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Tai Chi| Physical Function

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:00pm

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A recent study showed that Tai Chi may reduce pain and improve disability in patients with arthritis but the poor methodological quality of the reviewed studies precluded decisions on effects for other types of musculoskeletal pain.

The following study was on a larger scale on older patients performing Tai Chi who seemed to have improvement in multiple measures.

This is related to initiation and maintenance of physical activity in older adults which improve physical functioning, mood, weight, and cardiovascular risk factors.

Meditative movement forms of PA, such as tai chi and qigong are holistic in nature and have increased in popularity over the past few decades.

The purpose of this report is to synthesize intervention studies targeting tai chi and qigong and identify the physical and psychological health outcomes shown to be associated with tai chi and qigong in community dwelling adults older than 55.

Based on specific inclusion criteria, 36 research reports with a total of 3,799 participants were included in this review. Five categories of study outcomes were identified, including falls and balance, physical function, cardiovascular disease, and psychological and additional disease-specific responses.

Significant improvement in clusters of similar outcomes indicated interventions utilizing tai chi and qigong may help older adults improve physical function and reduce blood pressure, fall risk, and depression and anxiety. Missing from the reviewed reports is a discussion of how spiritual exploration with meditative forms of physical activity, an important component of these movement activities, may contribute to successful aging. (Rogers CE, Larkey LK, Keller C: A review of clinical trials of tai chi and qigong in older adults. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 31(2):245-79, 2009).

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