Research - Tai Chi / Qigong
Qigong Yi Jinjing Promotes Pulmonary Function, Physical Activity, Quality of Life and Emotion Regulation Self-Efficacy in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Pilot Study
Zhang Min, Xv Guihua, Luo Caifeng, Meng DiJuan, and Ji Yan.
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effect of a Chinese traditional exercise program,Qigong Yi Jinjing (QYJJ), on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: One hundred and thirty eligible COPD patients were randomly divided into three groups: the QYJJ group (n = 42), the self-management exercise group (n = 43), and the control group (n = 45). Data were collected and analyzed at baseline and again at one, three, and six months. A pulmonary rehabilitation index, consisting of pulmonary function, six-minute walk test, Regulatory Emotion Self-Efficacy questionnaire, and exercise of the COPD Assessment Test widely used to evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQL) in participants with COPD, was measured.
Results: Compared with the other groups, participants in QYJJ group had significantly better lung function (forced expiratory volume in one second: F = 8.96, p = 0.000; forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity: F = 11.55, p = 0.000; the percentage of forced expiratory volume in one second in prediction: F = 24.27,p = 0.000); walked a longer distance (F = 152.52, p = 0.000), and had more satisfactory HRQL (F = 14.08, p = 0.000). QYJJ training also contributed to improving the ability of emotion regulation (F = 36.56, p = 0.000). There were significant positive changes in expressing positive affect (F = 56.25, p = 0.000) and managing despondency/distress (F = 21.58, p = 0.000), apart from the ability to regulate anger/irritation (F = 1.20, p = 0.305). The longer QYJJ is practiced, the more effective the influence is on the pulmonary rehabilitation-related index measures.
Conclusions: These results indicate that QYJJ exercise produced positive effects on pulmonary function, physical activity, emotion regulation self-efficiency (modulating the expression of despondency or distress and experiencing and expressing positive affect), and HRQL in patients with COPD.
Source : Journal Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Link to Full Article via sci-hub
Acute Effects of T’ai Chi Chuan Exercise on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Peripheral Artery Disease Patients
Filipe Fernandes Oliveira Dantas, PhD,1 Fa´ bio da Silva Santana, BS,2 Thiago Souza Rosas da Silva, BS,2 Gabriel Grizzo Cucato, PhD,3 Breno Quintella Farah, MS,4,5 and Raphael Mendes Ritti-Dias, PhD3
Objective: To investigate the acute effect of a t’ai chi chuan session on blood pressure and heart rate in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Design: Randomized crossover intervention study.
Setting: Outpatient therapy center. Participants: Seven patients with PAD, aged 50–79 years, not using b-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, or nondihidropiridinic vasodilators. Intervention: T’ai chi chuan and control session (both sessions lasted 40 minutes).
Outcome measures: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate, which were evaluated before and after the intervention (10, 30, and 50 minutes).
Results: T’ai chi chuan exercise acutely decreased systolic blood pressure at 30 minutes after exercise ( p = 0.042) and increased diastolic blood pressure at 50 minutes after exercise ( p = 0.041). Heart rate did not change after t’ai chi chuan exercise.
Conclusion: T’ai chi chuan acutely decreases systolic blood pressure in patients with PAD.
Source : The Journal Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Link to Full Article
Tai Chi Chuan for the Primary Prevention of Stroke in Middle-Aged and Elderly Adults: A Systematic Review
Guohua Zheng,1 Maomao Huang,1 Feiwen Liu,1 Shuzhen Li,1 Jing Tao,1 andLidian Chen2
1College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 1 Huatuo Road, Shangjie University Town, Fuzhou 350108, China
2Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 1 Huatuo Road, Shangjie University Town, Fuzhou 350108, China
Background. Stroke is a major healthcare problem with serious long-term disability and is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Prevention of stroke is considered an important strategy.
Methods. Seven electronic databases were searched.
