« What is the most important reason to study Tai Chi Chuan? » asked a student to Master Cheng Man Ching.
« The most important reason is that when you finally reach the place where you understand what life is about, you’ll have the health to enjoy it. »
Pour tout ce qui concerne la santé personnelle, voyez aussi ici.
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Tai-chi anti-chute S.E.N.S. 25/08 19h30
Le tai-chi réduit de moitié le risque pour les seniors de faire une chute. Plus d’un quart des Flamands âgés de plus de 65 ans vivant à leur domicile tombent au moins une fois par an. Un sur cinq garde des lésions graves, selon une enquête de l’Institut flamand pour la promotion de la santé (VIG). Le tai-chi permet d’exercer la force musculaire, l’équilibre, la coordination, la stabilité et indirectement la confiance en soi. Ce sport est ainsi très efficace pour éviter les chutes, selon le VIG.
[T’ai Chi] teaches inner strength while toning muscles, increasing flexibility, and boosting immune power. It is also said to reduce stress, store up energy, increase body awareness, and improve balance and coordination. T’ai Chi was the closely held secret of a few Chinese families for nearly 1,000 years… Men’s Health Magazine. 8 Mar/Apr ’93 p. 66-69
Relative to measurement beforehand, practice of T’ai Chi raised heart rate, increased non-adrenaline excretion in urine, and decreased salivary cortisol concentration. Relative to baseline levels, [Test Subjects] reported less tension, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion and state-anxiety; they felt more vigorous, and in general they had less total mood disturbance. (American Psychological Association) Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1989 Vol 33 (2) 197-206
Psychological homeostasis refers to emotional control or tranquillity. It has been stated that the biological function of human emotion and repression is primarily homeostatic. Evidence suggests that a feedback relationship exists between forms of homeostasis, and the body-mind type of therapies (including acupuncture and T’ai Chi) thus have a combined physiological, physical, and psychological effect. (American Psychological Association) American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1981 Spr Vol 9 (1) 1-14
A study conducted in China indicates that T’ai Chi may increase the number of T lymphocytes in the body. Also know as T-Cells, these lymphocytes help the immune system destroy bacteria and possibly even tumor cells Prevention Magazine V. 42, May 90, p.14-15
BREATHING, ACHES, BLOODPRESSURE:
…participants observed a « big increase in breathing capacity », a disappearance of backaches and neck aches, those with high blood pressure claimed a drop of 10 to 15 mm Hg systolic at rest, and all participants claimed to have more energy in their daily work. Hawaii Medical Journal – Vol 51 No. 8 August 92 BALANCE: A ten year study on aging through Harvard, Yale and Emory University determined not only that T’ai Chi was superior to more technological balance therapies, but that T’ai Chi reduced the risk of injury by falling by 48%. Complications from these injuries are the sixth leading cause of death in older Americans, and account for about $10 billion loss per year to the economy. USA Today, May 1996
MENTAL & PHYSICAL STRESS:
Mind & body exercises, such as … T’ai Chi … are increasingly replacing high-impact aerobics, long distance running and other body punishing exercises of the 1980’s …Mind/body workouts are kinder to the joints and muscles . . reduce the tension that often contributes to the development of disease, which makes them especially appropriate for high powered, stressed out baby boomers. Unlike most conventional exercises, these forms are intended to stretch, tone, an relax the whole body instead of isolating parts … based on a series of progressive choreographed movements coordinated with deep breathing. Working Woman Magazine V 20 Feb. 95 p. 60-62+
T’ai Chi, a traditional Chinese exercise, is a series of individual dance like movements linked together in a continuous, smooth-flowing sequence … An analysis of variance (ANOVA) demonstrated that in 3 of 5 tests, the T’ai Chi practitioners had significantly better postural control than the sedentary non practitioners. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1992 Apr Vol 46 (4) 295-300
BEYOND TRADITIONAL CARE:
Health practitioners encountering clients who are faced with problems that do not seem to respond to traditional health care … may employ some of the health traditions of other cultures and to view the body and mind as a balanced whole. Massage, acupuncture and T’ai Chi … focus on the mind/body connection to facilitate healing through relaxation, pressure points, and movement. AAOHN Journal, 1993 July, 41 (7) 349-351
