Easing ills through Tai Chi

Researchers study the benefits of this mind-body exercise.

Catherine Kerr Easing ills through Tai Chihas found an antidote for the hectic pace of laboratory life in the daily practice of tai chi. This centuries-old Chinese mind-body exercise, now gaining popularity in the United States, consists of slow-flowing, choreographed meditative movements with poetic names like “wave hands like clouds,” “dragons stirring up the wind,” and “swallow skimming the pond” that evoke the natural world. It also focuses on basic components of overall fitness: muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

“Doing tai chi makes me feel lighter on my feet,” says Kerr, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) instructor who has practiced for 15 years. “I’m stronger in my legs, more alert, more focused, and more relaxed—it just puts me in a better mood all around.” Although she also practices sitting meditation and does a lot of walking, she says that the impact of tai chi on her mood were so noticeable—even after she was diagnosed with a chronic immune system cancer—that she has devoted her professional life to studying the effects of mind-body exercise on the brain at Harvard’s Osher Research Center. (more…)

Tips on Exercising After a Transplant

“When I was in the operating room before my liver transplant surgery, my team of doctors told me that I was quite healthy except for being in liver failure,” says liver recipient Debbie Pinjuv.   “It seemed like an odd statement to me then, but now I understand what my doctors were saying.  My other organs were still functioning, and I didn’t have a lot of additional medical problems.  The thing that kept me strong and helped me survive the seven year wait on the UNOS National Transplant List was the exercise I did throughout my illness.” (more…)

Yoga instructor leads students to a healthy, balanced life

We are so proud to feature Healing Moves member Lisa Everett-Bridgewater.  Lisa’s warm and caring personality, along with her extensive expertise in rehabilitative exercise, provides clients with the nurturing environment needed to restore and maintain health.  After Lisa’s yoga classes you will always hear remarks such as, “I feel so much better.” “Lisa is like a breath of fresh air.”

Lisa has always had a passion to help others live a full and productive life, focusing on the healing power of movement.  Lisa has been a licensed physical therapist since 1981, working with clients at all stages of life, in a variety of rehabilitation settings. (more…)

Physical Activity for People with Asthma

 While exercise may be an asthma trigger for some people, research indicates that it is possible to build up tolerance to physical activity over time, making an attack less likely.  In addition to reducing the risk of developing many other diseases, appropriate exercise can help individuals with asthma maintain a healthy body weight, boost immunity, reduce stress, sleep better and feel more energized.  The key is to keep one’s asthma under control through proper treatment and precautions. (more…)

Exercising with Low Back Pain

Exercising with Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common medical complaints in the world.  Don’t let low back pain get you down!  A well-designed exercise program can help speed recovery from low back pain, reduce pain levels, and possibly prevent reinjury.  In fact, regular physical activity is superior to spine therapy at helping people cope with back pain and at keeping it under control!  The key to maximizing the benefits of exercise is to follow a well designed program that you can stick to over the long-term. (more…)

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