Results. 36 eligible studies with a total of 2393 participants were identified. Primary outcome measures, TCC exercise combined with other intervention had a significant effect on decreasing the incidence of nonfatal stroke (n=185, RR = 0.11, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.85, P=0.03) and CCD (n=125, RR = 0.33, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.96, P=0.04). For the risk factors of stroke, pooled analysis demonstrated that TCC exercise was associated with lower body weight, BMI, FBG level, and decreasing SBP, DBP, plasma TC, and LDL-C level regardless of the intervention period less than half a year or more than one year and significantly raised HDL-C level in comparison to nonintervention. Compared with other treatments, TCC intervention on the basis of the same other treatments in patients with chronic disease also showed the beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure.
Conclusion. The present systematic review indicates that TCC exercise is beneficially associated with the primary prevention of stroke in middle-aged and elderly adults by inversing the high risk factors of stroke.
Source : Journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Link to Full Article
The Effects of Tai Chi in Centrally Obese Adults with Depression Symptoms
Xin Liu,1,2,3 Luis Vitetta,1 Karam Kostner,1,4 David Crompton,1,5,6 Gail Williams,7 Wendy J. Brown,8 Alan Lopez,9 Charlie C. Xue,10 Tian P. Oei,11 Gerard Byrne,1,12 Jennifer H. Martin,1,13 and Harvey Whiteford7
This study examined the effects of Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body movement therapy, on severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in centrally obese people with elevated depression symptoms. In total, 213 participants were randomized to a 24-week Tai Chi intervention program or a wait-list control group. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks. Outcomes were severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, leg strength, central obesity, and other measures of metabolic symptom. There were statistically significant between-group differences in favor of the Tai Chi group in depression (mean difference = −5.6 units, P<0.001), anxiety (−2.3 units, P<0.01), and stress (−3.6 units, P<0.001) symptom scores and leg strength (1.1 units, P<0.001) at 12 weeks. These changes were further improved or maintained in the Tai Chi group relative to the control group during the second 12 weeks of follow-up. Tai Chi appears to be beneficial for reducing severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and leg strength in centrally obese people with depression symptoms. More studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the findings.
Source : Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Link to Full Article
Psychological, immunological and physiological effects of a Laughing Qigong Program (LQP) on adolescents
One objective of this study was to assess the effects of laughter on the psychological, immunological and physiological systems of the body. Another objective was to introduce the Laughing Qigong Program (LQP), as a method of standardization for simulated laughter interventions.
A randomized, prospective, experimental study of the LQP was conducted in a group of adolescents (n = 67) in Taiwan. During study-hall sessions, experimental subjects (n = 34) attended the LQP for eight-weeks. Simultaneously, control subjects (n = 33) read or did their homework. All subjects were tested before and after the intervention on the following: Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (RSE), Chinese Humor Scale (CHS) and Face Scale (FS) as psychological markers; saliva cortisol (CS) as an immunological marker; blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV) as physiological markers of the body's response to stress. Mood states (FS) were measured before/after each LQP session.
Mood states (p = .00) and humor (p = .004; p = .003) improved in the experimental group; no significant changes were found in the controls (p = 69; p = 60). The immunological marker of stress, cortisol levels, decreased significantly for those who participated in the LQP (p = .001), suggesting lower levels of stress after completion of the program.
The LQP is a non-pharmacological and cost-effective means to help adolescents mitigate stresses in their everyday life.
Source : Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Link to Full Article
Effect of Tai Chi Chuan on Balance in Women with Multiple Sclerosis
Elaheh Azimzadeh, MSc. in Medical Surgical Nursing, MohammadAli Hosseini, Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration (Associatet Prof) , Kian Nourozi, Ph.D. in Nursing (Assistant Prof) , Patricia Mary Davidson, Ph.D. RN (Professor of Cardiovascular & Chronic Care)
Objective To examine the effect of Tai Chi Chuan on balance in women with multiple sclerosis in Iran.
Design 36 women with multiple sclerosis who were members of the Iranian Multiple Sclerosis Society participated in this study. 18 participants were allocated to the intervention group and 18 allocated to the control group. The intervention consisted of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan exercise sessions twice a week for 12 weeks.
Main Outcome Measures This study used a demographic questionnaire and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) to collect data.
Results After 12 weeks, the mean score of the BBS in the intervention group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in comparison with baseline status.
