Interview with Otto Dittmer
PD Active Tai Chi Instructor

1. Why is Tai Chi important for people with Parkinson’s disease? 

The common symptoms that a person with Parkinson’s experiences can be beneficially affected through learning and practicing the principles of Tai Chi.  Most important are the principles of soft and round movement through the entire range of motion at the smooth and leisured pace Tai Chi offers. This can be beneficial at every level of the being, from the tissues and structures, through the liquid and fluids all the way to the subtlest levels of the brain and nervous system, and even recognizes the levels of Qi (Subtle Life Force) and Spirit.

2. How did you become interested in Tai Chi?

I have a Mystics nature, knowing that there is more than meets the eye.  My quest to discover understanding of this has led me to the Ancient Arts of Meditation and Mindfulness, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong, and now I utilize them to help myself and others to heal and thrive.

3. How did you become interested in Tai Chi for people with Parkinson’s disease?

My fascination with the human being’s capacity to heal and regenerate has made working with people who have some sort of injury or issue my main focus and interest.  People with Parkinson’s disease began to attend my classes and I have found that Chinese Medicine Principles as practiced through Tai Chi and Qigong are an effective remedy for this ailment.

4. How can people practice Tai Chi when they’re not in a live class?

By utilizing the videos provided on PD Active’s YouTube channel, and also by, over time, understanding the practice sufficiently to have their own self practice at home.  Tai Chi travels well because it can easily be done in a chair or standing so one only needs the desire to practice and the knowledge of what to practice.

5. Is there anything you want to share about your experience working with people with Parkinson’s disease?

Every human being, no matter their specific issue, would benefit from learning and gaining mastery over their neural experience to control stress, perfect movement quality, retain excellent balance and improve range of motion. This is an absolute necessity for people dealing with Parkinson’s disease. Tai Chi practices can yield these and other benefits.