Senior Circle Offering Classes, Programs

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Seniors who want to knit, crochet or create a new craft, exercise with passive movements or learn to deal with life stresses caused by fibromyalgia, can take ongoing classes available at Senior Circle.

"You just need a senior circle membership to join any of the classes," said volunteer Judi Harman. Annual membership costs $15 for an individual and $27 per couple.

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There are no aerobics in the exercises Judy Harman and Norma Martinez are doing in the passive exercise class, which is held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays at the Senior Circle.

Each Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. the ladies bring their current needlework, knitting or crocheting. Often, the items they make are donated to the Circle Gift Shoppe to raise money for Senior Circle.

"Every second Thursday we do a new craft," Harman said. During March's first craft class, participants will learn to antique a candle using eggshells. Participants need to bring a six-inch candle that is two to three inches in diameter. Later in the month, craft class participants will learn to make a note board using ribbon.

Local square dance group, the Zane Grey Twirlers, is offering an introductory program for novice dancers from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday evenings.

Harman also leads the passive movement exercise class from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday.

"I'm tired but in a good way," said Norma Martinez who has been in the class for two months.

Exercisers can stand or sit in a chair for the entire low impact, no aerobics workout. Participants can expect to do slow stretches and walk in place as part of the routine.

Exercise is one way fibromyalgia (FM) sufferers can control their pain.

FM is a chronic pain illness. Sufferers have musculoskeletal aches, pains and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances.

"Come and learn what is working for others," invited Carolyn Scott who has had FM for most of her life and now leads the support group.

Members talk about their experiences with doctors and therapists, medications and herbs, diet and exercise, and family dynamics at the group.

"FM is hard on a marriage," Scott said.

Pain often wakes up FM patients and the resulting sleep deprivation causes "fibro fog."

It takes a tolerant family and spouse to be understanding, Scott said.

The FM support group meets the second Friday of each month except for March when it will be on the 17.

A computer class is due to begin at 10 a.m. March 9.

The first class will focus on Internet and e-mail skills. Input from members on which computer related topics are most beneficial will be used to determine the syllabus.

Payson Regional Senior Circle is located at 215 N. Beeline Highway. It is sponsored by Payson Regional Medical Center.

The Circle Gift Shoppe is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday until 12:30 p.m. To RSVP or for more information, call (928) 474-9290.

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