Conclusions The results suggest that Tai Chi Chuan could be used as a safe complementary intervention to increase balance in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Source : Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practise
Link to Full Article
Balance Performance in Irradiated Survivors of Nasopharyngeal Cancer with and without Tai Chi Qigong Training
Shirley S. M. Fong,1 Louisa M. Y. Chung,2 William W. N. Tsang,3 Joyce C. Y. Leung,4 Caroline Y. C. Charm,4 W. S. Luk,5 Lina P. Y. Chow,2 and Shamay S. M. Ng3
1Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
2Department of Health and Physical Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong
3Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
4Division of Nursing and Health Studies, Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
5The Association of Licentiates of the Medical Council of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
This cross-sectional exploratory study aimed to compare the one-leg-stance time and the six-minute walk distance among TC Qigong-trained NPC survivors, untrained NPC survivors, and healthy individuals. Twenty-five survivors of NPC with TC Qigong experience, 27 survivors of NPC without TC Qigong experience, and 68 healthy individuals formed the NPC-TC Qigong group, NPC-control group, and healthy-control group, respectively. The one-leg-stance (OLS) timed test was conducted to assess the single-leg standing balance performance of the participants in four conditions: (1) standing on a stable surface with eyes open, (2) standing on a compliant surface with eyes open, (3) standing on a stable surface with eyes closed, and (4) standing on a compliant surface with eyes closed. The six-minute walk test (6MWT) was used to determine the functional balance performance of the participants. Results showed that the NPC-control group had a shorter OLS time in all of the visual and supporting surface conditions than the healthy control group . The OLS time of the TC Qigong-NPC group was comparable to that of the healthy control group in the somatosensory-challenging condition (condition 3) only. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the 6MWT distance among the three groups . TC Qigong may be a rehabilitation exercise that improves somatosensory function and OLS balance performance among survivors of NPC.
Source : Journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Link to full Study
Complementary and Alternative Approaches Relieve the Burden of Atrial Fibrillation
By Mark L. Fuerst
Newer nonpharmacologic treatment options for atrial fibrillation (AF), including advances in radiofrequency catheter ablation and AF surgery, have led to substantial improvements in the treatment of the disease. However, AF can still cause disabling and bothersome symptoms that adversely affect a patient’s quality of life. One way to help manage the disease and improve quality of life may be to add adjunctive complementary and alternative therapies, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, therapeutic hypnosis, or tai chi into routine care.
Evidence that yoga may be beneficial comes from a recent small cohort study showing that the regular practice of yoga improves symptoms, arrhythmia burden, heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and depression scores, and several domains of quality of life among patients with paroxysmal AF.1 Three months of yoga training reduced both symptomatic and asymptomatic AF episodes and improved quality-of-life parameters, including physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health. This is not the first study to test the effects of yoga in the management of cardiovascular disease, but it is the first one to evaluate the role of yoga in AF.
The authors propose several possible physiologic explanations for their findings: an increase in parasympathetic tone; enhanced balance between the 2 autonomic nervous system components; reduced systemic inflammation and oxidative stress; and decreased progression of arrhythmia by preventing or attenuating atrial remodeling. They also suggest patients benefit from the emotionally supportive atmosphere at yoga centers and the caring relationships formed there, as well as changes in diet and lifestyle modification often associated with yoga practice.
Previous research has evaluated other noninvasive strategies, such as meditation, which has been associated with a significant reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, or stroke in patients with documented coronary heart disease.2
Acupuncture has proven to be effective in decreasing AF recurrences after electrical cardioversion in persistent AF and also in reducing the burden of AF among patients with paroxysmal AF.3 In addition, therapeutic hypnosis can lead to a statistically significant lower incidence of AF after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.4
Many patients with AF also suffer from chronic heart failure. Researchers have shown that patients who completed 12 weeks of tai chi training demonstrated a significantly improved heart failure-related quality of life, greater exercise tolerance (walked farther on a 6-minute test), and had greater decreases in blood levels of B-type natriuretic protein when compared to a usual-care group.5 In a larger follow-up study, the investigators found tai chi led to clinically significant improvements in quality of life.
