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Tai Chi: What Works

Significant studies include the following:

 

  • One of the earliest studies, in 1982 by Dr. Lansheng Gong of the Shanghai Medical College, studied the electrocardiograms of one hundred tai chi practitioners and found benefits. However, he also noted that these beneficial effects did not seem attributable to the amount of physical exercise, and other mechanisms needed to be discovered.

 

  • During 1992, a study by Dr. Putai Jin of LaTrobe University in Australia indicated that tai chi improved heart rate and blood pressure as much as brisk walking.

 

  • Based on a 1992 study by Dr. Shuk-kuen Tse and Dr. Diana M. Bailey, tai chi helped improve balance among people who were largely sedentary.

 

  • From a 1995 study by Dr. Jin-shin Lai and associates, elderly tai chi practitioners showed significantly improved cardiorespiratory function, compared to sedentary subjects. However, another study found that tai chi conferred no significant changes in blood pressure or heart rate.

 

  • At Emory University, a study by Dr. Steven Wolf in 1996 found that elderly people in a tai chi training course reduced their risk of falling by 47.5 percent, compared to controls, who took a training course in balance.

 

  • In a 1996 study by Dr. Leslie Wolfson of the University of Connecticut, tai chi was compared to balance training, strength training, and combined balance and strength training in people with an average age of eighty. Those who learned tai chi gained significantly more balance and strength than the other groups.

 

 

 

 

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From THE BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier.

 

Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

 


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