Ai Chi is a water exercise and relaxation program that combines tai chi concepts with shiatsu and Watsu techniques. Ai Chi is performed standing in shoulder-depth water using flowing, yet powerful, combinations of deep breathing and slow, broad movements of the arms, legs and torso.
Ai Chi promotes awareness of muscle activity and movement patterns by bringing attention to posture and breathing. The symmetrical and asymmetrical movements of Ai Chi improve mobility and strength. The movement patterns combine diaphragmatic breathing with visualization and imagery to increase relaxation and decrease pain.
All Ai Chi movements originate from the core of the body, in the abdominal area, and are rooted in the feet. The feet are positioned in wide stance, at least shoulder-width apart, and the exercises are often performed barefoot.
Ai Chi has been used to improve movement efficiency in clients who have chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, balance deficits, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other orthopedic and neurological conditions. It requires no equipment and is performed with the participant’s head above water, allowing nonswimmers to benefit from aquatic exercise.
Ai Chi should be performed two or three times per week for 30-45 minutes (or 15 minutes after a workout) for best results.
Join Ruth Sova as she demonstrates 13 rejuvenating Ai Chi exercises.
For more information on Ai Chi and other therapeutic aquatic exercise modalities, including the Halliwick Concept, the Bad Ragaz Ring Method, Watsu, swim-stroke training and modifications for rehab, neuromuscular training, and core, upper-quarter and lower-quarter musculoskeletal training, see the Aquatic Exercise for Rehabilitation and Training CE course.