Interactive program promotes healthy aging by improving physical and mental well-being.
To launch its new Health and Humanities programming for the campus and community, the University of Arizona Health Sciences is offering a free education and exercise series to promote better health and wellness for an aging population.
Co-hosted by the university's Arizona Arts division, “Aging and the Arts” will take place on eight successive Tuesdays, starting Jan. 12, streaming live from the Forum at the Health Sciences Innovation Building in Tucson. This is the first series to be featured as part of Health Sciences’ focus on health and the humanities that will explore the connections between health care, science, art, literature, music, philosophy and other cultural aspects of human society.
"Aging and the Arts" will demonstrate awareness through movement with mental and physical exercises from the Feldenkrais Method, led by Andrew Belser, certified Feldenkrais instructor and director of the School of Theatre, Film and Television at the College of Fine Arts.
Wellness through movement
The Feldenkrais Method uses small and methodical body movements to promote flexibility, coordination and overall wellness, Belser said. He will demonstrate all of the movements, which can easily be done at home.
Belser is a former high school and college distance runner who has been using the method for pain management since the 1980s. He completed a four-year certification to be an instructor in 2018.
“After looking for relief in many other practices and physical therapies, Feldenkrais was the only thing that alleviated my pain,” said Belser.
He’s since witnessed the many physical and mental benefits of paying closer attention to posture and movement, and the profound impact this self-awareness has had for clients and himself. “I sleep better, I think differently, I am sitting and typing this from a different position.”
Focus on aging
The “Aging and the Arts” series builds on Health Sciences’ commitment to humanities-focused programming to inspire the next-generation of health care leaders, practitioners and researchers to be holistic problem solvers who are able to form meaningful connections with patients. That commitment extends to health and humanities offerings for the community.
“Our goal is to provide unique and accessible programming that enables the public to participate in health-related education and research in an interactive and engaging setting,” said Julia White, assistant director of engagement and events for UArizona Health Sciences.
In addition to promoting the new series on campus, White will tap into community partners to promote the new series, including the Tucson Center for Aging, the Pima County Health Department, the YMCA and the Tucson Museum of Art.
“With our virtual ‘Aging and the Arts’ series dedicated to improving your health and quality of life, we can continue practicing physical distancing while remaining connected as a community and improving our collective wellness,” said White.