Arthritis patients may gain physical and emotional relief from the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi, finds a new study, the largest of its kind.
Patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia felt better and moved more easily after taking twice-weekly classes in Tai Chi, a system of meditative exercise, researchers found.
“It reduced pain, stiffness and fatigue, and improved their balance,” said study lead author Leigh F. Callahan, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
Smaller studies have also linked Tai Chi to similar benefits for people with arthritis, but colleagues had questioned the applicability of the findings to a larger population.
In this study, in addition to evidence of mild to moderate relief from Tai Chi, participants reported gaining a better sense of physical stability,