Tai Chi may be just what the doctor ordered

Tai chi is a simple, gentle, holistic exercise system performed slowly, but its benefits can have major positive health benefits for those who do it, according to Block Island physical therapist and Tai chi instructor, Tom Hobin. Hobin conducts a class weekly on Wednesdays from 4 to 4:50 p.m. at the Block Island Community Center behind Aldo’s Restaurant.Also called Tai chi ch’üan, it is noncompetitive, self-paced, and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, and is generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. Tai chi requires no special equipment, can be done anywhere, indoors or outdoors, alone or in a group, standing, or seated in a chair.“T’ai chi uses slow, flowing, and circular movements that encourage the mind and body to work together,” says Hobin. “It boosts the brain and memory and generates internal energy. And it grounds you mentally and physically. More and more we see doctors recommending Tai chi to their patients.”Hobin points to numerous studies that show Tai chi can improve the sense of well being, decrease stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase aerobic capacity. It also has been said to increase energy and stamina, improve flexibility and agility, and, importantly, improve balance. Other

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