Tai Chi May Yield Significant Health Benefits

The findings which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, included 77 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on Qigong or Tai Chi interventions published in peer-reviewed journals between 1993 and 2007. Taken together, there were 6,410 participants in the studies.

According to the researcher, there is strong evidence base for bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, physical function, balance, quality of life, fall prevention and psychological benefits all important for aging Americans notes Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.  Slome recently returned from a visit to China.

Qigong is a very general term to describe exercises that will enhance qi flow or balance.  Tai Chi is much more specific, focusing on a series of 24 to 108 movements that have a long written history over 19 generations.
The research showed that simplified routines that are more practical for RCTs are in fact quite effective in health enhancement.  Of the studies analyzed 27 considered psychological symptoms, 23 looked at falls and related risk factors, 19 looked at cardiopulmonary effects and 17 evaluated quality of life. Other included studies looked at bone density, physical function and immune function. Participants’ average age was 55, and for studies that looked at balance, 80 was the average age.

The researchers found quite consistent evidence of several benefits from this particular category of exercise.

Tai Chi and Qigong have many health benefits and therefore should be considered a high priority when one is selecting an exercise to practice, they noted.

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