Proponents claim that T’ai Chi can also (1) cure illnesses such as hypertension, asthma, and insomnia; (2) prevent arteriosclerosis and spinal deformity, and (3) shorten recovery phase from long-term illness. Results from a study by Chen Munyi (1963) with elderlyl T’ai Chi practitioners show that this group had RTs, strength, and flexibility superior to nonpractitioners. (American Psychological Association) American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1981 Spr Vol 9(1) 15-22 BALANCE: Institute of Chicago indicates that people with moderate balance problems can be helped by practicing T’ai Chi. Participants…of the 2 month course …experienced about a 10 percent improvement in balance. An Emory University study supports Hain’s findings. Prevention Magazine V. 46 Dec. 94 p. 71-72
No significant exacerbation of joint symptoms using this weight bearing system of exercises (Tai Chi) was observed. T’ai Chi exercises appear to be safe for RA patients…weight bearing exercises have the potential advantages of stimulating bone growth and strengthening connective tissue, … American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, June 1991, 70 (3) p. 136-141
SUPPORT GROUPS RECOMMENDING T’AI CHI: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FIBROMYALGIA PARKINSON’S DISEASE LUPUS MIGRAINES CHRONIC PAIN AIDS:
Proper exercise [for AIDS sufferers] is typified by T’ai Chi. Dr. Laurence E. Badgley, M.D. PSYCHOLOGY: « T’ai Chi is a natural and safe vehicle for both clients and staff to learn and experience the benefits of being able to channel, concentrate and co-ordinate their bodies and minds: to learn to relax and to « neutralize » rather than resist the stress in their personal lives. This is an ability which we greatly need to nurture in our modern fast-paced society. Dr. John Beaulieu, N.D., M.T.R.S. Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, N.Y.C. [Refer to the T’ai Chi book « The Supreme Ultimate » for full text]
TAI CHI & GESTALT THERAPY:
Discussion of T’ai Chi, a Chinese system of integrated exercises, as an effective adjunct to Gestalt Therapy. (American Psychological Association) Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 1978 Fall Vol 10 (1) 25-31
A holistic paradigm, T’ai Chi, is proposed as a theoretical basis for treating psychosomatic illness. (American Psychological Assn.) Journal of Black Psychology, 1980 Aug. Vol 7(1) 27-43
TAI CHI HELPS UNDERSTAND CHANGE:
Suggests the imagery of the T’ai Chi figure … can serve as a model for understanding the processes of change within psychotherapy. The T’ai Chi figure expresses the themes of unity and completeness, the dynamic of interplay and balance of opposite forces, and the cyclical nature of therapeutic change. (American Psychological Assn.) Psychologia, An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 1991 Mar Vol 34 (1) 18-27
According to T’ai Chi enthusiasts, the discipline can prevent many ailments, including high blood pressure, tuberculosis, and diabetes, and US scientists agree that T’ai Chi can offer some important fitness benefits, particularly for older adults. Modern Maturity, V. 35 June/July 92 p. 60-62
Conclusion: The data substantiate that practicing T’ai Chi regularly may delay the decline of cardio-respiratory function in older individuals. In addition, TC may be prescribed as a suitable aerobics exercise for older adults. Journal of American Geriatric Society, Nov. 1995, 43 (11) p 1222-1227 ISSN 0002-8614 Journal Code: H6V
[Former] Boston Celtic’s star Robert Parish, who, at age 39, is the oldest player in the NBA, credits the ancient martial art of T’ai Chi with his durability. Parish remains dominant in his 17th season in the league, and he has no plans to retire. He started all 79 games that he played last year for the Celtics, averaging 14.1 points, shooting 54 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line, and racking up a season total of 705 rebounds and 97 blocked shots. Inspired by his success, fellow Celtics players Reggie Lewis and Rick Fox have signed on with Li (Parish’s T’ai Chi instructor). Gentlemen’s Quarterly V. 62 Dec. 92, p 256-60 March 13, 1999
Effects of tai chi exercise on pain, balance, muscle strength, and perceived difficulties in physical functioning in older women with osteoarthritis:
a randomized clinical trial:
Song R, Lee EO, Lam P, Bae SC., Department of Nursing, Soonchunhyang University, Chon An, South Korea. J Rheumatol. 2003 Sep;30(9):2039-44.
