One of the biggest concerns facing seniors is the decrease in ROM (Range of Motion). The S.T.A.R. (Seniors Transcending and Revitalizing) is a Fundational Tai Chi Program created with the purpose of helping seniors maintain and increase their current ROM regardless of their situation. I had the great opportunity of teaching the program at The National Institute of Aging Conference a number of years ago in Albany, New York. Those attending were predominately in charge of exercise and activity programs in senior centers, multi-generational centers and rehab professionals. The common comment across the board was, “We have finally found a great exercise program our residents can actually do.”
One of the key components of the program is that exercise may be uncomfortable but it should never be painful and if it is painful then you are doing too much. Another key component that differentiates it from traditional programs is that you let your breath do the work for you. I have had numerous physical and occupational therapists wonder why they didn’t learn this technique in their vast array of training. It is both common sense and it doesn’t promote muscle tearing or injury. It is one of the best techniques when dealing with opening the space anywhere in the spine and especially in the neck region where compressed vertebrae can cause tingling in the arms and hands and make raising one’s arm above shoulder level near impossible. I have one student who is 82 and after being in a car accident where his rotator cuff was torn, the surgeon and therapist told him his goal would be to eventually raise his arm to shoulder height. He can now, after doing the S.T.A.R. Program daily, raise his arm well above his head. “It’s amazing”, he says while enjoying an ROM he thought he might have lost forever.
Another common effect is that arthritis pain often goes away with the increase in circulation, oxygenation and nervous system enhancement. I am always amazed by how many people are in pain and they DON’T NEED TO BE! I am also amazed by how amazed they are when they are pain free after doing some of these basic exercises. It goes to show how we tend to look ‘out there’ for answers rather than ‘looking with’. The S.T.A.R. Program can help to wean people off a variety of medications (you should only do this under a Doctors care) and revitalize one’s life, level of energy and spirit for living and serving.
Studies have shown that people who live vitally into their 90′s and 100′s have some simple common attributes:
- They eat a diet low in fat, high in fiber, fish oils and consume at least 60 or more ounces of water a day
- They have a good social network where they feel they contribute, are appreciated and loved
- They maintain a healthy sense of humor about the challenges they face
- They exercise daily to keep their system flexible and fluid
- They have a strong sense of a spiritual connection to something beyond themselves and that connects them to all of life
You may have other values that you can insert in this list but if you would like to increase your ROM and your awareness of how a great program can impact your overall quality of life, then I encourage you to order the S.T.A.R. Program today. Learn it, do aspects of it daily and encourage others to do the same. Your vitality, energy and spirit will love you for it!