ELLSWORTH — Healthy Acadia and Ellsworth Public Library are teaming up to help more community members discover the ancient martial art of tai chi. Introductory Tai Chi for Health workshops will be held on Fridays, April 7 and 14 from 10 to 11 a.m., in the Riverview Room at Ellsworth Public Library. The sessions are free, though donations are suggested and appreciated. Pre-registration is required.

Tai chi, also known as Taijiquan, is a traditional Chinese martial art that has been practiced for centuries. It is a form of low-impact exercise that combines slow, fluid movements, deep breathing, and mental focus. Tai chi is often referred to as a moving meditation because it emphasizes the integration of mind and body.  

Healthy Acadia Tai Chi for Health classes introduce gentle low-impact exercise routines that promote improved health through the integration of both mind and body. Regular practice of tai chi has been associated with numerous health benefits, including:

Improved balance and flexibility – Tai chi involves a series of slow, controlled movements that can help improve balance and flexibility. This can reduce the risk of falls in older adults and improve overall physical performance.

Reduced stress and anxiety – Tai chi has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels by promoting relaxation and mindfulness. It may also improve sleep quality and reduce symptoms of depression.

Lowered blood pressure – Regular tai chi practice has been associated with a reduction in blood pressure in people with hypertension. It may also improve blood lipid profiles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Improved immune function – Some research suggests that tai chi can boost the immune system by increasing the production of certain immune cells and reducing inflammation.

Pain relief – Tai chi has been shown to be effective in reducing chronic pain, particularly in people with arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Improved cognitive function – Regular tai chi practice has been associated with improved cognitive function in older adults, including better memory, attention, and executive function.

Overall, regular tai chi practice can improve physical and mental well-being and promote a sense of calm and relaxation for people of all ages and fitness levels.

To register for the April 7 or April 14 introductory lesson at Ellsworth Public Library, visit bit.ly/tai-chi-april.

Healthy Acadia has offered Tai Chi for Health classes since 2014, introducing hundreds of community members to the practice. While developed by the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) to bring health benefits as quickly as possible for specific health conditions, the classes are appropriate and beneficial for people of all ages and levels of physical ability.

Classes meet for one hour per week for eight weeks. While all classes are free, donations are suggested and appreciated. Pre-registration is required. Healthy Acadia offers a full roster of online and in-person classes, with the next round of sessions beginning this month. 

Visit bit.ly/ha-tai-chi to register for any of Healthy Acadia’s eight-week, Tai Chi for Health classes. Once your registration is complete, you will receive the login information (for online classes only) via the email address you provided.

For more information, please contact Nina Zeldin at 207-479-1206 or nina@healthyacadia.org.

Healthy Acadia is a 501c3 nonprofit community health organization working to build vibrant communities and make it easier for all people to lead healthy lives throughout Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. For more information about Healthy Acadia’s health initiatives, visit www.healthyacadia.org.