Livingston County Health Center would like to announce a new Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention class for seniors 60 and older, or those living with arthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions that cause balance issues and joint pain.
Tai Chi for Arthritis is a low impact, graceful form of exercise using gentle movements that puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it suitable for adults that are age 60 and over. Tai Chi is proven to help reduce the prevalence of falls among and is rated as the highest level evidence-based program for senior adults for health and wellness.
Originating in ancient China, tai chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits. For many, it continues as a lifetime journey.
In 1997, Dr. Paul Lam led a team of tai chi and medical specialists to create the Tai Chi for Arthritis program. It is easy, enjoyable and safe for people with arthritis to learn. Medical studies have shown the program to relieve pain for people with arthritis and improve their quality of lives, as well as preventing falls for the older adults. For this reason, arthritis foundations around the world and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America are giving it their full support.
Although especially effective for arthritis, it is a great start for beginner to improve health and wellness. The program is proven to be effective to prevent falls, that is why health departments around the world have utilized it for this purpose.
Tai chi is a slow motion, low-impact exercise that promotes physical and mental health and relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful, gentle postures and movements. The gentle flowing movements contain inner power that can strengthen the body, improve mental relaxation and mobilize joints and muscles. Tai chi is an especially suitable therapy for arthritis because of the slow and gentle movements. Here are some of the benefits, according to Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension.
Tai chi improves balance, strength and flexibility and lowers the risk of falls. A study from the Oregon Research Institute found that tai chi improved balance and reduced the frequency of falls and risks of falling among older people.
Tai chi also reduces pain, stiffness and stress. Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine noted that patients older than 65 with knee osteoarthritis who practiced a 60-minute tai chi class twice a week for 12 weeks showed a significant decrease in joint pain and stiffness compared with those in the control group. They also found the patients in the tai chi group had improved physical function, self-efficacy, depression, and health status.
Both the Oregon and University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers reported that tai chi improves sleep quality in older adults.
Other UCLA studies also suggested that tai chi helps people reduce high blood pressure and tension headaches.
Tai Chi for Arthritis isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a drop-n class you can attend when you have time, this is probably not the course you are looking for. Learning the movements of Tai Chi is a progressive effort. It takes time and repetition to learn the series of moves, so class attendees need to be present for as many classes as possible.
Learning Tai Chi can also be slow-paced for some. Health Center Instructors have been trained in the Step-Wise Method created by Dr. Paul Lam, so each move is taught in steps. The method intended to ensure safety for those with balance issues.
The Health Center will be starting Tai Chi for Arthritis Classes in September. We will host an exhibition on Friday, September 8th at 10 a.m. for those that would like to learn more about Tai Chi, and see it in practice. Classes will begin on Monday, September 11th at 10 a.m. Classes are tentatively set for Mondays and Thursdays. Call 646-5506 for more information.
Livingston County Health Center is an equal opportunity provider.
The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 800 Adam Drive Chillicothe, MO 64601 Phone: 660-646-5506 Fax: 660-646-4485