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Kittay Supports Healthy Lifestyles – Tai Chi

Tai Chi for seniors at Kittay House. Weekly specialty exercise class helps tenants stay fit and healthy


Tai ChiEach Wednesday morning at Kittay House a group of Kittay tenants practice Tai Chi. This discipline of “moving mediation” helps seniors at Kittay to improve their balance, posture and immune systems.


The class is taught by David Saltman (pictured), who has been involved with Tai goosejacka Chi learning for nearly 40 years. A loyal group of 12 – 15 people show up for the program that is in its fourth year at Kittay. The regulars encourage their friends to join the class from time to time, since the benefits are so great.


Saltman begins each class with a disclaimer, “If you don’t feel better at the end of this session, you don’t have to come back”. But they seem to return every week. By applying the principles of leverage, Saltman makes sure that his weekly Tai Chi class attendees gain better mobility and independence by making simple changes and “unlearning” bad habits.

“Even Olympic athletes have difficulty getting up from a chair if they are seated too far back and rely solely on their hands to lift them,” he says.

Several landmark studies at prestigious universities around the country concluded that those who did Tai Chi vs. other forms of exercise or physical therapy had 80 % fewer falls.  Tai Chi is also said to boosts one’s immune system, and reduce the negative effects of shingles, fibromyalgia, cancer recuperation. Regular practice has even been shown to help with obesity.

Saltman chuckles,”Forty years ago, when I mentioned Tai Chi with a group of people, someone would invariably say, ‘Oh I’ve tried that tea before.’ Today, everyone has at least heard of Tai Chi, and those who practice it are reaping amazing health benefits.”