In my last chat with my elderly neighbour (not the one in the photo) she told me of her recent debilitating panic attacks, anxiety & dizzy spells. Although very intelligent/rational, relatively very healthy, active and having the benefit of living in a beautiful natural environment, she still suffers from high blood pressure/is dependent on medication, and at times of stress, is susceptible to anxiety and panic attacks - which give her dizzy spells and put her at risk of falls. This only goes to show how important the role of the mind is in our health & the importance of “mindfulness”. That is, being more aware of, and ultimately controlling what we think about and how we think about something, which in turn effects how our bodies respond.
For the elderly, not only are they only coping with decreasing physical abilities, social isolation, but also for many, a fragile and dependent financial situation. A blowout of their finances (in this case a small kitchen renovation) can be the trigger for uncontrolled, worrying, anxiety/panic producing thoughts & dizziness. In my neighbour's case she reached for her medication; but if she regularly practiced the Tai Chi/Qiqong standing exercise I showed her months ago, I believe that she would have been much better placed to neutralize such anxiety-producing thoughts before she reached her state of high anxiety.
I showed her the standing exercise again and she once more could experience scratching the surface of a powerful tool that has the potential for self-medicated, deep relaxation and mindfulness. For you who have done even one lesson with me, or have had a decent teacher, I'd like to remind you that these Tai Chi exercises are free, require minimum mobility and space, no equipment, no great technical skill, make you feel great, and only require some “faith, effort & persistence.” Wouldn't it be great to grow old being balanced, happy, active, calm and more mindful of your anxiety? I fully expect to be like that when I become elderly – do some practice today.
Authour – Lee Chang Tye