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May 9, 2017     Cape Gazette
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Q. They're starting a tai chi class at our senior center. Do you think this is worth taking? Tai chi (tie-chee) has helped many people feel better. Howev- er, you should check with your doctor first to see if this form of exercise is okay for you. Tai chi is practiced all across China, where it was developed in the 12th century. It's common in Chinese hospitals and clinics. In Asia, tai chi is considered to be the most beneficial exercise for older people, because it is gentle and can be modified easily if a person has health limitations. Tai chi began as a martial art and evolved into a series of fluid movements that relax and stimulate the body and mind. Tai chi is based on chi (or qi), vital energy that is believed to flow throughout the body and regulate a person's physical, spiritual, emotional and mental balance. Advocates of Traditional Chi- nese Medicine say chi is affect- ed by yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). When the flow of chi is disrupted and yin and yang are unbalanced, the condition leads to pain and disease, according to TCM. A person doing tai chi pro- gresses slowly and gracefully through a series of movements while breathing deeply and meditating. Tai chi has been called moving meditation. The entire body is always in motion during tai chi. All the move- ments are performed at one speed. Tai chi can include dozens of movements. The simplest style of tai chi is limited to 12 movements. These include such colorful names such as grasp bird's tail, carry tiger to the mountain and step back to repulse monkey. Research suggests that tai chi may offer many benefits that include: reduced stress, anxi- ety and depression; improved flexibility, strength, balance and coordination that lead to fewer falls; improved sleep; reduced bone loss in women after meno- pause; lower blood pressure; better cardiovascular fitness; relief of chronic pain and stiff- ness, and higher immunity to shingles. Reducing the number of falls is especially important to seniors because falls in older people can be serious. We heal more slowly as we age. And, osteoporosis, arthritis, and weak cardiopulmonary systems can delay rehabilitation and prevent full recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 33 percent of Americans age 65 or older have at least one serious fall each year. About 60 percent of falls occur at home during normal daily activities. With seniors leading increasingly active lifestyles, hip fractures have steadily increased. Tai chi is generally a safe activity, but you can hurt your- self if you don't do it properly. It's possible you could strain yourself or overdo it when first learning. The best way to learn tai chi is from a qualified tai chi instructor. Tai chi class are of- fered at not only senior centers, but at the Ys, health clubs, and community centers. I carried his COURAGE home with me. “No one knows how I lived through this.” Over the span of a few years, Vernon Redding was diagnosed with a heart attack, sarcoidosis, autoimmune disorder, Lyme disease, and shingles. He didn’t just need a doctor — he needed to believe he could beat these odds. “There’s a reason why people come into your life. Dr. Joseph Rubacky is more than just my doctor. He pushed me and gave me the encouragement I needed to pull through and survive.” And Vernon didn’t just survive. In 2014, he won a gold medal in the Delaware Senior Olympics proving that his condition is just a state of mind. Discover what our drive can do for you at Bayhealth.org/Driven BMC1711_halfVERT_resize_5_78x11_FNL.indd 3 3/30/17 11:19 AM Cape Gazette HEALTH & FITNESS TUESDAY, MAY 9 - THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2017 19 Tai chi is generally a safe activity HEALTHY GEEZER Fred Cicetti » The newest model of medicine features a powerful therapeutic partnership with the physician and patient at its core. The com- munity is invited to a free lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, at Brid- geville library, featuring Uday Jani, MD, who will discuss how highly individualized care aligns with the therapies used in in- tegrative medicine to offer a patient-centered approach to health and healing. As genetics testing and phar- macogenomics create a uniquely personalized form of medicine, fully understanding all aspects of a patient - social, cultural, psychological and spiritual - becomes increasingly critical to delivering the best care. "The more medicine advances and evolves, the more evidence points to the truth that a cookie- cutter approach does not work," says Jani. "In fact, it's never worked, which is why, as a na- tion, we've become fatter and sicker. Every person is different, requiring a singular, focused ap- proach to their care." The first remedy is not al- ways a pharmaceutical one, he asserts. Instead, the model of integrative medicine empha- sizes the broader concepts of health promotion and preventive care while supporting the appro- priate treatment of disease. All therapies are considered, both conventional and alternative, to facilitate the body's innate heal- Jani to speak on personalized, integrative medicine May 9 Continued on page 20 Delaware Hospice’s Holland wins award Delaware Hospice announced that medical account executive Luanne Holland received The Excellent Award for the Unsung Hero Award from the Delaware Quality-of-Life Coalition. Each year, the coalition awards in- dividuals in several categories, Administrator, Nurse, Unsung Hero and Volunteer with The Excellent Awards, which honor those who provide extraordinary care in the community. Their vision is to stimulate public and professional aware- ness, share knowledge and create change so every Delawarean is aware of issues and choices re- lated to the end of life. Delaware Hospice salutes Holland and nominees Nicole Hunter, NP; and  April Ball, RN, CHPN; for their hard work and dedication to Delaware Hospice and the patients and families they serve. Briefly »