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Carolyn Cooper's
LIVING IN THE FLOW NEWSLETTER
Published by Tai Chi Flow, Inc.
Issue #8 March 2005

1) Carolyn's Comments
2) Featured Article: Tai Chi for ADD/ADHD
3) Upcoming Events-World TC Day
4) Closing Thought

Well, I'm a day late, but I just have to say it... 'Top O' the morning to you!'

I hope you had a fun St. Patrick's Day! Let's see, I don't drink, eat corned beef, or enjoy watching people get pinched, so I'm not sure why I have always loved that holiday so much, but let's just say I'm grateful for my Irish ancestors and proud to have some of their strong genes!

Tai Chi for ADD/ADHD

ADD/ADHD is a growing problem not only with children, but adults as well. Tai Chi is a wonderful adjunct therapy for treating ADD because it augments many of the mood management techniques recom- mended for ADD sufferers.

Research at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine has shown that adolescents with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) displayed less anxiety, daydreaming behaviors, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity, and greater improved conduct, after a five week, two day per week class. Furthermore, Drs. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D., experts on the management of ADD wrote, "Exercise is positively one of the best treatments for ADD. It helps work off excess energy and aggression in a positive way, it allows for noise-reduction within the mind, it stimulates the hormonal and neuro- chemical systems in a most therapeutic way, and it soothes and calms the body."

ADD usually includes a tendency to obsess over some imagined problem without being able to let go of the mind chatter. As the body stretches and opens through the graceful movements of Tai Chi, we are able to let go on a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual level with each exhale. T'ai Chi's slow flowing routine is all about letting go of outcome and learning to love the process.

I once read an article which said that kids cannot benefit from Tai Chi/Qigong because they cannot learn all the intricacies of a form. Well, they may not be able to learn the small details of a form, but they do not need to in order to get some benefit from the movements. As a volunteer Tai Chi instructor in the schools, as well as teaching an after-school program, I have seen first hand the benefits of even a few minutes of these calming exercises with children. I have had children in my classes who experience the symptoms of ADD (I really dislike labeling them as "being ADD"). Even with a short attention span, they can learn one or two simple movements such as "Sinking the Chi" and "Rooster stands on One Leg" that can help them focus, if even for only a few minutes at a time. As an Energy Therapist, I also see that performing these movements helps to unwind the scrambled energy systems.

In the children's classes, we also use breathing as a way to become more body-aware. Most children enjoy placing their hands by their lungs and feeling the movement that they are in control of with each inhale and exhale while visualizing two balloons getting bigger and smaller in the process. I also teach them to pay attention to how their body feels when they are in this relaxed state. It may be only a few minutes of peacefulness they are experiencing, but each time they do it, it is reinforcing those positive neuro-pathways in the brain. These kids learn that this state of relaxed breathing is a safe place for them to go anytime they are feeling upset or out of control. It not only gives them a tool and the self-confidence to use it., but the deep breathing calms the central nervous system and releases tension.

To quote one 3rd grade school teacher who's class I worked with, "I feel the deep breathing, flexibility, balance and coordination the students experienced while doing Tai Chi increased their physical and mental well- being, and enhanced their learning!'

Tai Chi is a mood elevator; it requires no preparation and no special equipment. The slow mindful movements have much to offer people who suffer from ADD.

You can order a copy of TCF for Kids for your child or a friend at www.taichiflow.com/products.htm

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day-April 30th

This is the 8th year of this exciting global event! In parks and recreation centers all over the world beginning at 10 am in the earliest time zone, people will meet together to practice Tai Chi and Qigong. This day is officially recognized by the United Nations, World Health Organization, and governors and mayors in all 50 states. Support your local Tai Chi community for this annual health and healing event which is held in 60 nations. To find out about your community's event go to: www.worldtaichiday.org

LOCAL to St. George:
Sat. April 30th at 10 am Vernon-Worthen Park -300 So. 400 E. Free Tai Chi/Qigong class

CLOSING THOUGHT:

Never think less of yourself, but think of yourself less.

Create a great day! CC

2003 Tai Chi Flow, Inc