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.
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:
Research into benefits of Tai Chi
Doctors in the United States analysed 47 studies looking at the impact that Tai Chi had on people with chronic health problems, like heart disease or MS. They found that it could improve balance, flexibility and even the health of their heart. They also said it reduced stress, falls, pain and anxiety.
Tai Chi which originated in China combines deep breathing with relaxation and postures that flow from one to another through slow movements. It promotes unity of mind and body and is often described as moving meditation.
The health aspects of Tai Chi
Practitioners say it can have a positive effect on people’s health, improving memory, concentration, digestion, balance and flexibility. They say it is also helpful for people with psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety or stress.Overall, these studies reported that long-term Tai Chi practice had favourable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in the elderly. But it also had benefits for people with serious conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Benefits were reported by the authors of these studies in cardiovascular and respiratory function in healthy subjects and in patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery as well as in patients with heart failure, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Now’s the time to see if Tai chi is for you! The free introductory sessions will be available at the beginning of May. More and more people are taking up Tai Chi as a way to relax and to find a better balance in there life. With it’s simple and flowing movements it’s a beautiful way to connect with yourself and to gently exercise your whole body. Tai Chi is suitable for everyone so make sure you bring your friends along. Classes will be on Monday at the Lam Rim 8pm-9.30pm and on Wednesday at the Bedminster Family Practice 10am-11am. If you have any questions about the classes and Tai Chi in general please email or call me.
Come and join us for Tai Chi at Prior Park this summer, the sun is out and it’s looking very beautiful. A perfect place to relax and practice Tai Chi. We started three weeks ago, unfortunately during those rain soaked weeks, but all has gone well. Thankfully we were able to practice on the beautiful bridge, crossing the lake, which offered some shelter. Now we’re down by the lake, with the ducks, birds and a very beautiful black cat, all living in perfect harmony. How beautiful is summer, when the sun is shining.
A lack of exercise is killing as many people as smoking !! check http://bbc.in/OS3rjR . Give us a call and see if Tai Chi is for you. Free taster sessions available in September.
Recent research says that Tai Chi makes your brain bigger improving memory and thinking, possibly delaying the onset of Alzheimers @Telegraph soc.li/qfj0Sph
Come and join us on Saturday for a day of celebration. There will be martial arts demonstrations all day as well as free taster classes. I’ll be doing a Yang Style Tai Chi demo at 3.15pm followed by a free taster session, so come and try out Tai Chi, see if it’s for you . Also for all keen friends and pros it would be lovely to have you all there, maybe i could even persuade some of you to do the demo with me. I’ll be doing the Short Form as well as the Sword.