Darlene Corkett is a registered shiatsu therapist and acupuncturist. For 12 years she’s been in private practice near Craighurst. She has a number of clients in their senior years and she loves their spirit. As she said to me this week, “I haven’t heard one of them say they just can’t wait til they get to the nursing home!”
But health issues often take older people into long term care. Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, arthritis take their toll on a body.
With over 50% of Darlene’s patients exceeding age 55, Darlene is focussed on health, wellness and preventing the physical setbacks that rob a person from independent living. She started one of her clients on weight lifting program and was motivated by at her positive results.
“Because of the sheer numbers of older people, I thought if I taught each person weight lifting and core strenghening, I wouldn’t have time to work. But, if I did it in groups, the benefits reaped would be enormous.”
She put out the word and Dalston United Church put out the space. Over 100 people, mostly seniors, turned out to learn how to fight the affects of aging. She divided the interested folks into three groups on two different days and she started teaching her students about exercise, about core strengthening, about stretching.
Called the Bone Zone, Darlene’s exercise classes have been pared down to Tuesdays, three sessions about an hour each, to accommodate the 90 people who show up religiously. Ross Rodgers and his wife Joy are loyal participants in this group. They commented about how much they had learned from Darlene… nutrition, exercise, attitude shift that have changed the word “elderly” to “experienced.”
Ross says they regularly climb the eight floors of their apartment building, walk everywhere they can, and pay attention to fruits and vegetables.
“She’s taught us how to read the labels on food and what to select. Did you know it’s better for you to drink lukewarm or warm water than ice cold?” he asks. “Darlene taught us that warm water is absorbed by the body much more easily than cold water. And did you know that an apple in the evening aids digestion?”
Darlene smiles as she comments on the past three years and 90 students who are her die-hard exercise group. People have had positive bone density tests; in fact doctors have taken people off their medicines after repeated bone density tests.
Her oldest participant is 86 and her youngest is an osteoporosis sufferer at age 48. There are 30 in each of her three classes and each participant throws in a dollar or two per session, just to cover rent for the church.
No class fee? No. Darlene is doing this as her commitment to living well.
“It’s a day away from my businesses but it’s great exercise for my soul. I’m having a blast. These folks are amazing… it’s my way of giving back and they know they can have an accident and not hurt themselves.”
Darlene is inspired. Her participants are eager and healthy. And their Tuesday mornings have become precious.
Now, there’s a positive health benefit in our community! No long wait time. No OHIP fees. No recovery period!
For Bone Zone information