It was 8:15 am and the new Thursday friends were already arriving for another activity in the Santo Inácio Church hall, in the neighborhood of the same name. Both are the same age, 69 years old, share the same name, Maria, and are never late because the first activity of the meeting is sacred to them: the moment of prayer, and then they stretch and exercise with a musical track in the background.
Maria Cleusa Helff and Maria Teresinha Nunes start the morning praying and an hour later they return home, with body and mind, according to them, better than when they arrived. “Physical exercise is the remedy for the elderly”, summarizes Maria Helff. Started in February this year, Lian Gong’s Chinese therapeutic activity for residents of Bairro Santo Inácio, and referred to the Verena Basic Health Unit (UBS), serves around 35 users every Thursday, with one-hour meetings.
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Coordinated by a community health agent trained for the role, the activity is part of the Municipal Program of Integrative and Complementary Practices in Health (Pics), established by Mayor Helena Hermany by decree in April this year. The measure regulates the applicability of Pics permanently, in the health units of the municipality. This is the case of Lian Gong, where the two Marias do not miss going once a week. “My blood pressure stopped rising after I started here”, celebrates Helff.
This week, Mayor Helena Hermany and Deputy Mayor Elstor Desbessell went to talk to the participants and follow the activity. “Congratulations to you who take care of health. These meetings certainly serve to prevent possible health problems, because here you take care of the spirit, the body, not to mention the benefits that living with friends brings”, said the mayor.
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The Health Department has nine groups, covering about 200 people weekly. Pics offer, in addition to UBS Verena, Avenida and Farroupilha, plus the ESFs Arroio Grande, Ingo Ebert, Pinheiral, Senai and Faxinal, and the Municipal Center for the Elderly. At ESF Linha Santa Cruz, it will start next Friday, 16.
Other health units will have the activity
The Secretary of Health, Daniela Dumke, explains that Pics do not replace medical prescriptions. “These are integrative practices, and they do not replace the treatments prescribed by doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other professionals who care for patients. However, as the name implies, they are complementary, to help prevent and improve health,” she said.
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The coordinator of the municipal program, Fabiana Acosta de Andrade, said that there are plans to start activities in other health units. At the ESFs Bom Jesus and Gaspar Bartholomay, workshops on mental health, music with meditation, and Reiki will begin this month. At ESF Rauber, workshops on mental health will be offered with the making of therapeutic mandalas. They are also planned for Monte Alverne, at ESF Pedro Eggler, with no set date. And still this year, at the headquarters of the Pics Municipal Program, at Rua Tiradentes, 210, two Circular Dance groups will begin.
Also according to her, the goal for the next year is to train more professionals in Lian Gong, Tai Chi Chuan, Reiki and also in meditation and breathing practices. In 2023, qualification will be offered to professionals in auriculotherapy. It is a technique derived from acupuncture that applies pressure to specific points on the ear to treat and diagnose physical, mental and even emotional problems. The objective is to offer the therapy in all primary care units in Santa Cruz. More information about the Pics Municipal Program can be obtained by calling (51) 2109 9347.
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