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Tai Chi: Another weapon in the fight against disabling conditions

Basic Tai Chi moves in the park
Basic Tai Chi moves in the park
World Tai Chi Day

The 11th Annual World Tai Chi & Qigong Day took place on Saturday, April 24 in Denver at Washington Park. This natural healing event happens every spring at 10 a.m. in each time zone around the world, pulling together people from all walks of life to celebrate the power of Tai Chi & Qigong, martial arts over 2,000 years old.

Referred to as “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi can be adapted to any age and fitness level. The essence of this martial art is the “soft movement” of limbs, emphasizing balance and harmony. Fitness specialists say, however, that Tai Chi contains all the essential elements: muscle strength, flexibility, balance and some aerobic conditioning.

Clinical Qigong Healer-Teacher Debra Lin Allen of Denver told The Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle earlier this month that “Chi is the energy and essence of life in its purest presence that circulates within and throughout all life to nourish, vitalize and restore whole health and well being.” Allen participated in the world healing event last weekend along with metro DenverTai Chi teachers David Bennett and Patricia Campbell.

Known for its calming effects on stress, Tai Chi is recommended for nurturing health and as one of the tools used to cope with symptoms from debilitating conditions, such as Parkinson Disease (PD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), arthritis and a host of other conditions and disabilities. The focus on breathing helps regulate digestion and improve lung capacity. The slow, steady movements enhance balance and coordination, crucial for those who suffer from weakened muscles and flexibility.

The use of “alternative” approaches to treat conditions like PD and MS is popular with those who have the disease, especially after long plateau periods when using traditional medications. Research is limited, primarily because of a lack of funding from national organizations. Anecdotal information supports claims that the use of Tai Chi helps those with PD, or example, to relax – a condition they rarely know. The Parkinson’s Society of Canada recommends Tai Chi for Parkinson’s patients, according to an article by Bill Douglas, Founder of the World Tai Chi and Quigong Day.

Parkinson Association of the Rockies provides information about how to find a neurologist in metro Denver. See also a 9News story on PD and exercise. \

Consult a listing of local metro Denver businesses offering Tai Chi classes and training.

Kathryn writes and speaks about disabilities, mobility products, caregiving and healthy agingContact for inquiries and to suggest future topics.
 

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