In some cases within the cerebral palsy and arthrogryposis spectra there’s an associated arthritis-like condition that was thought to be focused on the fingers, wrists and forearms. So far, not much reporting of hand, elbow or shoulder problems. The symptoms range from loss of flexion to paroxyms of pain (like the wrists are on fire) to a constant dull ache. When I asked almost everyone said, “Wow! Now that you mention it, there are foot problems, but they get overwhelmed by arm problems.” I appreciate most people write, eat, wash, open doors and do sign language with their hands. In any case, the genetics and biochemistry can accurately be described as ‘poorly understood’ .
I am not close to persuaded that the six so-called tai chi tools really originated in either Chen or Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. But no matter – we have what we have. The one tool that stands out as really different is the tai chi bar (rightmost below). As far as I can tell, the object with the Tai Chi Bar is to mechanically massage the bottoms of the feet one sole at a time. This is something of a challenge to any meridian-based theory as we are really only talking about two acupuncture points on the sole of the foot – kidney 2 and the the critical bubbling well aka kidney 1. The other five leg meridians – bladder, gall bladder, stomach, spleen and liver – concentrate on the top of the foot.