01 May Children and Arthritis
Over the past weekend, I participated in a fundraiser called “William’s Walk.” The 4km walk is in memory of a little boy named William who suffered from JIA/Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Did you know that Juvenile Arthritis affects 1, in 1,000 children? For the past two years this walk has been held by William’s parents, and Arthritis NSW. I got involved because I was diagnosed with JRA in my knees when I was 6 years old, (back then it was called “Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis”), and I was inspired to help. I wanted to walk not only for William, but for myself, and to raise funds and awareness also. It was a beautiful day, with the walk taking place in sunny Sydney, from Bondi to Bronte, and back. I gather that the day was a huge success. It was so touching to see so many people involved, of all ages, raising awareness and walking for William.
When you have arthritis, you have a special awareness of your body, knowing what triggers flare-ups, when to rest, when to move. I have found that the weather also affects the joints and determines which kind of sensation/pain I’m going to experience that day. Listening to our bodies is very important, whether it’s arthritis, a headache, a cold etc… We must pay attention, and give our bodies the love and respect they deserve, after all, they do so much for us!
I listened to my body enough to know that tai chi was benefiting me. Having arthritis is what lead me to a tai chi class. This then lead to me train and learn more about tai chi, and then eventually began teaching it myself! I love that not only do the tai chi exercises benefit my students, they are healing for me as well. I’m grateful I can connect with my students on a personal level, as many do have arthritis.
Tai chi would also be especially great for kids with arthritis. I am available for one-on-one lessons for children with arthritis and their parents, as well as classes for adults! Click on the ‘Class Info’, then ‘Timetable’ section of the website for more info, or call on 0410 704 413. Tai chi is gentle, relaxing, builds strength in the muscles that support the joints, eases stiffness in joints, promotes deep breathing, improves flexibility and co-ordination, and calms the mind as well, which is also very important.
Besides tai chi, there are many alternative therapies for coping with arthritis; qi gong, meditation, nutrition based changes and vitamin supplements, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy etc… These are all good things!
Here is the link to an article on JIA – http://arthritisnsw.org.au/arthritis/kids-and-arthritis/about-jia-2/
Here is the link to ‘Arthritis NSW’ website – http://arthritisnsw.org.au/?gclid=CKXrnOG38bYCFcggpQodvHAAlg
Having arthritis is not always easy. However, I have always been determined to not let it get in the way of what I’ve wanted to do in life. Below is a photograph that I took while on the walk. Have a wonderful week!