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Tai chi is more than just exercise

July 11, 2019 / in Cancer, Wellness / by UK HealthCare

Searching for a new way to get active and reduce stress? You might want to give tai chi a try. UK HealthCare offers tai chi classes for patients, family members and staff.

Tai chi is a “moving meditation” consisting of gentle movements that encourage the integration of body, mind and spirit. It promotes flexibility, resilience, focus and balance.

"I find tai chi to be both relaxing and energizing," said tai chi instructor Robert Slocum, PhD. "Practicing tai chi helps me to center myself when I feel stressed, and it helps me focus and draw everything together in energetic ways that move well. It’s a martial expression that helps me fight the stresses and challenges of every day, and it’s an artistic expression that’s beautiful and fun." 

Here's what you should know about tai chi and how you can get involved through UK Integrative Medicine & Health, a program that focuses on the interaction of mind, body and spirit to treat the whole person. 

What are the benefits of tai chi?

Tai chi is a low-impact form of exercise that can be easily adapted to suit any fitness level. By incorporating deep breathing and mental focus along with choreographed movements, tai chi improves overall fitness, flexibility, balance and muscle tone, in addition to relieving stress, promoting a positive outlook and energizing the body.

Studies have shown that tai chi has a positive impact on the mind and body and can be beneficial in managing the side effects of many medical conditions.

Who teaches tai chi at UK HealthCare?

Our tai chi instructor, Robert Slocum, PhD, is a black belt in tai chi and and other internal martial arts.

"I really enjoy teaching tai chi to others, especially when they begin to see the difference it can make for them," he said. "There’s always room to improve and learn more. But it’s easy to start and fun to practice."

I've never done tai chi before. Can I still take a class?

Yes! Classes are educational and are tailored to meet the needs of participants at every skill level. No special equipment is necessary, either.

When and where are classes held?

Classes are held Wednesdays from 1 to 1:30 p.m. in the Integrative Medicine Clinic, which is on the third floor of the Whitney-Hendrickson building of the UK Markey Cancer Center. Classes are $10 each.

To learn more about tai chi or our Integrative Medicine & Health program, call 859-323-HEAL (4325).


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