Try Tai Chi to Fight Arthritis

by Lois Etienne on May 2, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety

May is Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is among the most common of senior afflictions, plaguing hundreds of thousands of older adults every day. Exercise has been documented as a safe and beneficial remedy for arthritis. Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese exercise uses gentle, fluid movements and provides proven health benefits.

According to Arthritis Today, recent studies found that the slow, graceful exercise, can improve balance, reduce stress and offer arthritis pain relief. A study by Tufts Medical Center in Boston found that tai chi can reduce the pain and physical impairment of people with severe knee osteoarthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program® is designed to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis using Sun-style Tai Chi, one of the four major recognized styles of Tai Chi. This style includes agile steps and exercises that may improve mobility, breathing and relaxation. The movements don’t require deep bending or squatting, which makes it easier and more comfortable to learn. The program itself consists of 12 movements — six basic and six advanced — a warm up and a cool down. Once becoming familiar with the 12 movements, the program is designed to provide continual challenge by reversing the direction of the movements.

Contact a local Arthritis Foundation chapter for information on classes near you. Or check out a tai chi video from your public library.

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