Tai Chi can help Parkinson’s disease

People with Parkinson’s disease often suffer from shaking limbs and stiff muscles, which makes moving increasingly difficult.

Now scientists have found practising an ancient Chinese martial art could help both their balance and ability to walk.

A team from the Oregon Research Institute assigned nearly 200 patients twice weekly sessions of 60 minutes each in either tai chi, resistance-training or stretching.

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Those who did the gentle martial art outperformed the stretching and resistance-training groups in tests of balance and length of stride when walking.

Those in the tai chi group also experienced fewer falls than the stretchers, and just as many falls as the resistance-trainers.

‘These results are clinically significant because they suggest that tai chi, a low-to-moderate impact exercise, may be used, as an add-on to current physical therapies, to address some of the key clinical problems in Parkinson’s disease’ said lead author Fuzhong Li.

‘The improvements in the balance and gait measures that we demonstrated highlight the potential of tai chi-based movements in rehabilitating patients with these types of problems.’ Read more:

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