As body and mind work together in perfect harmony, the practice of Tai Chi brings tranquility and wellness to residents at Paul’s Run. Every Thursday at noon, certified Tai Chi instructor, Matt Chrobocinski, greets participants with a calming presence and friendly smile as he welcomes them to experience the many benefits of this relaxing exercise.
Tai Chi is the harmony of your body and mind, and when that takes place, you feel so much better.–Matt Chrobocinski, certified Tai Chi instructor at Paul’s Run
According to Matt, who has been teaching various forms of martial arts for over 11 years, this alternative form of exercise is a wonderful way for older adults to improve their health and overall well-being. For residents at Paul’s Run, Tai Chi is a relaxing way to stay active and exercise with friends, and according to those who regularly attend Matt’s classes, it just makes them happy.
What is Tai Chi?
While there are many different forms of Tai Chi, the essential principles of this low-impact, slow-motion exercise include integrating the mind with the body to carry out slow movements in unison with your breath. This fosters mindful energy that flows smoothly throughout the body.
The Benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi helps me in so many ways. It has really made me more steady and balanced. It helps me think better and more clearly. I come to this class every week, and I tell other people how much I love it and how much it helps me.–Rose Dixon, resident at Paul’s Run
Matt says when practiced properly, Tai Chi can
- Improve balance
- Increase flexibility
- Strengthen muscles
- Relieve stress and tension
- Boost energy
- Improve memory and cognition
Finding Positive Energy After a Difficult Diagnosis
Practicing martial arts for over a decade, Matt spent the majority of those years teaching karate. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that the finessed form of Tai Chi made an impact on his life when he greatly needed it.
“When I got the diagnosis, that’s when I started looking into Tai Chi. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do karate forever and Tai Chi really helped me get through it,” Matt says.
“It has really helped improve my balance. Teaching martial arts you think you would be good at that, but Tai Chi is a completely different kind of balance,” he says describing how the slow-motion exercise has benefitted him in ways karate didn’t.
Bringing Relaxation and Mindfulness to Residents at Paul’s Run
Receiving his official certification from the Tai Chi Health Institute, Matt approached his daughter who works at Paul’s Run to see if residents would be interested in learning a sport that could greatly benefit their health and well-being. When his daughter spread the word to Paul’s Run staff, the community embraced his class with open arms.
“The residents often tell me how the classes make them feel better and that it makes them more relaxed. You really do get a lot of benefits from it. Tai Chi can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve balance, boost energy levels, and even improve your memory and thinking.”
For resident Rose Dixon who attends Matt’s Tai Chi class every week, the benefits she’s seen this exercise have on her health are immeasurable. “I enjoy the slow movements,” she says.
It makes me more relaxed. I always make sure to come to these classes. It’s very important to me. And when I can’t make it to a class, I really do miss it.
Resident at Paul’s Run, Florence, also attends Matt’s classes on a weekly basis. “It clears my mind,” she says. “It’s a simple way to get me moving.” As Matt continues to foster the harmony of body and mind every Thursday, Paul’s Run residents welcome positivity and wellness into their everyday lives.