These researchers believe that tai chi is a safe, adaptable form of aerobic exercise, can reduce stress and improve psychological well-being, improves breathing efficiency, may improve the confidence to exercise and motivate healthy behavior, and is associated with higher levels of social support.5 Importantly, about 90% of the participants in the heart failure and tai chi studies regularly came to the classes and practiced tai chi at home as well, which suggests that tai chi can be safely incorporated into regular activities, even for patients with chronic heart disease.Other studies support including tai chi in the treatment of heart failure patients. A randomized controlled trial demonstrated that adding tai chi to endurance training for heart failure patients resulted in greater improvements in exercise tolerance (as assessed by the 6-minute walk test), systolic blood pressure, quality of life, and lower extremity strength, as compared to the control group.6
Although larger randomized controlled trials are needed to establish the relationship between adjunctive complementary and alternative therapies and AF, the current evidence suggests that these types of nonpharmacologic treatments may be safely incorporated into comprehensive management strategies for AF.
- Lakkireddy D, Atkins D, Pillarisetti J, et al. Effect of yoga on arrhythmia burden, anxiety, depression, and quality of life in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: The YOGA My Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Jan 25. [Epub ahead of print]
- Schneider RH, Grim CE, Rainforth MV, et al. Stress reduction in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: randomized, controlled trial of transcendental meditation and health education in blacks. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2012;5:750-758.
- Lombardi F, Belletti S, Battezzati PM, et al. Acupuncture for paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation: an effective non-pharmacological tool? World J Cardiol. 2012;4:60-65.
- Novoa R, Hammonds T. Clinical hypnosis for reduction of atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Cleve Clin J Med. 2008;75(suppl 2):S44-S47.
- Yeh GY, Wood MJ, Lorell BH, et al. Effects of tai chi mind-body movement therapy on functional status and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Med. 2004;117:541-548.
- Caminiti G, Volterrani M, Marazzi G, et al. Tai chi enhances the effects of endurance training in the rehabilitation of elderly patients with chronic heart failure. Rehabil Res Pract. 2011;2011:761958
Link to Source
Investigating short and long term transfer effects of a Taiji beginner course in participants ’
Agnes Maria Schitter, Brigitte Ausfeld-Hafter, Marko Nedeljkovic
University of Bern, Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
In recent years research investigating various health benefits of Taiji practice has markedly increased. Despite this growing scientific interest, essential questions such as to what extent a Taiji course may exert noticeable effects in participants’ everyday life, what these effects are, and how and where potential transfer effects occur, have hardly been considered. The aim of our study was to explore transfer effects from a Taiji course into participants’ daily lives.
We conducted a longitudinal observational study in 45 healthy participants at the end of their three-month Taiji beginner course (tp1) and at two months (tp2) as well as one year after course completion (tp3). Participants were asked to report their Taiji practice behavior at all time points, as well as to rate and describe perceived transfer effects of Taiji course contents on
their daily life at tp1 and tp3.
Transfer effects were reported by 91.1% of all respondents after course completion (tp1) and persisted in 73.3% at the one-year follow-up assessment (tp3), counting “increase of self-efficacy”, “improvement of stress management”, and “increase of body awareness” as the most frequently mentioned effects. Transfer effects predominantly occurred in participants’ work and social environments, as well as during everyday activities in public areas. While self-reliant Taiji practice frequency significantly decreased from 82.2% at tp1 to 55.6% at tp3 (P<0.001), the magnitude of self-reported transfer effects did not (P= 0.35). As explorative analyses revealed, regular Taiji course attendance was highly correlated with stronger transfer effects at tp1 (r= 0.51; P< 0.001) and tp3 (r= 0.35;P= 0.020). Participants reporting high self-reliant Taiji practice frequency at tp2 were likely to maintain a regular practice routine at tp3 (r= 0.42;P < 0.004), whereas self-reliant practice frequency and transfer effects at tp1 were positively
correlated with self-reliant practice frequency at tp3 on a trend level (r< 0.27; P> 0.08).