OBJECTIVE: Twelve forms of Sun-style tai chi exercise have been developed specifically to reduce the symptoms and improve the physical functioning of arthritic patients, and this randomized study examined the changes in symptoms and physical characteristics in older women with osteoarthritis (OA) at the completion of a 12-week tai chi exercise program.
METHODS: Seventy-two patients with OA were randomly assigned into 2 groups. Due to a 41% overall dropout rate, 22 experimental subjects and 21 controls completed pre- and post-test measures over a 12 week interval. Outcome variables were physical symptoms and fitness, body mass index, cardiovascular functioning, and perceived difficulties in physical functioning. The independent t test was used to examine group differences.
RESULTS: The homogeneity test confirmed that there were no significant group differences in demographic data and pretest measures. Mean comparisons of the change scores revealed that the experimental group perceived significantly less pain (t = -2.19, p = 0.034) and stiffness (t = -2.13, p = 0.039) in their joints, and reported fewer perceived difficulties in physical functioning (t = -2.81, p = 0.008), while the control group showed no change or even deterioration in physical functioning after 12 weeks. In the physical fitness test, there were significant improvements in balance (t = 3.34, p = 0.002) and abdominal muscle strength (t = 2.74, p = 0.009) for the tai chi exercise group. No significant group differences were found in flexibility and upper-body or knee muscle strength in the post-test scores.
CONCLUSION: Older women with OA were able to safely perform the 12 forms of Sun-style tai chi exercise for 12 weeks, and this was effective in improving their arthritic symptoms, balance, and physical functioning. A longitudinal study with a larger sample size is now needed to confirm the potential use of tai chi exercise in arthritis management.
Improvement of isokinetic knee extensor strength and reduction of postural sway in the elderly from long-term Tai Chi exercise:
Wu G, Zhao F, Zhou X, Wei L. Department of Physical Therapy, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05401, USA. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Oct;83(10):1364-9.
OBJECTIVES: To compare isokinetic strength of leg muscles and foot center of pressure (COP) as a measure of sway between long-term Tai Chi practitioners and controls.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Community setting.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty subjects in the Tai Chi group and 19 subjects in the control group (age, >55 y).
INTERVENTION: Subjects in Tai Chi group had practiced Tai Chi for a minimum of 3 years.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Concentric and eccentric strength of knee extensors and flexors at 60 degrees/s and 120 degrees/s, and foot COP displacement during quiet stance with eyes open or closed.
RESULTS: People in the Tai Chi group had significantly higher knee extensor strength at all speeds tested (P<.013), and smaller foot COP excursions for both eyes open and eyes closed conditions (P<.05) than people in control group. No significant difference existed in knee flexors between the 2 groups (P<.713). The COP excursions correlated significantly with the eccentric strength of knee extensors (P<.07) but not with the concentric strength of knee extensors (P<.14) or with the isokinetic strength of knee flexors at most of the speeds (P<.27). CONCLUSION: These findings support the hypothesis that the maintenance of eccentric strength of postural muscles in the lower extremities, which is beneficial for maintaining good postural stability, is helped through the long-term practice of Tai Chi. Copyright 2002 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Tai Chi Chuan: an ancient wisdom on exercise and health promotion.
Lan C, Lai JS, Chen SY. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. Sports Med. 2002;32(4):217-24.
