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Community Hospital Offering Tai Chi Classes

March 01, 2018

Brenda McGuire (front), Community Hospital Tai Chi instructor, leads her class through the artful movements of Tai Chi. Brenda, who has found the exercise improves health and wellbeing, would like to start a second class in McCook. From left, Ruth Bradley, Barbara O’Dea, Sharon Schuttler and Ruth Bridges.

McCook, Nebraska—Brenda McGuire has found a new passion that is improving her health and she wants to share it with others. Since becoming a certified Tai Chi instructor, Brenda has found she has less stress and anxiety, improved energy and stamina, improved muscle strength and balance, and improved flexibility and agility.

At a recent Community Hospital Sterling Connection Lunch ‘n Learn, Brenda explained Tai Chi (pronounced “tie chee”) and how this type of exercise can benefit others.

“Tai Chi is a type of exercise that originated in China. It is an effective exercise to improve health and wellbeing. Tai Chi exercises the entire body, all the joints, muscles and internal organs and at the same time, strengthens the mind. The movements are slow and gentle. It is sometimes referred to ‘meditation in motion’ as it promotes tranquility through gentle movements, connecting the mind and body,” she added. “Tai Chi is enjoyable and it makes you feel better about yourself,” she said. “When you feel good about yourself, everything else gets better.”

Last year, Community Hospital sent Brenda as a hospital employee to Tai Chi for Health Institute classes in Sioux City to become an instructor. Under instruction from Dr. Paul Lam, family physician, Tai Chi expert and founder of the institute, she became certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 2, Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention. “As a diabetic, I am also very serious about becoming certified in Tai Chi for Diabetes,” Brenda added.

The art of Tai Chi uses six essential principles, Brenda learned at her training. Outward movement includes slow, smooth continuous movements as well as gentle resistance. Body structure includes posturing (imagine a Golden Thread holds your head to the sky), and awareness of weight transference. Finally, internal movement includes what is called Song—relaxing and opening up your joints and gently relaxing them from within, as well as Jing—paying attention to your body and the movements you are making; being aware of your surroundings, but focusing on what you are doing.

Each movement performed has an interesting name like Single Whip, Embrace the Tiger, Push the Mountain, Brush Knee, Play the Lute and Repulse Monkey. The movements performed together in a specific way during relaxing music are what bring the benefits to those who suffer from arthritis and other health problems.

Brenda already started one class at McCook Christian Church which meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30 AM. She is looking to start a second class for anyone interested. There is no charge for the classes but attendees must be a Sterling Connection member, become one, or be recommended for the class by a medical provider or physical therapist. For more information, contact Brenda McGuire at 308-345-7081 and leave a message with your name, phone number and suggested best day of the week and time for you to meet for a class.

There is no charge to become a Sterling Connection member through Community Hospital. Members are 50 years of age or older. To receive an application, contact Sarah Wolford, Community Hospital Outreach and Wellness Coordinator at skwolford@chmccook.org or 308-344-8550.

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