TAI CHI sessions are being piloted at a North Yorkshire care home to help residents with their mobility and stress levels.
The ancient Chinese martial art is now being practiced at Hazelgrove Care Home, on Randolph Street, in Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
Specialist sessions are being run for the elderly residents by facilitator Allison O’Neill, the owner of Saltburn based Guiding Light School of Holistic Education and Healing.
Called Rainbow Tai Chi, the sessions are based on the international Capacitar Multicultural Wellness Education programme, which originated in the USA.
Allison is piloting the therapeutic sessions at the home, which involves gentle, flowing movements to exercise the muscles without causing strain on the joints.
The NHS advises that tai chi can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.
Allison said: “I was looking for a care facility where I could pilot the therapy and was thrilled when Hazelgrove invited me to work with the people who reside at the home.
“I look forward to coming to every session as the residents are very welcoming and the energy is really warm and inviting. And we also laugh a lot.”
Resident Joyce Baxtrum, who has been taking part in the sessions, said: “We’re going to shower ourselves with light.”
Allison has also been running one-on-one reflexology and reiki therapy sessions with residents who struggle with mobility.
Sharon Lewis, activities coordinator at Hazelgrove Care Home, said: “We can see real benefits to the residents and their family members have also begun taking part.
“Residents overall well-being is enhanced from the gentle movement and the calming music.
“They enjoy visualising the movement of rainbow light and the whole therapy stimulates all their senses. Residents always look forward to the session.”