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a Chinese conditioning exercise and is well known for its slow and graceful movements. Recent investigations have found that TCC is beneficial to cardiorespiratory function, strength, balance, flexibility, microcirculation and psychological profile. The long-term practice of TCC can attenuate the age decline in physical function, and consequently it is a suitable exercise for the middle-aged and elderly individuals. TCC can be prescribed as an alternative exercise programme for selected patients with cardiovascular, orthopaedic, or neurological diseases, and can reduce the risk of falls in elderly individuals. The exercise intensity of TCC depends on training style, posture and duration. Participants can choose to perform a complete set of TCC or selected movements according to their needs. In conclusion, TCC has potential benefits in health promotion, and is appropriate for implementation in the community.
Tai Chi Chuan training to enhance microcirculatory function in healthy elderly men.
Wang JS, Lan C, Wong MK. Department of Physical Therapy, Chang Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Sep;82(9):1176-80.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate cutaneous microcirculatory function in geriatric Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practitioners.
DESIGN: Case-control study.
SETTING: Community setting.
PARTICIPANTS: Ten elderly male TCC practitioners (mean age, 69.9 +/- 1.5 yr) and 10 sedentary men with matched age and body size (mean age, 67.0 +/- 1.0 yr).
INTERVENTION: The TCC group had practiced TCC for 11.2 +/- 3.4 years (mean +/- standard error of the mean), with an exercise frequency of 5.1 +/- 1.8 times weekly. Each session included 20 minutes of warm-up, 24 minutes of TCC practice, and 10 minutes of cool down.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A graded exercise test with gas analysis was conducted on a bicycle ergometer for each subject. Skin blood flow (SkBF), cutaneous vascular conductance, and skin temperature were measured at rest and during exercise testing. Plasma nitric oxide metabolite was analyzed before and immediately after exercise.
RESULTS: The TCC group had a 34% higher VO(2)peak than the control group; it also had a higher SkBF, cutaneous vascular conductance, and skin temperature than the control group at rest and during exercise; and it also had a higher level of plasma nitric oxide metabolite than the sedentary group at rest and after exercise.
CONCLUSION: Older TCC practitioners had higher cutaneous microcirculatory function during exercise than did their sedentary counterparts. Moreover, this change may be partially mediated by enhancement of nitric oxide release.
Tai chi: physiological characteristics and beneficial effects on health.
Li JX, Hong Y, Chan KM. Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Br J Sports Med. 2001 Jun;35(3):148-56.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the characteristic effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) exercise on metabolism and cardiorespiratory response, and to measure its effect on cardiorespiratory function, mental control, immune capacity, and the prevention of falls in elderly people. DESIGN: A review of controlled experimental studies and clinical trials designed with one of two aims: either to assess physiological responses during the performance of TCC or to assess the impact of this exercise on general health and fitness. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Metabolic rate, heart rate, blood pressure, ventilation, maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2)MAX), immune capacity, falls, and fall related factors. SUBJECTS: A total of 2216 men and women. RESULTS: Under review were 31 original studies, published in Chinese or English journals, that met the criteria for inclusion. Most of the papers written in Chinese had not been introduced into the Western literature. Nine of these studies showed that TCC can be classified as moderate exercise, as its does not demand more than 55% of maximal oxygen intake. When this form of exercise and others conducted at equal intensity were compared, TCC showed a significantly lower ventilatory equivalent (VE/VO(2)MAX). Evidence provided by cross sectional and longitudinal studies suggests that TCC exercise has beneficial effects on cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal function, posture control capacity, and the reduction of falls experienced by the elderly. CONCLUSIONS: TCC is a moderate intensity exercise that is beneficial to cardiorespiratory function, immune capacity, mental control, flexibility, and balance control; it improves muscle strength and reduces the risk of falls in the elderly.
Coordination exercise and postural stability in elderly people: Effect of Tai Chi Chuan.