Our data underline the importance of regular course participation for pronounced and long lasting transfer effects into participants’ everyday life. We discuss that several context and process-related aspects of a Taiji intervention are potentially relevant factors
for enhancement of transfer effect
Source : JCIM
Link to Full Article
Effects of a Brief Qigong-based Stress Reduction Program (BQSRP) in a distressed Korean population: a randomized trial
Eun-Young Hwang1†, Sun-Yong Chung1†, Jae-Heung Cho2, Mi-Yeon Song2, Sehyun Kim3 and Jong-Woo Kim1*
1 Departments of Korean Neuropsychiatry, College of Korean Medicine and Institute of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Korean Rehabilitation, College of Korean Medicine and Institute of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
3 Graduate School of Dankook University Jukjeon Campus, 152 Jukjeon-ro, Suji-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 448-701, Republic of Korea
Background Distressed individuals in Korea may benefit from the practice of mind–body exercises such as Qigong. However, the effectiveness of such techniques needs to be investigated.
Methods Fifty participants who were eligible to this study were randomized into a group receiving a 4-week intervention of a brief Qigong-based stress reduction program (BQSRP) or a wait-list control group. Before and after the intervention period, saliva samples were collected and questionnaires were completed on perceived stress, anxiety, “Hwa-Byung” (anger syndrome), and quality of life. Salivary cortisol has emerged in mind-body therapy research as an easy-to-collect, relatively inexpensive, biologic marker of stress. Salivary corisol were collected to evaluate physiological effect of BQSRP. Between-group comparisons of change from baseline to study completion were analyzed by analysis of covariance for the Perceived Stress Scale and independent two sample t-tests for other measures.
Results Compared with the control group, the BQSRP intervention group displayed significantly larger decreases in Perceived Stress Scale scores (p = 0.0006), State Anxiety scores (p = 0.0028), Trait Anxiety scores (p < 0.0001), personality subscale scores of the Hwa-Byung Scale (p = 0.0321), symptoms scores of the Hwa-Byung Scale (p = 0.0196), and a significantly larger increase in World Health Organization Quality of Life Abbreviated version scores (ps < .05). Salivary cortisol levels were not changed.
Conclusions The BQSRP appears to be effective in reducing stress perception, anxiety, anger, and improving quality of life
Source : BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Link to Full Article
The Effect of Qigong on Menopausal Symptoms and Quality of Sleep for Perimenopausal Women:A Preliminary Observational Study
Shu-Chuan Jennifer Yeh, PhD, RN,1and Mei-Ying Chang, PhD, RN2
Objectives:The study objectives were to examine the effect of a 12-week 30-minute-a-day Ping Shuai Qigong exercise program on climacteric symptoms and sleep quality in perimenopausal women.
Design:This was a prospective observational study.
Settings/location:The subjects (N=70) from two communities were women aged 45 years and above who were experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Subjects:Thirty-five (35) women from one community were assigned to a Ping Shuai Qigong intervention group,while 35 women from the other community were assigned to the control group.
Interventions:This was a 12-week, 30-minute-a-day Ping Shuai Qigong program.
Outcome measures:The Greene Climacteric Symptom scale and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index were the outcome measures.
Methods:Descriptive analysis and repeated-measures analysis of variance were used.
Results:Pretest scores at baseline found no significant group differences in climacteric symptoms or sleep quality. Significant improvements in climacteric symptoms were found at 6 weeks and 12 weeks (t=4.07,p<0.001 and t=11.83,p<0.001) in the intervention group. They were also found to have significant improvements in sleep quality in those times (t=5.93,p<0.001 and t=10.58,p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusions:Ping Shuai Qigong improved climacteric symptoms and sleep quality in perimenopausal women a t6 weeks and 12 weeks. The longer a person practiced this form of meditative exercise, the greater the improvement in sleeping quality and climacteric symptoms
Source : Journal Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Link to Full Study
A Pilot Study of Qigong for Reducing Cocaine Craving Early in Recovery
David Smelson, PsyD,1,2 Kevin W. Chen, PhD, MPH,3 Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH,2 Ken Andes, MS, LAc,4 Amanda Lennox, BA,1,2 Lanora Callahan, MS,5 Stephanie Rodrigues, PhD,1,2 and David Eisenberg, MD6
1Center for Health, Quality, Outcomes & Economic Research, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA.
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.
3Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.
4Private Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice, Ramsey, NJ.
5Veterans Healthcare Administration, Lyons, NJ.
6Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
This pilot study examined the feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and determined the effect sizes of external qigong therapy (EQT) in reducing cue-elicited cocaine craving and associated symptoms among recently abstinent cocaine-dependent (CD) individuals.
