Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 2013 Vol. 1 - page 43

Boomers Resource Guide
• 2013 Vol. 1
Holistic Health Care (HHC) en-
compasses a variety of therapeutic
health care practices that do not fall
within the realm of conventional
Western medicine. This article will
discuss the benefits of five of these
modalities - yoga, Tai Chi, massage
therapy, Reiki and meditation.
HHC practices are based on a
holistic approach to health; ben-
efiting the body, the mind and the
spirit. These methods often give us
options to relying strictly on medi-
cations or surgery to help alleviate
our symptoms. When surgery is
necessary, many hospitals use HHC
methods to reduce the amount of
anesthesia needed before surgery,
reduce the amount of medication
needed after surgery and to speed
recovery time.
Yoga helps us maintain flexibil-
ity, strength, balance, and stamina.
It keeps our muscles toned and our
breathing strong. It increases our
energy levels and our mental clarity.
It improves our circulation and our
posture. It facilitates our everyday
activities such as reaching, lifting
and walking.
Yoga also benefits our minds
and spirits. The short meditation at
the end of each class reduces stress
and gives us better control over
our emotions and actions. Yoga
also teaches us to be accepting of
where we are today, and helps us
to practice patience with ourselves
and others.
Yoga was f irst developed in
India about 5,000 years ago. There
are several different styles of yoga.
Hatha is the most basic, widely-
recognized style. All styles typi-
cally combine physical postures,
breathing techniques and some
form of meditation or relaxation.
Yoga is available for all people
of all ages, of all body types, and
at all levels of ability. Even people
in wheelchairs can do yoga. Seated
classes are available for people who
have trouble standing or getting
down to the floor.
Classes are usually 45-60 min-
utes long. It is important to find an
instructor with specialized training
for senior adults. They will help
you do each pose properly so that
you don’t aggravate your condition.
Tai Chi
“Chi” is the Chinese word for
“energy” or “life force”. Chi refers
to the breath as well as to our vital-
ity and good health. The name “Tai
Chi” means “abundant energy”.
Tai Chi also involves the Chi-
nese ideal of balance, called yin
and yang. Yin energy is slow-
The Benefits of Holistic Health Care
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