Tai Chi for Fall Prevention


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) recommend the Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention (TCAFP) programme, as an effective exercise to prevent falls because of the medical evidence and its established training methods. New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) used tai chi for 12 years and acknowledges there is evidence that it prevents falls in older adults. It is identified by the Administration on Ageing (USA) as a highly effective programme for health. The New South Wales Health Department has funded the TCAFP programme since 2002.

The Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) collaborates with Arthritis Foundations and other organisations in many countries to deliver this programme to communities reliably, safely and effectively.

dr-lam-and-crew-croppedTai Chi for Rehabilitation Workshop
~ Taupo 2016 


It is an enjoyable exercise proven to prevent falls, which at the same time improves almost all aspects of health & well-being.

  1. They are evidence based programmes supported by health departments around the world for falls prevention and at the same time improving other aspects of health.

The Gillespie review analysed 111 scientific papers and found tai chi to be one of only two effective exercises to prevent falls for older adults.

The world’s largest falls prevention study Central Sydney Tai Chi Trial” shows TCAFP programme to be effective at preventing falls.

Thirty five scientific studies have reported on the beneficial outcomes of Tai Chi for Health programmes. TCHI website link http://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/published-medical-studies-of-dr-lams-tai-chi-for-health-programs/

  1. Cost Savings – TCAFP is proven to be one of the most cost effective measures, by preventing falls and improving health.
  2. Healthy Community – Tai chi improves quality of life, benefiting health and well-being for individuals and their community
  3. Healthy Body – Studies have shown tai chi improves muscle strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and balance.
  4. Healthy Mind – It is equally important to have a healthy mind as well as a healthy body. Older adults who are more confident in their balance have less chance of falling. Tai chi, a mind/body exercise, brings serenity and confidence. Community tai chi classes include opportunities for people to socialise.
  5. TCHC NZ Inc aligns with the MOH Te Whare Tapa Wha health model (Dr Mason Durie), in the delivery of tai chi.

 Tai Chi for Health Instructor Training Workshop


Regular activity is essential for good health. The Tai Chi for Health programmes are easy-to-learn, safe and effective for health improvement. These programmes increase muscular strength, flexibility and fitness, as well as having additional positive effects including improved relaxation, balance, posture, and immunity. Dr Paul Lam, director


  1. To raise awareness in our communities of the features and benefits of the TCAFP programme; in particular the reduction of falls and improvement of health and well-being.
  2. To develop successful Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc (TCHC NZ Inc)/TCHI collaboration between government and community organisations to efficiently deliver the programme.
  3. To connect the existing established networks of trained TCHI instructors with the 20 DHBs in NZ and our communities.
  4. To promote safe and effective delivery of the TCAFP programme through the TCHI instructor training process (TCHI Board Certified Instructors).
  5. To develop a recommended process of referral to community fall prevention tai chi classes led only by current TCHI Board Certified Instructors/TCHC NZ Inc Full Members.
  6. TCHI and TCHC NZ Inc respect Maori tikanga/protocol and the Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi.


Dr Paul Lam training instructors ~ New Zealand 2008

Tai Chi for Health Institute
(TCHI) provides instructor training, educational and on-going support. Worldwide there are 60 Master Trainers and 88 Senior Trainers with over 4260 Board Certified Instructors (2016). Currently in NZ there are over 100 TCHI Board Certified Instructors, two Master Trainers and one Senior Trainer.


  1. From 2000 to 2012 NZ Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) supported the training of over 900 Tai Chi for Health instructors. This nationwide falls prevention initiative was delivered to over 35,000 people. Results showed that the programme reduced falls and fractures significantly, increased quality of life, health and wellness, while supporting independent living.
  2. In Australia most of the State Health Departments fund and provide community-based Tai Chi for Fall Prevention programmes.
  3. The New South Wales Health Department of Australia funded the world’s largest falls prevention study. The majority of participants were taught the Tai Chi for Arthritis programme. It was found that recurring falls were reduced by nearly 70%. This study is one of the three listed on the CDC official site as evidence of tai chi preventing falls.
  4. The Consortium for Older Adult Wellness (USA) includes TCAFP in their physical activity programme.

Tai Chi for Health Institute

6 Fisher Place, Narwee NSW 2209 Australia



Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc (TCHC NZ Inc)

Non-profit national organisation          

Contact Chair: chair@tchc.co.nz

For a list of current NZ TCHI Board Certified Instructors go to