sure she would say I would, more interested in if she thinks I could DO it with my balance problem and arthritis. I really can't stand on one leg for more than a second. Thanks again, will let you know. VRT sure isn't doing much for me...
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    • Posted

      Hi Gillian. I believe the 24 form (Yang Style) is the short form. Look up 'Ian Sinclair 24 Form' on YouTube. He offers a very comprehensive tutorial, showing each move in a seperate video.
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    • Posted

      Ohnthats great thanks. Imdid lookmup,on yountube last night and found ine guy,mChinese who seemed good. But i really need more of a breakdown on each move as i remember my tutor in LA who was good making sureI was  balancing my feet, legs, holding my limbs and back etc in the right position before doing the movement, which i feel,is important,especially for us who are wobbly eh? so,I will check out Ian.thanks  again.😊
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