Body and Spirit: Ancient martial art has some medical backing, say experts

About eight years ago, Mitch Saret was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

That's bad news for anybody. For a martial arts instructor, it's particularly devastating.

Saret reached a point where he couldn't do one somersault, one set of jumping jacks, without incapacitating himself for the rest of the day.

Then he got into Tai Chi.

Grasp the bird's tail here.

May 5, 2005 in exercise, people | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tai Chi 'improves body and mind'

The ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi can help to improve people's health, research suggests.

Doctors in the United States analysed 47 studies looking at the impact Tai Chi had on people with chronic health problems, like heart disease or MS.

Defect, parry and punch here.

March 8, 2004 in exercise | Permalink | Comments (0)

Challenge Alaska

I spent the last week or so in Anchorage. The kids were going skiing so I thought I'd give it a shot. I took lessons with Challenge Alaska.

Challenge Alaska built and operates the International Sports, Recreation and Education center in Girdwood, Alaska.

Girdwood is also the location of Alyeska Ski Resort, one of Alaska's premier downhill ski slopes. One of Girdwood's most famous products is former Olympic skiing champion Tommy Moe.

Challenge Alaska is a non-profit organization that provides sports and therapeutic recreation opportunities for those with disabilities. Challenge Alaska believes that everyone, regardless of physical ability, should have an equal chance at recreational opportunities.

Exhilarating physical recreation is crucial aspect of early rehabilitation and life-long well-being. It is an important track to improved mobility, increased self-confidence, and development of specific skills. We hope to give our participants the skills and confidence needed to eventually partake in these activities independently.

I had a great time, the instructors were great, but I think downhill skiing is off my list of things I can do. Oh well...

More here.

January 3, 2004 in about me, accessability, alaska, exercise | Permalink | Comments (0)

Passive exercise!

The AT-101 is a non-invasive means for passive exercise that serves as an aid to improve circulation as well as joint mobility. The process does not stress either muscles or joints, is pain-free, causes no discomfort, and yet is the passive equivalent of jogging while you are lying flat on your back.

Read it here.

They reported that 45 minutes of AT101 application in 14 healthy subjects and 40 patients suffering from a variety of illnesses released nitric oxide in all trials. Its importance is reflected by the award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1998 for discoveries concerning "nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system." Nitric oxide levels in the blood are increased naturally in the body during active exercise and accounts for several of its beneficial effects including prevention of arteriosclerosis.

Drs. Sackner and Adams said that "nitric oxide is beneficial to the body because it opens blood vessels more widely and suppresses inflammation in a way similar to cortisone products without the harmful side effects of these drugs." Ten to 15 daily AT101 applications of AT101 passive exercise device were administered to 25 patients with chronic inflammatory diseases and a quality of life questionnaire provided before and after the trial. These diseases included osteoarthritis, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, restless legs syndrome, chronic venous insufficiency, and coronary artery disease. There were statistically significant improvements in vitality, body pain and role physical following the application of the AT101 program. "These benefits suggest that the body's release of nitric oxide with the AT101 passive exercise device might be beneficial to a large number of other diseases which have as their basis chronic inflammation," added Drs Sackner and Adams.

Read it here.

Passive exercise!?! I like the sound of that.

November 5, 2003 in complementary and alternative medicine , exercise, research, symptom management | Permalink | Comments (0)