My friend's name is Luis Cortes, 6ft, 185 lbs. Diagnosed with MS over 6 years ago. We met for a private lesson and started talking about the health benefits of Tai Chi and how my health was and finally, he asked; where do we go from here? We started in a standing ready position with legs spread shoulder width and arms by his side. I told him to close his eyes and scan his body to feel for any possible tension. MS has given him problems with his walking (stiffness/spasms) and balance problems. At work, he could stand by the fax or copy machines for no longer than 5 to 10 minutes before his legs would start getting weak forcing him to sit and have his secretary finish the job. When he would go to the gas station to fuel up his car, his legs would feel too tired to stay standing in line. This created a feeling of despair, fear and frustration.
Besides this, his sleep pattern was constantly interrupted by muscle spasms and constant troublesome thoughts. We met at his house and began to practice outside by his yard in the shade. We worked two weeks on the entire warm ups and some Qigong, relaxing the arm for the neck exercises, balancing the legs with the hip exercises followed by the knees and ankles. After the two weeks we began the TCA 12 movement form. We began with the raising and lowering of arms. We focused on releasing the tension from the very beginning as the arms were lowered and raised. Inhaling rising, exhaling lowering while palms faced each other. While doing this, I had him focus on raising the left heel as the arms lowered.