Maidstone Support Group

Contact: Margaret

Tel: 0300 999 5090

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Maidstone Support Group meetings are normally on the fourth Monday of each month at The Early Bird pub.  When the Monday is a bank holiday, the meetings will be held on the fourth Tuesday.  See below for upcoming meetings in Maidstone and surrounding area.

The Early Bird, Minor Centre, ME14 5TQ

11am - 1pm

RSVP: It helps us to prepare if we know you are coming - please email:

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Maidstone Support Group

Maidstone Group mtg report - April 2019

Tuesday 23 April 2019

We welcomed a new member to the group this month, another gentleman, who had been diagnosed recently with PMR, and we made use of our last meeting's subject of Tips for Beginners to give him some pointers.

We followed this with a Tai Chi lesson from a medal winning instructor who also judges competitions. She describes Tai Chi as meditation in motion or medicine in motion.

Although a Martial Arts discipline, Tai Chi is suitable for all ages. It helps with balance control and can possibly cut the risk of falls in later life. It would appear that there are many other benefits too... providing a cardio workout, increasing flexibility and coordination. The gentle movements, synchronised with breathing "from below the waist," results in deeper breaths which expand lung capacity introducing more oxygen into the bloodstream. More oxygen means less tiredness. Tai Chi can also enhance the digestion.

We were shown advanced exercises using a sabre, a gentleman's sword, and large fans which were flicked open with a vicious snap. Apparently the Emperor forbade weapons to be carried at court but the ladies of his household were known to secrete very thin sharp knives in their fans.... 

Next month's meeting is on Tuesday, 28th May

Maidstone Speaker meeting - March 2019

Monday 25th March 2019

Monday's meeting was composed of a talk by Pal, Margaret's pharmacist, and his trainee, who gave us a talk about PMR and GCA symptoms and the medications we should take to avoid a lot less pain in our lives!

We discovered that pharmacists are an underused source of knowledge and are vital to the future of the NHS. It's a profession that's developing by the day and training is ongoing, with pharmacists required to undergo at least 60 hours a year of continuing professional development.

Questions arose about coated versus uncoated steroid tablets... the uncoated variety are less kind to the stomach of course but they ARE cheaper... every penny counts in the NHS budget.

The subject of statins arose. Some people are opposed to statins and one member admitted that she takes plant sterols instead

Vitamin D was heavily endorsed by Pal, we need to get out in the sun with bare arms every day for at least ten minutes. Two local doctors have stated that nearly everyone suffers from a lack of Vitamin D in this country.

DEXA scans were mentioned as was Alendronic Acid. Some people can tolerate it but others find it is a problem, however Pal agreed that some sort of bone protection is needed by those on steroids. He stressed that dentists should be informed by patients who are taking such medication.

Dentist's should also be advised when we have a Zoledronic Acid infusion. As with Alendronic Acid any tooth extraction should be undertaken in a hospital

Unrelated to PMR/GCA, Dentists should also be informed if their patient has a pacemaker! It appears that certain dental equipment can send a pacemaker crazy.

Many thanks to Pal and his trainee for a very interesting session.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 23 April 2019.  There will be a talk and demonstration by a Tai Chi expert.

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