This study randomized 101 CD subjects to either a real EQT (n=51) or sham EQT control (n=50) group. Subjects underwent a baseline assessment and a weekly cue-exposure session for 2 weeks. Total EQT or sham treatments ranged from 4 to 6 sessions in 2 weeks.
EQT-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes.
This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.
Source : The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 97-101. doi:10.1089/acm.2012.0052.
Link To Full Article
Tai Chi Exercise May Reduce Falls in Adult Stroke Survivors
Tai Chi may reduce falls among adult stroke survivors, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2013.
Compared to survivors receiving usual care or participating in a national fitness program for Medicare-eligible adults called SilverSneakers®, those practicing Tai Chi had the fewest falls.
Tai Chi is a martial art dating back to ancient China. It includes physical movements, mental concentration and relaxed breathing.
"Learning how to find and maintain your balance after a stroke is a challenge," said Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Ph.D., R.N., the study's principal investigator and assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing in Tucson, Ariz. "Tai Chi is effective in improving both static and dynamic balance, which is important to prevent falls. Tai Chi is readily available in most U.S. cities and is relatively inexpensive."
Stroke survivors experience seven times as many falls each year than healthy adults, Taylor-Piliae said. These falls can cause fractures, decrease mobility and increase fear of falling that can result in social isolation or dependence. Tai Chi has significantly reduced falls in healthy older adults.
Researchers recruited 89 stroke survivors -- most of whom had ischemic strokes -- for a randomized prospective study outside of a hospital setting. Participants were an average 70 years old, 46 percent were women and most Caucasian, college educated and living in the Tucson area, and suffered a stroke on average three years prior to beginning the study.
Among the participants, 30 practiced Tai Chi, 28 took part in usual care and 31 participated in SilverSneakers®. The Tai Chi and SilverSneakers® groups participated in a one-hour exercise class three times each week for 12 weeks. The usual care group received a weekly phone call and written material about participating in community-based physical activity.
During the 12-week trial, there were a total of 34 reported falls in participants' homes mainly from slipping or tripping: five falls in the Tai Chi group; 15 falls in the usual care group; and 14 falls in the Silver Sneakers group. Only four people sought medical treatment.
Yang-style Tai Chi, as practiced in the study, is the most popular of five styles used in the United States because of its emphasis on health benefits, both physical and psychosocial benefits, researchers said.
"The main physical benefits of Tai Chi are better balance, improved strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance," Taylor-Piliae said. "Psycho-social benefits include less depression, anxiety and stress, and better quality of life."
Source : Science Daily
Link to Source
Qigong Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy
Researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found qigong, an ancient mind-body practice, reduces depressive symptoms and improves quality of life in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.The study, published in the journal Cancer, is the first to examine qigong in patients actively receiving radiation therapy and include a follow-up period to assess benefits over time. Even though individual mind-body practices such as meditation and guided imagery appear to reduce aspects of distress and improve quality of life, questions remain about their effectiveness when conducted in conjunction with radiation therapy.
"We were also particularly interested to see if qigong would benefit patients experiencing depressive symptoms at the start of treatment," said Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson's Departments of General Oncology and Behavioral Science and director of the Integrative Medicine Program. "It is important for cancer patients to manage stress because it can have a profoundly negative effect on biological systems and inflammatory profiles."
For the trial, Cohen, the corresponding author, and his colleagues enrolled 96 women with stage 1-3 breast cancer from Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center in Shanghai, China. Forty-nine patients were randomized to a qigong group consisting of five 40-minute classes each week during their five-to-six week course of radiation therapy, while 47 women comprised a waitlist control group receiving the standard of care.
The program incorporated a modified version of Chinese medical qigong consisting of synchronizing one's breath with various exercises. As a practice, qigong dates back more than 4,000 years when it was used across Asia to support spiritual health and prevent disease.
Participants in both groups completed assessments at the beginning, middle and end of radiation therapy and then one and three months later. Different aspects of quality of life were measured including depressive symptoms, fatigue, sleep disturbances and overall quality of life.
Results show benefits emerged over time
Patients in the qigong group reported a steady decline in depressive symptom scores beginning at the end of radiation therapy with a mean score of 12.3, through the three month post-radiation follow-up with a score of 9.5. No changes were noted in the control group over time.
