World Tai Chi Day celebrated locally

MIDDLEBURY — On Saturday, April 30, 35 tai chi practitioners and interested community members gathered at the new Middlebury recreation facility on Creek Road to be part of the celebration of the 2016 World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day.
The event, titled “One World – One Breath,” included many hundreds of cities on six continents. It began in New Zealand at 10 a.m. moving westward; people gathered at 10 a.m. in their part of the world to do tai chi. Fourteen hours later, as it turned 10 a.m. in Vermont, we joined the “healing wave” of hundreds of practitioners in the eastern United States doing tai chi before the wave continued westward.
Tai chi has been utilized as a healing art for hundreds of years, but only recently have Harvard Medical School and the CDC provided research that indicates tai chi maintains and improves strength, balance, agility, flexibility, integration of the right and left halves of the body’s movements and upper and lower halves of the body’s movements.
“A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age,” says Peter M. Wayne, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program. Findings suggest that tai chi integrates body and mind, and positively impacts the heart, bones, nerves and muscles. Additionally, doing tai chi is highly pleasurable and creates a sense of well being through slow, flowing, continuous movements and mindful breathing.
The event was organized by Karen Glauber and special remarks were offered by Ruth Barenbaum, both of whom, along with Dotty McCarty, teach classes in Middlebury for Oak Tree Tai Chi Vermont (in cooperation with CVAA), a program offered in many communities across the state of Vermont, free of charge to senior citizens 50 years of age and older.
For a complete listing of these classes, phone CVAA or email taichi@cvaa.org. We are fortunate in Vermont to have this program as well as many fine tai chi instructors teaching additional forms of tai chi and Qi gong.
Editor’s note: This article was contributed by Karen Glauber.

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