Chinese royal families because of their belief that it lengthened and enriched life. Tai Chi, Lam believed, might bring him relief from his constant pain. Through studying the various styles of

Tai Chi in concert with what he knew of human physiology and his own arthritic condition, Lam was able not only to greatly diminish the pain he suffered but actually reverse the progression of arthritis. As he continued his medical studies as well as the study of Tai Chi styles, Lam became an international Tai Chi champi- on. In 1977 he began to share with friends and colleagues the particular movements he had adapted from the Sun (pronounced “soon”) style of Tai Chi. By 1993 there was such a great interest in this particular form that Lam founded the Tai Chi for Health Institute and began promoting Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention (TCA) inter- nationally. Today approximately 5,000,000 individuals around the globe practice this series of movements for the eliviation of arthritis. There are several important observa- tions to be made about this. First, there are more than 100 types of diseases that fall into the broad category of “arthritis.” These include obvious ailments such as rheuma- toid arthritis (RA), but also such conditions as fibro myalgia. TCA had demonstrated positive outcomes with virtually every type of arthritis. Second, the benefits achieved through

practicing TCA are “evidence based”: dozens of studies have been conducted

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over the past forty years—and are ongo- ing—that demonstrate the positive impact of TCA on arthritis. These studies have been conducted and reported through organiza- tions such as the National Institute of Heath, Harvard Medical School, the Cen- ters for Disease Control, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and many more. Because of this scientific re- search, the Arthritis Foundation endorses TCA as an effective practice for the abate- ment of arthritis. Third, and perhaps most interesting,

researchers began to discover that improv- ing arthritis was only one of the health benefits achieved by those practicing TCA. In an article published April 28, 2017, Time Magazine described scientific re- search that demonstrated Tai Chi had a positive impact on blood pressure, mental focus, response to vaccines, insomnia, depression and inflammation. Harvard Medical School reported in May, 2015, that a twelve-week course in Tai Chi pro- duced an overall sense of well-being (in addition to reducing arthritis symptoms) that lasted throughout an entire year. Along with these other tangible health

results, researchers also began to note that practicing Tai Chi had a positive effect on those suffering cognitive impairment. The National Institute for Health in a report that specifically investigated the relation- ship between Tai Chi and mental decline published April 6, 2012, made the follow observation:

“With its gentle and slow motions,

Tai Chi could be an ideal exercise for the elders [who suffer cognitive impair- ment]. It can offer many benefits, such as increased mobility, balance, and flexibility; reduced risk of falls; and provision of a feeling of accomplish- ment and well-being. These benefits lead to enhanced independence and self-confidence for elders. . . . In addi- tion, regular participation in Tai Chi may slow the progression of cognitive decline in elders with cognitive impair- ment. . . . Tai Chi may be used to slow cognitive decline in elders with cogni- tive impairment.”

This study goes on to detail three

specific areas of benefit the practice of Tai Chi holds for those with cognitive impair- ment:

• Cognitive stimulation: teaching new exercise/movement forms to those deal- ing with memory issues in itself tends to slow cognitive decline; or to say it an- other way, “Using it keeps us from losing it.”

• Social interaction: one of the condi- tions faced by memory care patients is growing isolation; teaching and practic- ing Tai Chi with those suffering cognitive impairment overcomes the emotional and intellectual consequences of isola- tion.

Kelly Carpenter, NP-C Kelly Carpenter NP-C is a certified

Marcelle Hammer

Certified Medical Support Hypnosis Practitioner 336.768.7000 Kelly Carpenter, NP-C

Nurse Practitioner. She has 8 years experience in adult medicine. She has an enthusiasm for helping peo- ple live energized long healthy lives. She helps patients to obtain healthy weights and maximize energy levels by enhancing the body’s natural healing process through optimized nutrition, supplements, and balanc- ing hormones.

336.768.3335 FEBRUARY 2019 9

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