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Free Tai Chi classes added at Family First Adult Day Services

September 25, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Family First Adult Day Services, 4199 Kirk Road in Austintown, is hosting free tai chi and chair yoga classes for the community. The one-hour tai chi classes began on Sept. 17 and will run for 10 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday. Two class times are available, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The chair yoga classes are on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.

The tai chi classes differ from the toga classes. Instructor Shannon Lehn said the benefits are many.

"The program consists of a core eight-form routine with built-in exercise variations and a subroutine of eight integrated therapeutic activities, which, collectively, involve a set of simple, continuous, rhythmic, and functional tai chi-based actions," she said. "The sessions focus on stimulating participants' musculoskeletal and sensory systems via self-initiated movements, such as body weight shifting, unilateral weight-bearing trunk rotation, ankle sways, and coordinated eye-head, hand movements."

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Shannon Lehn leads a class in chair yoga at Family First Adult Day Services in Austintown. On Sept. 17 the facility began offer free tai chi classes as well.

Lehn said all age groups can benefit from tai chi, but the particular program being offered at Family First is moving for better balance, which is designed to improve strength, balance and physical functioning. She said tai chi can help those with diminishing physical abilities including those with Parkinson's disease.

"The focus of the program is tai chi, a nontraditional form of exercise, which is used to help participants improve postural stability, control of body positioning, gait initiation and locomotion, movement symmetry, and coordination; increase the range of motion around ankle joints; and build strength in lower extremities," Lehn said. "Tai chi also can be used to enhance mental health, improve sleep quality, and reduce blood pressure."

She said there is an advanced course called Tai Ji Quan that adds more balance exercises, but she would like to see people have at least two beginner sessions before attempting to advance.

Registration for the new tai chi classes is required by calling Family First Adult Day Services at 330-953-2704 or emailing

As to the course being free to the community, Lehn said it is something Family First Adult Day Care is committed to.

"Family First is committed to the health and wellness of our community, not only for our seniors in the area but for the general public as well," Lehn said. "This is also why Family First offers free services for a caregiver's adult loved one during the class so that they may attend. In short, Family First provides these free services."

Also, for those caring for adult loved ones who would like to attend the class, Family First offers free services during the class.



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