We are pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA starting this January. Dr. Kumiko Yamamoto will be teaching a new 6-week Tai Chi program at the center where the community of MS patients will learn and enjoy this healing art and the benefits of Tai Chi.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory condition that involves an abnormal immune response in which the immune system attacks the myelin, the protective coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system. This causes inflammation and damage, leading to formation of scar tissue, which leads to communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. MS is a common condition affecting approximately 400,000 people in the US and 2.5 million worldwide. More than 200 people are diagnosed with MS each week in the US. Causes of MS are still unknown; however, it is thought to be the result of a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors and the immune system. The symptoms of MS can greatly differ in individuals depending on the location of the affected nerve fibers. The more common signs include numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, double vision or vision loss, tingling or pain, dizziness, unsteady gate, lack of coordination, and fatigue. Current medical treatments for MS are limited. Chinese medicine offers great tools for alleviating and improving symptoms related to MS. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy along with a natural supplement therapy can help reduce inflammation and regulate immune response.
Benefits of Tai Chi for MS
Tai Chi is an ancient healing modality of Chinese Medicine. Its history roots back to more than 3000 years. Tai Chi is a self-healing practice incorporating gentle, restorative, strengthening, and meditative exercise. The therapeutic effects of Tai Chi have been shown in recent research : (1) improving balance, strength, cardiopulmonary functions, flexibility, coordination, proprioception, and mood (2) The research also supports the benefits of Tai Chi for improving MS related symptoms such as balance, coordination, fatigue, and depression (3) Most importantly, Tai Chi is a proven health promoting practice that allows us to bring the power of self-healing, self-awareness, and self-cultivation back in our own hands. This way we can thrive, be well and live a happy life with whatever health challenges we may have.
We thank Stacey Nonoguchi and The Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center of UCLA for making this collaboration happen!