Finding Your Balance
March 01, 2020
Submitted by Keith Boswell, Mindful Movement Center
We are blessed to live in a society that medical technology has found cures and/or treatment for many of the diseases and conditions that plagued us for centuries. This helps us live longer, more active lives. However, on the flip side of the coin, the fast pace demands of this technology also drives society to higher levels of stress and a different set of challenges. So in contrast to technology, we need to find other ways to improve our mental and emotional balance. We also need to maintain our physical balance, especially as we get older and have more injuries from falls.
Regular practice of Tai Chi can provide significant help in both of these areas. First, let’s take a look at falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- 25 percent of older adults reported a fall
- 20 percent of these falls caused a serious injury (head trauma or a fracture)
- The severity of the injuries can be compounded if the senior is taking certain medications, such as blood thinners
Even in cases that do not result in injury, people can develop a real fear of falling and as a consequence start to reduce their physical activity even more.
To reduce falls, Tai Chi integrates the elements required to build a stable structure; leg strength, flexibility, range of motion, improved reflexes. The slow, deliberate footwork brings more awareness to the soles of the feet, improving the sensitivity of foot to the floor, increasing awareness to changes in the angle of the ankle, and weight distribution.
By constantly shifting your weight back and forth, you’re teaching your body to be more sensitive and have greater strength, and as a result you will be able to respond faster in different situations without falling.
In a broader sense, our mental and emotional balance is every bit as important as physical balance. We are all impacted by the pressures of our work and issues of daily living. Ongoing stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety. So we really need the tools to deal with stress in order to maintain our health.
Australian researchers looked at 26 studies published between 1985 and 2017 which examined how Tai Chi and other mindful interventions moderated key stroke risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, smoking and alcohol consumption, obesity, anxiety, and depression.
Our mission is to improve health through mindful movement. We accomplish this by offering Tai Chi classes 6 days and various times each week. We also offer specific classes that address balance and stress reduction. We believe the Mindful Movement Center (MMC) is the place to find your balance. Come Join Us.
For more information, contact Keith Boswell at 309-863-5423 or TaiJiofPeoria@gmail.com.
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