Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Part 3 of a 3-part series: Arthritis: Time to Take Control

Vivian Takafuji, CMT, PhD, Medical Qigong Therapist

Arthritis is a medical condition that is best managed with a holistic approach. Although not life-threatening, one living with arthritic pain can attest to the effects the disease can have on the ease of daily activities and quality of life. Limited mobility and chronic pain can have dramatic effect on the health of one’s body, mind, and spirit.

Unfortunately, the cartilage breakdown associated with the various forms of arthritis is irreversible since the mature cells of the cartilage (chondrocytes) do not regenerate more tissue once it is destroyed. The good news, though, is that the pain and inflammation in the soft tissues surrounding the joint and blood and Qi circulation can be improved with massage and acupressure (either self-applied or by a therapist) combined with gentle movement exercises, like Qigong. Of course, the effect is dependent on the type or severity of arthritis, but with continual practice over time, these Chinese Medicine based approaches have been shown to reverse the progression of the disease and dramatically improve joint function, mobility, and strength.

Balanced Being Therapies, LLC ( is a movement-oriented, healing arts center that is committed to presenting alternatives to drugs and surgery for managing arthritic pain. One-hour sessions combining localized massage therapy and one-on-one Qigong instruction are offered on an appointment basis. In addition, enrollment in Qigong group classes will be available soon.

For readers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, free chair massages and Qigong instruction will be offered at the Arthritis Walk on the National Mall on Saturday, May 21, 2011 (Health and Wellness Zone) from 9 am-12 pm noon.

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