The study also found qigong was especially helpful for women reporting high baseline depressive symptoms, Cohen said.
"We examined women's depressive symptoms at the start of the study to see if women with higher levels would benefit more," Cohen said. "In fact, women with low levels of depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy had good quality of life throughout treatment and three months later regardless of whether they were in the qigong or control group. However, women with high depressive symptoms in the control group reported the worst levels of depressive symptoms, fatigue, and overall quality of life that were significantly improved for the women in the qigong group."
As the benefits of qigong were largely observed after treatment concluded, researchers suggest qigong may prevent a delayed symptom burden, or expedite the recovery process especially for women with elevated depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy.
Cohen notes the delayed effect could be explained by the cumulative nature of these modalities, as the benefits often take time to be realized.
Future research needed
The authors note several limitations to the study, including the absence of an active control group making it difficult to rule out whether or not the effects of qigong were influenced by a patient's expectations or simply being a light exercise. Additionally, the homogeneity of the group, Chinese women at a single site, limits the ability of applying the results to other populations.
According to the authors, the findings support other previously reported trials examining qigong benefits, but are too preliminary to offer clinical recommendations. Additional work is needed to understand the possible biological mechanisms involved and further explore the use of qigong in ethnically diverse populations with different forms of disease.
Source : Newswise
Link to Source
Tai Chi as an Alternative or Complementary Therapy for Patients With Depression : A Systematic Review
Manoj Sharma, MBBS, MCHES, PhD, FAAHB1 and Taj Haider, MPH2
Considering depression ranks high among the contributors to worldwide disease burden and conventional treatments have
severe limitations, Tai Chi, due to its holistic approach, is being explored as an alternative therapy. A systematic review was
conducted to determine the efficacy of Tai Chi as a treatment option for depression. Inclusion criteria included the following: (a)
studies published in the English language, (b) studies published between January 2007 and July 2012, (c) studies that included Tai
Chi as a therapy in an intervention, (d) studies that used any quantitative study design, and (e) studies that measured depression as an outcome. A total of 11 studies met these criteria. The efficacy of Tai Chi as an alternative and complementary treatment for
depression is mixed. Limitations of the reviewed interventions included a mixed usage of instruments, high dropout rates, low
sample sizes, and a lack of quality assessment tools for Tai Chi.
Although 63.6% of the studies (7 of 11) reported statistically significant reduction in depression at some point during the intervention, the multitude of scales enlisted, small sample sizes, the lack of a Tai Chi quality assessment tool, and the lack
of follow-up for the majority of the studies makes it difficult to draw conclusions regarding Tai Chi as a robust treatment for
depression.....The findings of the review indicate that Tai Chi can reduce depression, but the dosage modality and quality of the training to achieve statistically significant improvements is still not known
Source : Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2013 18: 43
Link to Full Article
Tai Chi Shown to Improve COPD Exercise Capacity
Tai Chi can be used as an effective form of exercise therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new findings.
The research, which was published online August 9, 2012 ahead of print in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that this form of exercise can improve exercise capacity and quality of life in people with COPD and may be as beneficial as pulmonary rehabilitation.
It is well known that moderate forms of exercise can help COPD patients to improve their exercise tolerance, symptoms of breathlessness and their overall quality of life. This new study aimed to investigate whether Sun-style Tai chi could be used as an effective form of exercise therapy.
This form of Tai Chi (Sun-style) has been shown to help people with chronic conditions such as arthritis and involves less difficult movements enabling people of all ages to perform this martial art.
Researchers from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, worked with 42 people with COPD. Half the group attended Tai Chi lessons twice a week, as well as performing Tai Chi at home, whereas the other half followed their usual medical management which did not include exercise.
Researchers tested the exercise capacity of all participants via a walking test and also asked all participants to complete the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire, which gives an indication of how the disease affects their quality of life. The exercise intensity of Tai Chi was measured in those participants who completed the Tai Chi training to assess whether it met the training requirements suggested for COPD patients.
Compared to the group completing the usual medical management, participants completing the Tai Chi exercise training could walk significantly longer in the walking test. They also had an increased score on the questionnaire, indicating a better quality of life.
