Many people who are affected by arthritis or fibromyalgia find that the only place where they can get exercise regularly without exacerbating pain is in a pool. Studies have found that group water-based exercise programs for a year produced significant reductions in pain and improvements in function.
Our class is based on the aquatic version of Tai Chi, otherwise known as Ai Chi. Ai Chi is a graceful form of exercise that involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. It combines Tai-Chi and Qi Gong concepts with Watsu techniques. It is performed standing in shoulder depth warm water.
The benefits of an Ai Chi exercise program are:
- Decreased levels of pain
- Increased caloric consumption
- Improved oxygen supplies to the body
- Greater range of motion and ability
- Increased core and muscle strength
- Lowered sensations of stress
- Reduced joint stiffness
- Improved balance
- Minimized problems with anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine - chi (Qi or life energy), moves through the body, promoting vitality and health. Problems with the flow of chi are linked to decease, and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that restoring its proper flow is the key to good health.