Tag Archives: Aging

Healing Hands: Physical Therapy for function, mobility, and comfort

I  have discovered a unique, highly effective form of physical therapy that combines the best elements of personal training with muscular therapy. Valerie Ruccia Eagan has developed her own brand of physical therapy that uses hands-on techniques, core- strengthening, and flexibility-building exercises, as well as mind-body energetic work. Her method cuts to the root of physical pain and mobility problems to provide deep and lasting healing.

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Filed under Aging, chronic illness, Chronic Pain, Healing, Marfan Syndrome

Pat Robertson is Dead Wrong

My OpEd in today’s Chicago Tribune:

A person with Alzheimer’s is not “kind of” dead. Not by a long shot. And televangelist Pat Robertson should know better than to speak flippantly from a position of authority on a matter that is complicated, nuanced and deeply personal. Continue reading


Filed under Aging, chronic illness, mental health

Why I Like Tai Chi

The slow, flowing movements look like a dance, but it is what goes on inside the body that makes Tai chi different: During a class recently, I felt as if my body were getting hooked up to a universal “filling station” and being replenished with energy. The result? Better ease of movement, increased flexibility and a sense of peaceful well-being. I do a “short form” almost every morning that takes all of ten minutes, one of the helpful ways I have found to live with Marfan syndrome.

Tai chi originated thousands of years ago as part of the ancient system of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The movements have their origins in martial arts, but are performed slowly, with controlled breathing and an awareness of the flow of energy inside the body. Tai chi has been called “moving meditation.”

Studies have found that Tai chi strengthens the immune system and can help with pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. In other research, Tai chi has been found to improve balance and coordination in older people, and reduce falls. It can also help with osteoporisis by  increasing bone density.

All in all, not a bad ten-minute investment of time. Anyone else have Tai chi stories to share?

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Filed under Aging, Chronic Pain, Healing, Health, Marfan Syndrome, Tai Chi, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Aging is Inevitable…Or is It?

We do get older, of course, says Alexa Fleckenstein, M.D., but HOW we age, makes all the difference. Research on centenarians (people who live to be 100) tell us that while genes are important, what you DO with them is even more important. “You can get a bit stiffer and a bit fatter and a bit more stooped and a bit more depressed every day, or you can embark on an exciting journey into old age that makes you glow with health, sparkle with interest and explode with love,” says Dr. Fleckenstein in her book, “Healthy to 100: Aging with vigor and grace.”

Her advice is simple, not more difficult than doing 2-minutes of exercise every day, eating a bit more reasonably, staying involved with friends and community and finding something you love to do. She also gives advice about dealing with common complaints of aging, including chronic pain, digestive problems and joint stiffness.

So forget aabout hours at the gym, expensive spa vacations or face lifts. Take a look at the everyday, simple measures in this little book.

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Filed under Aging, Chronic Pain, Healing, Health