Wong AM, Lin YC, Chou SW, Tang FT, Wong PY.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 May;82(5):608-12.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of coordination exercise on postural stability in older individuals by Chinese shadow boxing, Tai Chi Chuan (TCC). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Research project in a hospital-based biomechanical laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: The TCC group (n = 25) had been practicing TCC regularly for 2 to 35 years. The control group (n = 14) included healthy and active older subjects. INTERVENTION: Static postural stability test: progressively harder sequential tests with 6 combinations of vision (eyes open, eyes closed, sway-referenced) and support (fixed, sway-referenced); and dynamic balance test: 3 tests of weight shifting (left to right, forward-backward, multidirectional) at 3 speeds. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Static and dynamic balance of Sensory Organization Testing (SOT) of the Smart Balance Master System. RESULTS: In static postural control, the results showed no differences between the TCC or control group in the more simple conditions, but in the more complicated SOT (eyes closed with sway surface, sway vision with sway surface), the TCC group had significantly better results than the control group. The TCC group also had significantly better results in the rhythmic forward-backward weight-shifting test. Duration of practice did not seem to affect the stability of elder people. CONCLUSION: The elderly people who regularly practiced TCC showed better postural stability in the more challenged conditions than those who do not (eg, the condition with simultaneous disturbance of vision and proprioception). TCC as a coordination exercise may reduce the risk of a fall through maintaining the ability of posture control.
Heart rate responses and oxygen consumption during Tai Chi Chuan practice.
Lan C, Chen SY, Lai JS, Wong MK.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei.Am J Chin Med. 2001;29(3-4):403-10.
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a popular Chinese conditioning exercise, however, its exercise intensity remains controversial. The objective of this study was to determine the exercise intensity of Yang TCC by measuring heart rate (HR) responses and oxygen consumption (VO2) during practice. Fifteen men aged 39.9 +/- 9.5 yrs (range 26-56 yrs) participated in this study. Subjects had practiced classical Yang TCC for 5.8 +/- 2.4 years. HR responses and VO2 were measured during practice of TCC by using a K4 telemetry system. Blood lactate was measured before and immediately after TCC practice. Additionally, breath-by-breath measurement of cardiorespiratory function and sequential determination of blood lactate were performed during the incremental exercise of leg cycling. Measurements obtained during the TCC practice and exercise testing were compared to determine the exercise intensity of TCC. While performing TCC, the mean HR of subjects was 140 +/- 10 bpm, and the mean VO2 was 21.4 +/- 1.5 mL x kg(-1) min(-1). Compared with the data of the exercise test, the HR during practice was 58% of the heart rate range. Meanwhile, the VO2 during TCC practice was 55% of the VO2peak. Additionally, the level of blood lactate immediately after TCC practice was 3.8 mM, which reflected the level of lactate during TCC, approximated the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). The results demonstrate that TCC is an exercise with moderate intensity, and is aerobic in nature.
Tai Chi Chuan to improve muscular strength and endurance in elderly individuals: a pilot study.
Lan C, Lai JS, Chen SY, Wong MK.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei.Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 May;81(5):604-7.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the training effect of a Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) program on knee extensor muscular strength and endurance in elderly individuals. DESIGN: Before-after trial. SETTING: Community setting. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-one community dwelling subjects aged 61.1 +/- 9.8 years undertook a TCC program. Nine dropped out during the study. Pretraining and posttraining measurements were obtained from 15 men and 17 women. INTERVENTION: Subjects participated in a 6-month TCC program. Each session consisted of 20 minutes of warm-up, 24 minutes of structured TCC training, and 10 minutes of cool-down exercises. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Peak torque of dominant and nondominant knee extensors was tested at speeds of 60 degrees , 180 degrees , and 240 degrees/sec concentrically and eccentrically. Muscular endurance of the knee extensor was tested at the speed of 180 degrees /sec. RESULTS: In the group of men, concentric knee extensor peak torque increased by 15.1% to 20.0% and eccentric peak torque increased by 15.1% to 23.7%. The group of women also showed increases, ranging from 13.5% to 21.8% in concentric peak torque, and 18.3% to 23.8% in eccentric peak torque. In addition, the knee extensor endurance ratio increased by 9.6% to 18.8% in the men and 10.1% to 14.6% in the women. CONCLUSION: TCC training may enhance muscular strength and endurance of knee extensors in elderly individuals.
Balance control, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory fitness among older Tai Chi practitioners.
Hong Y, Li JX, Robinson PD.
Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Br J Sports Med. 2000 Feb;34(1):29-34.
