Fear & Falls
Kids fall over all the time, only to get up and throw themselves right back into what they were doing before. But as we get older, falling over becomes a more significant and uncomfortable event. To the extent that in our older years the act of falling over becomes a significant event - 'a fall'.
A neurologist at the University of Rochester believes that some elderly people become so afraid of falling over that they develop a certain posture and walk to avoid it, he calls it the 'fear of falling' gait.
The mind is very powerful at manifesting what it imagines as an event in reality. In this case that very imagining is causing a fearful and uncertain walking stance all the more likely to lead to the feared event of a fall.
So great are the tremulous anticipations of a tumble that some older folk have even been misdiagnosed as having Parkinson's disease.
Now, doctors in the USA are being encouraged to ask older patients about recent falls before assuming a neurological problem and administering unnecessary medication.
Stable Solutions One culture renowned for it's graceful and stable elders is that of China, where Tai Chi is still practised by millions.
In groups of pensioners, here in the West, encouraged to learn some simple Tai Chi routines it increased confidence and flexibility after just a few weeks of practice.
Not only did learning Tai Chi help with balance and more relaxed walking, it also helped strengthen ankles and other joints and reduced some aches and pains too.
About the author:
Ananga Sivyer is a contributing editor and health consultant for LifeScape magazine and the author of the self-help workbook: The Art & Science of Emotional Freedom - http://www.emotionalfreedomforyou.com