Tai Chi Makes Life Less Painful for Fibromyalgia Patients
Shifus may have told us for years about the benefits of tai chi for people who experience the pain of fibromyalgia.
But what happens when the New England Journal of Medicine joins the party?
According to a report in The New York Times, fibromyalgia patients in a clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center in 2010 were found, after 12 weeks of tai chi, to rate better when measuring pain, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than other patients who were given stretching exercises and wellness education.
And the improvement continued three months later.
The New York Times defines fibromyalgia as
a syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression and anxiety.
What makes tai chi such an optimal choice for pain relief, fatigue, depression and other fibromyalgia symptoms? As an exercise, tai chi emphasizes flexibility, focused breathing and mental clarity. It can be dialed down to low impact or dialed up for a higher impact.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor, and consider finding a shifu to help you manage your symptoms.