BACKGROUND: Tai Chi Chuan (TTC) exercise has beneficial effects on the components of physical condition and can produce a substantial reduction in the risk of multiple falls. Previous studies have shown that short term TCC exercise did not improve the scores in the single leg stance test with eyes closed and the sit and reach test. There has apparently been no research into the effects of TCC on total body rotation flexibility and heart rate responses at rest and after a three minute step test. METHODS: In this cross sectional study, 28 male TCC practitioners with an average age of 67.5 years old and 13.2 years of TCC exercise experience were recruited to form the TCC group. Another 30 sedentary men aged 66.2 were selected to serve as the control group. Measurements included resting heart rate, left and right single leg stance with eyes closed, modified sit and reach test, total body rotation test (left and right), and a three minute step test. RESULTS: Compared with the sedentary group, the TCC group had significantly better scores in resting heart rate, three minute step test heart rate, modified sit and reach, total body rotation test on both right and left side (p < 0.01), and both right and left leg standing with eyes closed (p < 0.05). According to the American Fitness Standards, the TCC group attained the 90th percentile rank for sit and reach and total body rotation test, right and left. CONCLUSION: Long term regular TCC exercise has favourable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness in older adults.
The effect of Tai Chi on cardiorespiratory function in patients with coronary artery bypass surgery.
Lan C, Chen SY, Lai JS, Wong MK.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 May;31(5):634-8.
PURPOSE: This study prospectively evaluated the training effect of a 1-yr Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) program for low-risk patients with coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) after a postoperative outpatient (phase II) cardiac rehabilitation program. METHODS: Twenty patients with mean age of 56.5+/-7.4 yr completed this study. The TCC group included nine men who practiced classical Yang TCC with an exercise intensity of 48-57% heart rate range (HRR). The control group included 11 men whom were recommended to do a home-based self-adjusted exercise program with similar intensity of phase II cardiac rehabilitation. Graded exercise tests were performed before and after 1 yr of training for all subjects. RESULTS: Mean attendance of the TCC group was 3.8+/-1.5 times weekly in contrast to 1.7+/-1.1 times for the control group. During the follow-up examination, the TCC group increased 10.3% in VO2peak (from 26.2+/-4.4 to 28.9+/-5.0 mL x kg(-1) min(-1), P<0.01) and increased 11.9% in peak work rate (from 135+/-26 W to 151+/-28 W, P<0.01). However, the control group showed slight decrease in VO2peak from 26.0+/-3.9 to 25.6+/-4.6 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1) and in peak work rate from 131+/-23 W to 128+/-32 W. At the ventilatory threshold, the TCC group also showed significant increase in VO2 and work rate (P<0.05). The control group did not significantly change in these variables. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that a 1-yr TCC program for low-risk patients with CABS could favorably enhance cardiorespiratory function.
The effect of T’ai Chi Chuan training on balance, kinesthetic sense, and strength.
Jacobson BH, Chen HC, Cashel C, Guerrero L.
School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078, USA. Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Feb;84(1):27-33.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of T’ ai Chi Chuan training on lateral stability, kinesthetic sense, and strength of voluntary knee extension. Subjects consisted of 24 naive volunteers (12 men and 12 women) between the ages of 20 and 45 years. Pre- and 12-week posttests included lateral body stability, kinesthetic sense in the glenohumeral joint for 30 degrees, 45 degrees, and 60 degrees, and strength of knee extension. After pretest data collection, 12 subjects performed T’ai Chi Chuan three times per week for 12 weeks, learning 108 forms of T’ai Chi Chuan. A 2 x 2 analysis of variance was used to estimate significance of group differences on all of the dependent variables. Significant group differences were found in lateral body stability, kinesthetic sense at 60 degrees, and strength of the dominant knee extensor. No significant differences between the T’ai Chi and the control group were found for kinesthetic sense at 30 degrees and 45 degrees rotation of the glenohumeral joint. Film analysis indicated that the two lesser angles were not as common in the T’ai Chi training as the greater angle (60 degrees) and thus may be less practiced. It appears that T’ai Chi Chuan presents a low-stress method to enhance stability, selected kinesthetic sense, and strength of knee extension.
