Tai chi uses gentle, flowing movements and proper breathing to release stress, anxiety and pain.
“If you have chronic pain or a condition that limits your ability to move, tai chi can help,” said Stephen Schwarzenberger, licensed clinical social worker and tai chi instructor. “The Tai Chi for Arthritis class uses a dozen movements to help strengthen your muscles and joints."
Research has shown that regular practice of tai chi can prevent falls and improve the symptoms of arthritis, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s disease.
Tai chi is low-impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels.
“If you are in a wheelchair or haven’t exercised in a while, you can do tai chi,” said Schwarzenberger. “Tai chi can be done from a seated or standing position.”
Tai chi helps with balance, flexibility and body awareness. It keeps your joints from becoming rigid and your muscles from atrophying.
“It’s also a great social opportunity,” said Schwarzenberger. “You meet other people and develop friendships.”
Salem Health offers a variety of tai chi classes including Tai Chi for Arthritis (although you don’t need to have arthritis to enroll) and Tai Chi: Moving for Diabetes. If you are interested, you can register online or call 503-814-2432 (CHEC).