Tai Chi is one of the most beneficial exercises that there is for arthritis.  Currently, it is practiced by 300 million people in all corners of the world.  The slow, gentle, circular movements of  Tai Chi provide protection of the joints, improved mobility, and relief from pain and stiffness.  There are two main objectives of Tai Chi for Arthritis: (1) to maintain or improve range of movement of joints, and (2) to improve muscular strength, since muscles protect the joints. If you improve muscle strength and tone, it provides built-in protection to the joints.   If muscle is kept strong, weight kept down, and good posture maintained, much of the pain and damage of arthritis can be prevented.

Tai Chi exercises the entire body, is easy and inexpensive to learn, and is suitable for almost anyone.   The movments  are especially helpful to seniors in increasing flexibility, muscle strength, and fitness.   Students also learn how to raise their own endorphin level, offsetting chronic pain associated with arthritis.  The movements are modifiable to the student’s comfort level, which means that sometimes they are done sitting down in a chair if necessary.   Instructor Glenda Hesseltine has been teaching Tai Chi for 19 years and has completed her second level of certification in Tai Chi for Arthritis with Dr. Paul Lam of  Australia.  Dr. Lam and his simplified form, Tai Chi for Arthritis, are currently endorsed by the American Arthritis Association.   In addition to Tai Chi for Arthritis, Glenda is also certified in Tai Chi for Diabetes, a form that is designed to help students balance their blood sugar levels without fear of spiking the insulin from over-exhertion.   Both Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Diabetes are specifically designed for students with those conditions, but are also good forms of Tai Chi for anyone to learn.