Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Good for Your Heart

Medical science continues to catch up with ancient Asian practices: doctors have begun to recognize the value of tai chi for patents diagnosed with heart failure.

In a National Institutes of Health study, Dr. Gloria Yu concluded, "Preliminary evidence suggests that meditative exercise may have benefits for patients with chronic systolic heart failure." She added,

Tai chi may represent an additional exercise option for patients with [heart failure] because it integrates multiple relevant processes, including mild to moderate aerobic activity, upper and lower extremity training, and core strengthening. In addition, it includes a meditative component that may enhance stress management, promoting important psychosocial benefits for those living with [heart failure].

Physicians continue to recognize the value of tai chi for many patients. Studies already have indentified the value of tai chi for people who have experienced strokes or COPD, need to improve bone strength and want to "boost brain power."

Tell me: what are some of the values you have found with this gentle, effective practice?

However, she immediately added, "This has not been rigorously tested in a large clinical sample. We sought to investigate whether tai chi, as an adjunct to standard care, improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with [heart failure]."

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