EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A martial arts expert is using the ancient discipline of Tai chi to bring stress relief to some people who need it most, veterans.
On this week’s Veterans’ Voices we’ll meet a woman who’s helping a group of former soldiers, breathe and focus. Getting them back to who they used to be.
For one hour of the day, this intimate group of veterans gets the chance to get rid of the built-up stress they’re carrying. The woman leading the exercise is Madon Dailey.
The Tai chi instructor’s journey to teaching martial arts is a bit different. A few years ago she took her first class after wanting to improve her own health and for five years she taught Tai chi as a certified trainer, but she wanted to do more.
“In August of 2019, on a Facebook page, for Tai chi instructors, there was this little blip of a post that said, ‘Would you like to teach Tai chi full time and help veterans?’ I went, ‘yes, me, me’,” Dailey explained.
Dailey became an instructor with the Tai Chi Fit for Veterans Program, giving those who have served, their spouses, and caregivers a chance to have peace and health. For vets who can’t stand long, they can do it from a chair. The classes are free and are supported by the VA.
“It’s an opportunity for people to get out and be in the community,” said Lloyd Price, Veteran. “It also has, I think, some benefits for people. And also, there really is no talking to each other, but the comradery of being around other people rather than being at home by yourself all the time.”
Why tai chi? It’s a low-impact activity that focuses on teaching people how to concentrate, breathe and relieve stress, stress that could have come from the war or the traumas that happened after.
Dailey says one of her students credited the class with helping him cut back on prescription medications and go on hikes. He even got a part-time job he was proud of.
“It’s just exactly what I asked for in my prayers,” Dailey said.
Dailey by the way is 64 years old.