“I’ve had students who were pretty immobile to pretty athletic,” she said.
According to an article from www.insideeldercare. com, Tai Chi has many benefits for older individuals. These include relieving stress, reducing bone loss in menopausal women, improving lower body and leg strength, lowering blood pressure, helping with arthritis pain, improving hand-eye coordination, enhancing mental capacity and concentration, increasing energy, improving balance and stability, aiding faster recovery from strokes and heart attacks and improving
the conditions of those with Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
The repetition of proper stances, standing on one foot and distributing weight properly on the feet help improve the students’ core and helps many of their balance issues.
“To improve balance issues people have to stick with it,” Hicks said. “I see people give up pretty quickly, but if they can get past a certain hurdle they become more comfortable. As you get more comfortable doing Tai Chi it becomes more relaxing. That kind of comes later.”
Hicks’ time practicing, studying and teaching Tai Chi has also opened
up another area of interest in her life — gardening.
“The plants are kind of an offshoot of it,” she said. “I’m going for a Zen garden aspect. Hicks’ interest in pruning and bonsai grew out of Tai Chi. I really like bonsai plants — the shaping and the more Asian approach to gardening.”
Just as she plans to keep at her gardening for as long as possible, Hicks plans to keep practicing Tai Chi for as long as she can.
“It’s something I can do for the rest of my life as an exercise,” she said. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I enjoy exercising and moving, and it’s fun for me.”