News Stories Relax through Tai Chi Nikki is a Tai Chi Coach with three years’ martial arts experience, who has overcome her own anxieties to support individuals battling with their own. A Tai Chi Satellite Club has recently been introduced at Strickland House, the home of Telford After Care Team (TACT). They offer support, help and advice to people recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, along with individuals suffering with mental health issues. Tai Chi offers the individuals the chance to be active but also reflect through the mindfulness aspects the martial art offers. Nikki has been coaching Tai Chi for around three and a half years, after previously struggling with anxiety herself. Restricted hip movement for around three years following childbirth, meant Nikki struggled initially. After working for Telford Chin Woo in an administration role Nikki discovered Tai Chi describing it as, “an activity which helps me to switch off but isn’t too strenuous”. Nikki coaches a number of classes with participants aged from five to eighty years of age and says that one of the most enjoyable parts is adapting the session to suit each audience. Whilst ensuring the “playful element” remains throughout and “caters for all those involved”. She openly speaks about her anxiety during the satellite club sessions. She understands what many of the participants are going through and is able to share knowledge and act as a role model to the individuals who attend the sessions. As a coach, Nikki explains the importance of being approachable and open minded whilst working with such a variety of individuals within the classes she leads. Nikki’s advice for other coaches is too be adaptable and articulate in delivery and speech throughout coaching sessions. Ensuring an awareness and ability to read body language as key skills which have proved beneficial for Nikki, during her Tai Chi coaching. She also explains how using your own experience is key and helps to build trust with participants, “you wouldn’t trust a midwife who hadn’t had a baby, so don’t assume people will trust you as a coach straight away without firstly gauging your own level of experience”.