FREE TAI CHI CLASSES AVAILABLE FOR ELDERLY WOMEN WITH LOW BONE MASS AS PART OF TEXAS TECH AND TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER RESEARCH PR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 12, 2005
CONTACT: Julie Toland, julie.toland@ttuhsc.edu


LUBBOCK – Women ages 65 to 85 with low bone mass are invited to participate in a free Tai Chi exercise program as part of a joint project by Texas Tech and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center researchers.

The study will focus on the effects of Tai Chi exercise on reducing the risk of falls in women with low bone mass, or osteoporosis. Tai Chi is a centuries-old form of exercise that utilizes smooth, gentle and flowing movements and requires no equipment.

“We have conducted several Tai Chi research studies that show this form of exercise can benefit health in many ways, including decreasing pain,” said Leslie Shen, Ph.D., one of the principal investigators and assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at the Health Sciences Center. “With this project, we hope to show how Tai Chi can help prevent falls in women with low bone mass.”

The project will include the use of a state-of-the-art Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory in the Health Sciences Center’s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences to monitor participants’ progress in gaining strength and stability.

The class will be taught by Ming Chyu, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Tai Chi instructor in the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences at Texas Tech. Chyu also is a principal investigator for the project.

The free classes will meet for 45 minutes three times a week for 24 weeks at the Hodges Community Center, 41st Street and University Avenue. For additional details and qualification criteria, contact Kimberly Bland at 743-4222, ext. 307.

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