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Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance

Better Balance

An Evidence-based Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults

Where: 1202 Bristol Street, Second Floor, Costa Mesa CA 92626
When: Saturday mornings at 9:15 AM for one hour; begins January 11 for 10 weeks
Cost: $5 per session or $50 for the series

Registration Form >>
Waiver Form >> 

Class registration is completed by emailing sscim@uci.edu, faxing the forms to (949) 824-2812, or mailing them to the SSCIM administration office

Questions? Call 949-824-5763

Program Characteristics

  • Symmetrical and reciprocal movements- exercise forms/movements on both sides - left/right and diagonals for better movement symmetry and coordination.
  • Movement of Center of Gravity- move the center of gravity towards and around the edge of base of support to train limits of sta-bility and postural control strategies.
  • Multidirectional stepping- walk in different directions with variousstepping patterns and speeds to enhance gait.
  • Integration of multi-sensory systems- engage in ankle sway (position sense), movements of eyes and head (vision,vestibular) that affect postural balance.
  • Integration of cognitive processing tasks- engage in cognitive tasks such as movement orientation, registration, recognition, recall, switching and ordering.
  • Purposeful movements- adapt movements to therapeutic evaluation and functional performance of daily activities.

In a Nutshell

This is a CDC– and AOA-recommended, evidence-based fall prevention program for community-dwelling older adults. The program consists of an 8-form routine core with built-in exercise variations and a subroutine of integrated therapeutic movements, which, collectively, comprise a set of simple yet functional Tai Chi-based moves. This approach represents a significant enhancement of traditional Tai Chi Chuan by transforming the movements into therapeutic training for postural control, daily func-tioning and clinical rehabilitation for older adults and individuals with physical limitations. Practice focuses on stimulating musculoskeletal, sensory, and cognitive systems via self-initiated, controlled movements such as unilateral weight-bearing and weight-shifting, trunk rotation, ankle sways, and coordinated eye-head-hand movements, and taxing sensory integration, limits of stability, functional adaption, anticipatory control, compensatory responses, and effective gait patterns. The goals of the program are to improve both static and dynamic postural stability, mindful control of body positioning in space, functional walking activi-ties, movement symmetry and coordination, and to increase range of motion around the ankle joints and build lower-extremity strength. Chair-supported progressions, from completely seated, through sit-and-stand, to chair-assisted, are also included, with a variety of challenges, to meet the specific needs and performance capabilities of the participants.Finally, a set of home-based exercises is also included to provide addi-tional out-of-class practice. Overall, the program protocol offers an integrated training experience in motor-sensory-cognitive systems and postural control, with the ultimate goal of improving performance of daily functional tasks and reducing incidence of falls among older adults.

National Counsel on Aging (NCOA)
http://www.ncoa.org/improve-health/center-for-healthy-aging/tai-chi-moving-for-better.html

Center for Disease Control (CDC)
http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/compendium/1.4_tai_chi.html 

Instructor: Mark Stewart | mstewart8@hotmail.com | 949-201-3563

Mark started his personal practice 10 years ago to improve his arthritic lower back and since has become a Tai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung) enthusiast, student and teacher of many “Forms” including Yang, Chen, Sun and Wudang styles.  The goal of Mark’s class is to remove any mystery of Tai Chi teaching beginners in a fun and interactive method to improve balance and general health.