Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | January 22, 2013

Tai Chi; 1-hour that your body, mind and spirit will enjoy!

De-stress the Ancient Way

By Sandra Jean Evans

There’s an ancient way to combat some of our modern ills. When computer glitches or information overload or traffic jams or any other stressors are getting the better of you, Tai Chi is a gentle way to calm your mind.

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art practice proven to reduce pain and improve your mental and physical well-being. Duke Raleigh’s Wellness Center offers the Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi Program which uses gentle Sun-style Tai Chi routines that are safe, easy to follow and suitable for every age and fitness level.

Sun-style Tai Chi incorporates gentle movements into a smooth flow. Unlike some other, more rigorous forms of Tai Chi, Sun-style doesn’t rely on crouches and leaps. Like yoga, it focuses on a straight spine and abdominal breathing.

Tai Chi’s benefits are many. It can help you reduce stress, increase balance and flexibility and improve the overall state of your mind, body and spirit.

Medical studies have shown Tai Chi may relieve pain, reduce falls and improve quality of life. A National Institutes for Health-funded study, reported in the Feb. 9, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated three forms of exercise (resistance training, stretching and Tai Chi) and concluded that Tai Chi led to the greatest overall improvements in balance and stability for patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease.

Our Tai Chi program is an eight-week class led by a certified instructor. Two one-hour sessions are held each Monday and Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and are designed to be relaxing and enjoyable. You don’t need any special equipment or clothing to participate. A loose-fitting T-shirt, sweat pants or yoga pants and comfortable shoes are fine. We have a water cooler, but you may want to bring your own water. It’s good to stay hydrated during class.

The first session begins on Feb. 4. Tai Chi is free to Wellness Center members. Non-members may participate in the eight-week program for a fee of $100.

If you like Tai Chi, you can continue to enroll in our eight-week session. We plan to eventually offer a more advanced class – Tai Chi for Arthritis 2.

Please call 919-954-3174 to learn more or register for a class. A more peaceful state of mind is within reach.


Sandra Jean Evans is an American College of Sports Medicine-certified health/fitness specialist who is certified in Tai Chi for arthritis. She works as an exercise specialist at the Duke Raleigh Hospital Wellness Center.

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