Medication in motion…

There’s no getting around it: I have lazy DNA. My mother and my aunt both agree that their side of the family has always been afflicted by an incredibly lazy gene pool — the expression “physical activity” sends shivers down our backs, we aren’t sports fanatics, we don’t run marathons or play tennis or soccer or even fly kites from a sitting position on the beach. Nope. We like to lounge around, eat bonbons, and read books or watch movies. Or play cards…

IMG_1811That said, in fact I’m quite active in my everyday life…or rather, I CAN BE very active, and I often force myself to swim upstream against,  uhm, the powerful and, in many ways, attractive lazy gene current. Stefano and I go off bird watching, e.g., and that often involves a great deal of physical activity, of course, up and down hills etc. Even taking care of six cats goes against my natural tendency toward laziness…something I occasionally think about while I lug around heavy bags of cat litter…

This was all a premise, of course…an unnecessary one, true…but it just came out of my typing fingers when I began writing this post, and I rather enjoyed writing the first two paragraphs, so…so there…I’m not deleting them. But let’s move on to what I originally set out to write about — my BIG news for the day…”medication in motion” (= taken from the Harvard Medical School link that you will find below):

Yesterday evening Stefano and I, together with our next door neighbor (a very nice woman with lower back pain almost certainly caused by her sedentary job), had our first tai chi (t’ai chi ch’uan) lesson. And we absolutely loved it loved it loved it. We loved the movements AND we loved our instructor…

On Wednesday we’re going to our first official qi gong lesson, too…

Now, I’ve done qi gong on my own, using DVDs, but I’ve never been to a lesson taught by an instructor standing, physically standing I mean, right in front of me. Years ago, when I first became interested in qi gong, I tried to find a class here in Florence, but in the end I gave up and just did it on my own, with DVDs.

But I’ve since realized that you really need that visual, physical “contact,” especially when you are a beginner. Yesterday, for example, the instructor walked among us, gently correcting our posture and movements. You don’t get that from a DVD. And it’s vital, at this stage.

Okay, for those who are interested, here is the link to a Harvard Medical School write-up on tai chi (it mentions qi gong, too): At the end of the article you will find a partial list of medical conditions for which tai chi seems to be very beneficial — don’t miss what it says about bone density!!! Yes, it is certainly a partial list…for example, looking for more information online just now, I came across a recent article dealing with the beneficial effects of tai chi on fibromyalgia (see, so who knows how long that Harvard Med School list might end up being…

At any rate, this is the beginning of a new, interesting health journey for Stefano and yours truly…a journey that should also help me say “hasta la vista, baby!!!” to my genetic, er, lazy bug… 😉


  1. Hi Margaret,
    strange coincidence: I will start my Tai Chi course this evening!
    To be honest I followed a course with the same teacher two years ago; then last year with a different one (closer site).
    Of course BMD can but be increased by Tai Chi. But I expect more from it: to make my body and immune system more balanced.
    Best wishes.

    1. Fantastico! Strange coincidence, indeed. 🙂 This evening I’m going to my first official qi gong lesson. Very exciting…If all goes well, I think I’ll take both classes (both are once a week). I want what you want, too. In bocca al lupo!

  2. I started doing tai chi a couple of years ago, and am FINALLY getting the hang of it. I have never been good at ‘body memory’ things. But now I am addicted! In the summer (in Toronto) we meet at a park which borders Lake Ontario, and it is so lovely doing those slow graceful motions outdoors.
    Then some of s head off to one of the local coffee emporiums for a latte!
    I don’t even care that it is physically healthy – just love doing it!

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