MCC's next 'Experts & Insights' explores tai chi and stress

Can a series of simple movements improve everything from flexibility and strength to your balance, breathing, posture, and relaxation?

Learn how you can incorporate principles of tai chi to do all that and more at McHenry County College's latest "Experts & Insights."

The educational speaker series continues on Thursday, Aug. 18, with "Tai Chi for Health, Relaxation, and Fitness." It will begin at 6 p.m. in the college's Luecht Auditorium, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The session will be presented by health and fitness instructor Jim Blaz.

"I originally got involved with tai chi chuan to use as a tool in my work as a licensed occupational therapist," said Blaz. "In my practice, we treated several neurogenic diagnoses with these exercises and found they helped our patients drastically improve in multiple modalities of fitness. In the session, we'll talk about the history of tai chi chuan and its many benefits, but we'll also go through several movement sequences the audience can participate in and use at home."

Blaz has taught classes at MCC for more than 30 years and is a certified personal trainer, health and fitness instructor, strength and conditioning specialist, industrial ergonomist, weightlifting instructor, and occupational therapist. He holds a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois and a master's in physical education from Northern Illinois University. He also serves as the lead therapist and clinic director for PRES Therapy in Crystal Lake, on-site occupational therapist and fitness specialist for Stryker in Cary, and coach for True Lacrosse in Lombard.

The session is free and open to the public. Registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Interested participants can register and learn more at If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, please contact MCC's Access and Disability Services department at (815) 455-8766 or

The "Experts & Insights" series originally started in 2019 as an opportunity for the community to experience the high quality of education and expertise provided by MCC's faculty as they present topics in their fields of study.

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