Medical Studies


Health & Nutrition Letter  -  YOUR GUIDE TO LIVING HEALTHIER LONGER  Volume 17, Issue 10     December 1999, Volume 17, Number 10  FITNESS FORUM A No-Sweat Exercise with Multiple Benefits

Imagine participation in a fitness study turning out so enjoyable that the subjects decide to get together on their own to continue the activity once the research itself comes to an end.   That's what happened at the conclusion of a 15-week Tai Chi study conducted at Emory University in Atlanta several years ago.  Dozens of men and women in their 70's and older so enjoyed learning Tai Chi graceful movements that improve balance that they kept meeting by themselves.

The Emory University researchers were happy, too.  They found that those people who learned to perform Tai Chi were almost 50 percent less likely to suffer falls within a given time frame than subjects who simply received feedback from a computer screen on how much they swayed as they stood.   That's no small thing.  Each year, almost one in three people over 65 takes a fall.  And fall survivors suffer great declines in activities of daily living than non-fallers and are also at greater risk of institutionalization.But Tai Chi does more than help prevent falls.  Research suggests that it also improves heart and lung function; reduces the body's levels of cortisol (a stress hormone"; and improves confidence.  Now a new study, conducted at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, indicates that it can also lower systolic blood pressure, the first number in a blood pressure reading.

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This gentle form of exercise can prevent or ease many ills of aging and could be the perfect activity for the rest of your life.

Tai chi is often described as :meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion."  There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems.  And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.

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Tai Chi and Qi Gong Show Some Beneficial Health Effects

A review of scientific literature suggests that there is strong evidence of beneficial health effects of tai chi and qi gong, including for bone health, cardiopulmonary fitness, balance, and quality of life. Both tai chi and qi gong (also known as qigong) have origins in China and involve physical movement, mental focus, and deep breathing. Because of the apparent similarities between tai chi and qi gong, the researchers reviewed the literature on both practices together. The review was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion

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Tai Chi May Benefit People with Heart Failure

Tai chi exercise may improve quality of life, mood, and exercise self-efficacy (belief in one’s own abilities) in people with chronic heart failure, according to a 2011 study funded in part by NCCAM

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Tai Chi Shown to Improve COPD Exercise Capacity

ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2012) — Tai Chi can be used as an effective form of exercise therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new findings.

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