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Click here to see other articles about Garuda Tibetan Tai-Chi Studio.

The following articles and links contain valuable information on the many benefits of Tai Chi. If you have others, please contact us at webmaster@tibetantaichi.com

1. Knee1: Tai Chi Helps to Relieve Osteoarthritis Pain

2. (HealthDayNews) -- The ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi appears to improve balance, flexibility and cardiovascular health in people with such chronic health problems as heart failure, hypertension, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

So says a review article by researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston.

They analyzed 47 studies that examined the health effects of Tai Chi in patients with various chronic health conditions.

"Overall, these studies reported that long-term Tai Chi practice had favorable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elders," the authors write.

Cardiovascular and respiratory function improvements were noted in healthy people and those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery as well as people with heart failure, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

"Benefit was also found for balance, strength, and flexibility in older subjects; falls in frail elderly subjects; and pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects," the authors write.

They add the actual ways that Tai Chi provides these benefits are not well known.


The article appears in a recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The effectiveness of Tai Chi for chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions

1. June 2009 18:53

The results of a new analysis have provided good evidence to suggest that Tai Chi is beneficial for arthritis. Specifically, it was shown to decrease pain with trends towards improving overall physical health, level of tension and satisfaction with health status.

Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient and community and is recognized as an international health priority. Exercise therapy including such as strengthening, stretching and aerobic programs, have been shown to be effective for arthritic pain. Tai Chi, is a form of exercise that is regularly practiced in China to improve overall health and well-being. It is usually preformed in a group but is also practiced individually at one's leisure, which differs from traditional exercise therapy approaches used in the clinic.

Recently, a new study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi in decreasing pain and disability and improving physical function and quality of life in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The study is published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research. Led by Amanda Hall of The George Institute in Sydney, Australia, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. They analyzed seven eligible randomized controlled trials that used Tai Chi as the main intervention for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The results demonstrate that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in patients suffering arthritis.

The authors state, "The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis."

"It is of importance to note that the results reported in this systematic review are indicative of the effect of Tai Chi versus minimal intervention (usual health care or health education) or wait list control," the authors note. Establishing the specific effects of Tai Chi would require a placebo-controlled trial, which has not yet been undertaken.

Article: "The Effectiveness of Tai Chi for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis," Amanda Hall, Chris Maher, Jane Latimer, Manuela Ferreira, Arthritis Care & Research, June 2009.

http://www.interscience.wiley.com

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April 7, 2009 Vital Signs http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/health/07regi.html

Regimens: Tai Chi Shows Promise as a Stroke Therapy

Stroke patients who practice tai chi may improve their balance — reducing the risk of falls, researchers say.

Writing in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, the researchers reported improvement in volunteers after as little as six weeks of training. The lead author was Stephanie S. Y. Au-Yeung of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In earlier research, one of the article’s co-authors, Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan, found that tai chi improved balance among healthy elderly people. For this study, the researchers wanted to see if the same effect would occur among stroke patients.

They took 136 people who had a stroke six months or more earlier and divided them into two groups. Over 12 weeks, one group did general exercise, the other a modified version of tai chi.

The tai chi group met once a week for an hour, and were asked to practice at home about three hours a week.

While the exercise group showed little improvement in balance, the tai chi group made significant gains when they were tested on weight-shifting, reaching and how well they could maintain their stability on a platform that moved like a bus.

The benefit of tai chi, the researchers said, is that once the forms are mastered, they can be done without supervision.

Still, they said, some patients lapsed in their practice after the training was over. They might be more likely to continue, the study said, if tai chi were available at places like community centers.

 

This version was published on June 1, 2009
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Vol. 23, No. 5, 515-522 (2009)
DOI: 10.1177/1545968308326425

Short-form Tai Chi Improves Standing Balance of People With Chronic Stroke

Stephanie S. Y. Au-Yeung, PhD

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong China, rssay@inet.polyu .edu.hk

Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan, PhD

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong China

Jervis C. S. Tang, MSW

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong China

Background and Objective. Our previous findings showed that 4 weeks of intensive Tai Chi practice improved standing balance in healthy seniors. This study set out to investigate whether Tai Chi could improve standing balance in subjects with chronic stroke. Methods. One hundred thirty-six subjects >6 months after stroke were randomly assigned to a control group (n = 62) practicing general exercises or a Tai Chi group (n = 74) for 12 weeks of training. Each week, 1 hour of group practice was supplemented by 3 hours of self-practice. We used a short-form of Tai Chi consisting of 12 forms that require whole-body movements to be performed in a continuous sequence and demands concentration. A blinded assessor examined subjects at baseline, 6 weeks (mid-program), 12 weeks (end-program), and 18 weeks (follow-up). The 3 outcome measures were (1) dynamic standing balance evaluated by the center of gravity (COG) excursion during self-initiated body leaning in 4 directions, (2) standing equilibrium evaluated in sensory challenged conditions, and (3) functional mobility assessed by Timed-up-and-go score. Mixed model repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to examine between-group differences. Results. When compared with the controls, the Tai Chi group showed greater COG excursion amplitude in leaning forward, backward, and toward the affected and nonaffected sides (P < .05), as well as faster reaction time in moving the COG toward the nonaffected side (P = .014) in the end-program and follow-up assessments. The Tai Chi group also demonstrated better reliance on vestibular integration for balance control at end-program (P = .038). However, neither group improved significantly in Timed-up-and-go scores. Conclusions. Twelve weeks of short-form Tai Chi produced specific standing balance improvements in people with chronic stroke that outlasted training for 6 weeks.