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|Healthy Aging with a Little Help from Your Intergenerational Friends|
|News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Monday, 03 June 2013 09:59|
Eye-Brain-Body Therapy with a Partner Improves Balance for Seniors;
Nonprofit Founder Reviews Benefits
Two major areas connected to overall health that are too frequently overlooked, particularly for those aged 65 and older, are visual capability and social connectedness, says therapist and charity innovator Karen Peterson.
“Physical and mental attributes are intimately connected, and what many do not realize is that balance is 20 percent based in vision. There are multiple ways of testing this, but perhaps the most simple is to stand on one leg, and then try to do so with your eyes closed – when your eyes are closed, you vestibular system, which controls your body’s balance, begins to work overtime,” says Karen Peterson, a therapist with multiple certifications, and creator of the new book and video series, “Move With Balance: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body,” (www.MoveWithBalance.org). She’s also the founder and director of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization that grows and spreads programs that support senior health.
“Seniors of all ages – 55 to 105 – need to continually work on improving their balance, coordination, strength, vision and cognitive skills,” says Peterson, who has been teaching vision, brain and kinesiological modalities to children, businesspeople, athletes, classroom teachers and adults of all ages since 1987. “When they do, they’re less likely to fall and more able to enjoy life.”
In 2005, she expanded her program to focus on elders; specifically, to encourage active and younger seniors to buddy up with frail elder seniors for exercising eye-brain-body connections.
“Some folks reach a milestone age and recognize that they need to get active and, after only a short while, they actually feel younger. It’s these folks who we’ve encouraged to mentor other seniors who haven’t taken that step,” Peterson says.
“Members from different generations have partnered in training, and it’s an interesting learning experience for both parties.”
Peterson reviews the benefits of paring with a training buddy while practicing exercises that facilitate eye-brain-body cohesion:
Successfully executing of these exercises indicates good brain processing ability, which is necessary for cognitive skills and balance, Peterson says.
About Karen Peterson
Karen Peterson is founder and director of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of elders through intergenerational mentoring. She has multiple certifications, including as a educational kinesiologist, natural vision improvement instructor, Touch for Health instructor and a massage therapist. For 27 years, Peterson has been teaching these modalities to children, businesspeople, athletes, classroom teachers and adults of all ages and occupations.
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