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News and Articles Concerning T’ai Chi Ch’uan
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As we discover news concerning T'ai Chi in the media, we will post it here for your review.

Take a look at some of the new information surrounding T'ai Chi and Arthritis, Parkinson's Disease, and other pathologies related to aging. Within some write-ups you may find more hyperlinks that will take you to the actual articles available on the Web.
  • T'ai Chi and Fibromyalgia
    Tai chi results in similar or greater improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms when compared to aerobic exercise, according to a new study from Tufts and Brown Universities. In the study, 226 adults with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to either supervised exercise sessions or tai chi classes. Scores on a standard fibromyalgia symptom questionnaire improved in all groups, but tai chi had greater benefits than exercise when practiced with the same frequency and duration (twice weekly for 24 weeks). People assigned to tai chi attended more sessions than those assigned to exercise.
  • Tai Chi Fights Stress, Getting Popular With Millennials
    Tai chi instructors see increase in 20- and 30- somethings attending classes. Millennials say they use tai chi to counteract stress and find calm.
  • Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth
    Information about the safety and effectiveness of tai chi and qi gong for balance and stability, knee osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.
  • Medical Studies on T'ai Chi by National Institutes of Health
    Trial studies conducted on older adults relating to varicella-zoster virus (VZV), as well as systemic and cellular inflamation.
  • Tai Chi: Discover the Many Possible Health Benefits
    The ancient art of tai chi uses gentle flowing movements to reduce the stress of today's busy lifestyles and improve health. Find out how to get started.
  • T’ai Chi improves balance, lowers fall risk in PD patients
    Study published in New England Journal of Medicine showed that group with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's who practiced T'ai Chi did significantly better in tests of balance, control, walking, and other measures.
    The AP (2/9, Nano) reports, "The ancient Chinese exercise of tai chi improved balance and lowered the risk of falls in a study of people with Parkinson's disease (PD)." In the study, which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, "195 people with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's" went to "twice-weekly group classes of either tai chi or two other kinds of exercise -- stretching and resistance training." Investigators found that "after six months of classes, the tai chi group did significantly better than the stretching group in tests of balance, control, walking and other measures." The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
           
    Bloomberg News (2/9, Ostrow) reports, "Those in the tai chi group improved in how far they could shift their center of gravity without falling by 15 percent over the course of the study, while those in the resistance group improved six percent. Those who were in the stretching group had a four percent decline over the study period," according to researchers.
           
    Reuters (2/9, Emery) explains that three months after the end of the courses, those in the tai chi group had 60% and 69% fewer falls than patients in the resistance group and the stretching group, respectively. However, the leaning and shifting gravity score of those in the tai chi group decreased slightly.
            "Like resistance training, tai chi helped people walk more swiftly, get up from a chair more quickly, and increased leg strength,"
    WebMD (2/9, Goodman) points out. "It's not clear exactly why tai chi may offer an edge over more conventional kinds of exercise like resistance training, but researchers say they believe it probably has something to do with the mind-body connection that's encouraged throughout the poses." See also The Oregonian (2/9, Rojas-Burke) and HealthDay (2/9, Doheny).
  • Tai Chi May Aid in Arthritis Treatment
    In a review article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Tai Chi has demonstrated positive effects on chronic health conditions like multiple sclerosis and join problems.
  • Why T'ai Chi is the Perfect Exercise
    Especially for Seniors, the slow-motion martial art builds strength, agility, and best of all: balance.
  • Say Good-bye to Step Class?
    Scientific evidence is starting to prove that proponents are right to claim T'ai Chi reduces stress, increases strength, and contributes to overall well-being.
    Food & Fitness Advisor
    Cornell University Medical College
    The Center For Women's Healthcare
    Mind and Body

    Tai Chi

    Moving meditation for stress reduction and greater strength and balance.

    Tai Chi, the graceful martial art that has been practiced in China for centuries, is slowly gaining recognition in mainstream America. The exercise, traditionally practiced at dawn and dusk, involves moving through a set sequence of smooth, slow movements called forms. The 60 or so forms mimic the movements of animals, with evocative names like Grasp a Sparrow's Tail and Stork Spreading Its Wings. Proponents have long claimed that the meditative movement of Tai Chi reduces stress, increases strength, and contributes to overall well-being. Now, scientific evidence is starting to prove them right.

    Mental Equanimity

    Like meditation and massage therapy, it appears that Tai Chi can slow the heart rate, improve digestion, and circulation, and relax the mind and body. Often described as "moving meditation," practitioners say it creates the ideal environment for meditation because it requires intense concentration, deep an uniform breathing, and erect posture. In one Australian study, Tai Chi was found to be as effective as meditation and brisk walking - and more effective than reading- in reducing levels of stress hormones.

    Say good-bye to step class?

    Perhaps the most intriguing health benefit of Tai Chi focuses on high blood pressure. A small 12-week pilot study , presented at a 1998 American Heart Association conference, suggests that Tai Chi can lower blood pressure almost as well as brisk walking or low impact aerobics.
    Thought the experiment was only a pilot study, the results complement research presented at a meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, which showed that Tai Chi can be a form of aerobic exercise. Harvey Kurland, M.Sc., a California-based Exercise Physiologist and Tai Chi instructor, discovered that when people performed Tai Chi they expended about the same energy as walking three to four miles per hour. "Tai Chi is aerobic, it's just not high intensity." Says Kurland. "But for the average couch potato, or even a moderate (fitness level) exerciser, Tai Chi is going to do the trick."

    Strength, balance, flexibility

    The most well established medical benefit of Tai Chi comes from research on strength and balance in older adults. One notable study found that seniors who practice Tai Chi for 15 weeks reduced their risk of falling by 47.5%. In addition, participants gained confidence in their balance, minimizing their fear of falling.

    The director of the study, Steven Wolf, Ph.D., a professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says that the findings are relevant to younger women as well. "There are lots of reasons for premenopausal women to try Tai Chi." He says, "but here's one of the most compelling: 40% of women develop osteoporosis after menopause. If you do exercise that's slow and graceful and loads your bones when you're young, you can probably delay the onset of osteoporosis."

    In addition to its value in preventing falls and osteoporosis-related fractures, a recent study in the journal Geriatrics suggest that Tai Chi may help people with arthritis by strengthening the muscles around the joints and increasing range of motion and flexibility.