Articles About the Health Benefits of Tai Chi Chuan
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Balance is an essential component
of successful movements associated with activities of daily living (e.g.,
walking, reaching, bending) as well as fall prevention, which is important
for stroke survivors. Tai Chi likely facilitates improvements in balance
through the development of proprioceptive awareness and kinesthetic sense.
Proprioceptive awareness and kinesthetic sense are reported to diminish
with age or following a stroke. Kinesthetic sense or the perception of
movement is mediated by the body's proprioceptive mechanisms enabling it
to receive stimuli from receptors originating in the muscles, tendons, and
joints, through which these movements can be adjusted accurately for
maintaining balance. Proprioceptive awareness and kinesthetic sense are
important for coordinated movements, body posture, and motor learning
(relearning), which are essential to stroke survivors for adequate
Elderly tired of spending restless nights should learn
Tai Chi for a good night's sleep, suggests a new study.
During the study, the team looked at 112 healthy adults between 59-86 years and randomly assigned to one of two groups for a 25-week period. The first group practiced 20 simple Tai Chi moves; the other participated in health education classes that included advice on stress management diet and sleep habits.
At the beginning of the study, participants were asked
to rate their sleep based on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a
self-rated questionnaire that assesses sleep quality, duration and
disturbances over a one-month time interval.
"Poor sleeping constitutes one of the most common difficulties facing older adults," said lead study author Dr. Michael Irwin, the Norman Cousins Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA Cousins Centre for Psychoneuroimmunology. Irwin noted that 58 percent of adults age 59 and older report having difficulty sleeping at least a few nights each week. However, sleep problems remain untreated in up to 85 percent of people. And for those who do seek help, the usual remedy is a sedative.
But sedatives can cause side effects, according to
Irwin. "It's not uncommon for older adults to experience daytime
confusion, drowsiness, falls and fractures, and adverse interactions with
other medications they may be taking," he said.
"It's a form of exercise virtually every elderly person can do, and this study provides more across-the-board evidence of its health benefits," said Irwin. The study will be published in the journal Sleep and is currently available in the journal's online edition.
The latest issue of Swiss medical journal Medicine
and Sport Science published a study about Tai Chi done by several
researchers from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
In this study, the researchers recruited women who completed treatment for
breast cancer and randomly assigned them to receive either Tai Chi or
psychosocial support therapy for 3 times a week over a 12-week period.
Tai Chi can help curb symptoms of
type 2 diabetes, say a pair of studies released by the British Journal of
Sports Medicine in April. In separate experiments conducted in Australia
and Taiwan, diabetes patients who performed tai chi for a few hours a week
over a three-month period showed significant health improvement compared
to control groups.
On April 8, 2008, U.S. News &
World Report published an article called "For Better Balance, Pilates and
Tai Chi Beat Yoga".
Tai Chi has been thought to improve cardiopulmonary function in patients
with chronic disease. A new study reveals Tai Chi can improve asthmatic
children's pulmonary function.
In this study conducted in Taiwan, 30 asthmatic children were enrolled,
with 15 of them participating in a 12-week Tai Chi program and the
remaining 15 constituting the control group. Prior to study participation,
the pulmonary function of all enrolled children was assessed in 3
parameters: at rest, after exercise, and after exercise plus iced water. A
3-day symptoms questionnaire was also completed and a score obtained after
each pulmonary function test.
Before the study started, there were no significant differences between
the two groups in baseline pulmonary function and severity of asthmatic
symptoms in the 3 assessment parameters: at rest, after exercise, or after
exercise plus iced water. However, after the 12-week program, children in
the Tai Chi group had a significant improvement in baseline pulmonary
function compared to the control group. In the first 2 parameters, at rest
and after exercise, there were no significant differences in post-training
symptom scores between the two groups. But in the third parameter, under
the stronger challenge of exercise plus iced water, children in the Tai
Chi group had milder symptoms than those in the control group.
Based on the above results, the researchers came to the conclusion that
Tai Chi can improve the pulmonary function of asthmatic children. However,
they caution that long-term follow-up is required to determine the impact
of Tai Chi on the severity of asthmatic symptoms.
This study is published by Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection in February 2008.
Tai Chi Can Improve Eye-hand Coordination of Elderly People
researchers from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital of Taiwan recently conducted
a study to evaluate the effect of motor control from Tai Chi on eye-hand
coordination in the older adults.
A Pilot Study Investigating Stress Management via Tai Chi Training
affect health. There is a growing need for the evaluation and application
of professional stress management options. Mind/body medicine serves this
goal by integrating self-care techniques into medicine and health care.
Tai Chi (TC) can be classified as such a mind/body technique, potentially
reducing stress and affecting physical as well as mental health
parameters, which, however, has to be examined further.
Tai Chi Training Safe and Effective for Patients with Moderate Heart Failure
In the November
issue of Postgraduate Medical Journal, a group of researchers from Royal
Hallamshire Hospital of UK reported a study they conducted to evaluate the
effect of Tai Chi on exercise tolerance in patients with moderate heart
Picking the Right Exercise Mode for Functional Fitness of Older Adults
fitness is a form of exercising that focuses on building a body capable of
doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just in the
settings of gym. Through functional exercise, you'll learn to train whole
body movements, not isolated muscles (as with typical machine-driven gym
workouts). Functional fitness has recently become a fitness buzzword.
Study Found Tai Chi and Other Therapies Good for Chronic Pain
A recent review
by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that some mind-body
therapies is effective for chronic pain management.
Tai Chi and Ankylosing Spondylitis
the name given to a group of chronic or long lasting diseases that are
forms of inflammatory arthritis. It primarily affects the spine, although
other joints and organs can become involved. Spondylitis, unlike many
other rheumatic (arthritic) conditions, affects young adults and commonly
begins before the age of 35. According to the Spondylitis Association of
America, prominent researchers have stated that AS affects at least 1 in
every 200 adults (approximately 0.5%), making it as common as rheumatoid
Start Doing Tai Chi Now, You May Be Better Protected from Flu in the Winter
A new study found traditional Chinese exercises may increase efficacy of
After Some Golfers Discovered Tai Chi...
society becoming more and more diversified and dynamic, we constantly see
the East meeting the West, taking many forms and showing in many ways.
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