The results also showed that the intensity of the Tai Chi was moderate, which met the recommendations for exercise training for people with COPD.
Lead author, Regina Wai Man Leung from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital, said: "With increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with COPD, it is important to provide different options for exercise that can be tailored to suit each individual. The results from this small sample provide compelling evidence that Tai Chi is an effective training programme for patients with COPD, and could be considered as an alternative to the usual exercise training programmes that are available in pulmonary rehabilitation."
Title: Short-form Sun-style Tai Chi as an exercise training modality in people with COPD Authors: Regina Leung, Zoe McKeough, Matthew Peters and Jennifer Alison DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00036912
Source : Science Daily
Link to Source
Tai Chi increases brain size, benefits cognition in randomized controlled trial of Chinese elderly
Scientists from the University of South Florida and Fudan University in Shanghai found increases in brain volume and improvements on tests of memory and thinking in Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week, reports an article published today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Findings were based on an 8-month randomized controlled trial comparing those who practiced Tai Chi to a group who received no intervention. The same trial showed increases in brain volume and more limited cognitive improvements in a group that participated in lively discussions three times per week over the same time period.
Previous trials have shown increases in brain volume in people who participated in aerobic exercise, and in one of these trials, an improvement in memory was seen. However, this was the first trial to show that a less aerobic form of exercise, Tai Chi, as well as stimulating discussion led to similar increases in brain volume and improvements on psychological tests of memory and thinking.
The group that did not participate in the interventions showed brain shrinkage over the same time period, consistent with what generally has been observed for persons in their 60s and 70s.
Numerous studies have shown that dementia and the syndrome of gradual cognitive deterioration that precedes it is associated with increasing shrinkage of the brain as nerve cells and their connections are gradually lost.
“The ability to reverse this trend with physical exercise and increased mental activity implies that it may be possible to delay the onset of dementia in older persons through interventions that have many physical and mental health benefits,” said lead author Dr. James Mortimer, professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.
Research suggests that aerobic exercise is associated with increased production of brain growth factors. It remains to be determined whether forms of exercise like Tai Chi that include an important mental exercise component could lead to similar changes in the production of these factors. “If this is shown, then it would provide strong support to the concept of “use it or lose it” and encourage seniors to stay actively involved both intellectually and physically,” Dr. Mortimer said.
One question raised by the research is whether sustained physical and mental exercise can contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common dementing illness.
“Epidemiologic studies have shown repeatedly that individuals who engage in more physical exercise or are more socially active have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Mortimer said. “The current findings suggest that this may be a result of growth and preservation of critical regions of the brain affected by this illness.”
Source : Intelligence Daily
Link to Source
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. Tai chi is a mind and body practice that originated in China as a martial art and is used by many people to improve health and well-being. There are many different styles of tai chi, but all involve slow, relaxed, gentle movements, each flowing into the next. Tai chi is sometimes referred to as “moving meditation”—the body is in constant motion, and practitioners focus on posture and deep breathing. This study builds on previous research that has shown that tai chi may be beneficial for people with cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors.
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital evaluated exercise capacity, quality of life, physical activity, and mood in 100 people with chronic heart failure. The participants were randomly assigned to either a tai chi group, in which members participated in 1-hour tai chi classes twice weekly for 12 weeks, or an education (control) group, in which members participated in classes about coping with heart failure for the same duration and frequency as the tai chi classes.
The researchers found that the participants in the tai chi group had clinically significant improvements in quality of life when compared with the education group. In addition, improvements in mood and an increase in daily activity were seen in the tai chi group participants. However, significant differences were not seen between the tai chi and exercise groups for two exercise capacity measurements—peak oxygen intake and performance on a walking test.
The researchers concluded that tai chi shows promise as a complement to standard medical care for people with chronic heart failure. Further research is needed to better understand how tai chi benefits people with cardiovascular disease, particularly looking at how certain elements of tai chi, including deep breathing and aerobic exercise, may contribute to symptom relief or symptom management.
References Yeh GY, McCarthy EP, Wayne PM, et al.. Tai chi exercise in patients with chronic heart failure: a randomized controlled trial.. Archives of Internal Medicine.. 2011; ;171(8):750–757..
Source : National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Link to Source