Tai Chi For Arthritis, Fall Prevention Slated

Valley Program for Aging Services will offer Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention at its Maury River Senior Center beginning Feb. 12. The one-hour classes will be held each Wednesday from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. through April 15.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention has been recognized by many national organizations, including the Arthritis Foundation and the Administration for Community Living as safe and effective. Slow, controlled movements build muscle strength, improve balance, gently free up stiff joints, and relieve stress, according to Jeri Schaff, VPAS director. All movements are done in an upright standing position, or may be done seated by those unable to stand. The physical exertion level of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention is similar to that of walking.

Certified instructors for Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention are Christopher Bowring, Dorothy Mitchell and Schaff. Participation is open to those 50 and older and adults of any age who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, or spondylitis. Participants must be medically fit to perform the exercises, and must be able to participate without assistance.

Cost for the 10-week Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention is $50. Assistance is available for a limited number of income-qualified individuals.

A free introductory lesson will be offered on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. at Maury River Senior Center. Attendees should wear loose, comfortable clothing and sneakers or other flat, nonslip shoes.

More information about Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention can be obtained by calling MRSC at 261-7474 or emailing Laynee Knick at laynee@vpas. info.