Thursday, July 21, 2011

Transplant patients and Tai Chi

Tai chi show on Kung Fu Corner in Kowloon Park...Image via Jakub Halun on WikipediaRichard Link is a kidney transplant recipient and can relate to the challenges facing transplant patients. He can say "been there, done that" when it comes to the lack of stamina and loss of muscle mass patients experience due to organ failure. He also knows that the best thing a transplant recipient can do after transplant, besides take their meds as directed, is exercise.

In June 2010, Link, a retired Air Force mechanic, began offering classes in Tai Chi at Methodist University Campus in Memphis. The results have been very positive. The transplant patients who attend his class are benefiting from Tai Chi's focus on stretching and gentle exercises involving fluid motion. His students are experiencing additional muscle strength, increased endurance, less pain, less stress, and are sleeping better.

One of Link's students, Kendrick Hope, who received a kidney, quickly noticed a significant improvement in his strength from the Tai Chi program. He tried to start swimming after his transplant but was so weak he had difficulty getting out of the pool. Hope said that after just two weeks of Tai Chi, "I had full strength in my legs." Other students have noticed similar results.

Richard Link is hoping that the program catches on, because he believes it holds potential benefits for others besides transplant patients, and he may be right. If you live in the Memphis, TN area and are interested in learning more about or enrolling in one of Richard Link's classes, he can be reached at (901) 581-8456 or via e-mail at The classes are free for transplant patients.

Source : article titled Restored by Tai Chi : Meditative Martial Art Strengthens Transplant Patients' Bodies, Minds   

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