Laura Rodi


With the beginning of the fall season right around the corner, this is a good time to think about how we can improve our balance. The Department on Aging Senior Center will offer a Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention program beginning in October. 

Developed by Dr. Paul Lam at the Tai Chi for Health Institute, the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention program utilizes Tai Chi’s Sun style for its ability to improve relaxation, balance and its ease of use. The movements are taught to both left and right sides and with turns to move forward and backward to improve mobility and offer a variety of combinations.

The Sun style (pronounced Soong) is one of the four major recognized styles and is particularly effective for people with arthritis since it features:

• Agile steps, with many forward and backward movements. This improves flexibility.

• Powerful Qigong exercises to improve relaxation and facilitate healing.

• Higher stances, making it easier for beginners and older people to learn and practice.

The benefits of Tai Chi are many and are enhanced with ongoing practice. They include:

• Flexibility exercises work to improve the range of motion in your joints. Tai Chi will gently move all the joints, muscles and tendons in the body.

• Strengthening exercises maintain and improve muscle strength. The slow controlled movements of Tai Chi build muscle strength in your legs, arms,and trunk.

• Stamina or cardiovascular exercise works to strengthen your heart muscle and your lungs. This improves the oxygen circulation in the body.

• Coordination and balance exercise improves the way your body moves. These exercises strengthen your muscles and will decrease your chance of falling.

• Mind-body exercises show how the power of the mind can help in healing the body.

These exercises are also good to help alleviate stress and can improve your mood.

The Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention program will be offered virtually through the Jackson County Senior Center starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 through March 11.

There is no charge for this program. To register for this program, go to if you are a current participant of the Senior Center.

If you are new to the Senior Center, call 586-5494 to become a participant. The Jackson County Senior Center strives to offer diverse programming to those who are 50 years old or better.

Laura Rodi is the health and wellness manager at the Department on Aging Senior Center.