Cardiorespiratory function, flexibility, and body composition among geriatric Tai Chi Chuan practitioners.
Lan C, Lai JS, Wong MK, Yu ML.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, R.O.C. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Jun;77(6):612-6.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the health-related fitness of geriatric Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practitioners. DESIGN: Case-control study of a TCC group and a group of sedentary controls. SETTING: Research project at a hospital-based exercise physiology laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-six community-dwelling senior persons (mean age 69.3 +/- 3.9 yr), a TCC group that included 22 men and 19 women and a control group of sedentary subjects that included 18 men and 17 women with matched age and body size. INTERVENTION: The TCC group had practiced TCC regularly for 11.8 +/- 5.6 years, with an exercise frequency of 4.3 +/- 1.3 times per week. Each session included 20 minutes of warm-up, 24 minutes of TCC training, and 10 minutes of cool-down. Exercise intensity was estimated to exceed 70% of maximal heart rate (HRmax). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Breath-by-breath measurement of cardiorespiratory function was obtained during the incremental exercise of leg cycling. Flexibility of thoracic/lumbar spine was measured by an electronic inclinometer. Percentages of body fat was calculated from biceps and subcapsular skinfolds. RESULTS: In the peak exercise, men in the TCC group showed 19% higher peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in comparison with their sedentary counterparts (26.9 +/- 4.7 mL/kg/min vs 21.8 +/- 3.1 mL/kg/min). Women in the TCC group also showed 18% higher VO2peak than in the sedentary group (20.1 +/- 2.9 mL/kg/ min vs 16.5 +/- 2.0 mL/kg/min). The TCC group also showed higher oxygen uptake at the ventilatory threshold. In addition, the TCC practitioners were characterized by greater flexibility and lower percentage of body fat in comparison with their sedentary counterparts. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that TCC training has benefits for health-related fitness, and it may be prescribed as a suitable conditioning exercise for the elderly.
Two-year trends in cardiorespiratory function among older Tai Chi Chuan practitioners and sedentary subjects.
Lai JS, Lan C, Wong MK, Teng SH.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Republic of China. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Nov;43(11):1222-7.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the training effects of Chinese shadow boxing, Tai Chi Chuan (TCC), on the maintenance of cardiorespiratory function in older individuals. DESIGN: Prospective study of a cohort of TCC practitioners and a group of sedentary controls examined 2 years after initial examination. SETTING: Research project at a hospital-based exercise physiology laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-four community-dwelling older adults (mean age: 64 +/- 9 years) with no significant cardiovascular, pulmonary, and musculoskeletal disease completed this study. The TCC group, 23 male and 22 female subjects, had been practicing TCC regularly for 6.7 +/- 3.3 years. The control group included 21 male and 18 female sedentary subjects with age and body size matched to the TCC group. INTERVENTION: During the period of the study, the TCC practitioners practiced TCC 5.0 +/- 1.1 times per week. Each session included 20 minutes of warm up, 24 minutes of TCC training, and 10 minutes of cool down. The baseline cardiorespiratory function was recorded in the initial exercise test. The same measurements were repeated 2 years later to determine the rate of decline of cardiorespiratory function. Furthermore, heart rates (HR) were monitored in 18 men and 16 women during the performance of TCC to determine the exercise intensity of TCC. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The study measured 2-year trends of cardiorespiratory function in both groups. RESULTS: In the TCC group, the males showed a 2.8% decrease in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) from 31.6 +/- 7.6 mL x kg-1 x min-1 to 30.7 +/- 7.1 mL x kg-1 x min-1; the females showed a 2.9% decrease in VO2 max from 20.7 +/- 2.3 mL x kg-1 x min-1 to 20.1 +/- 2.5 mL x kg-1 x min-1. In contrast, the male control group showed a 6.6% decrease in VO2max from 24.4 +/- 4.4 mL x kg-1 x min-1 to 22.8 +/- 4.4 mL x kg-1 x min-1; the females showed a 7.4% decrease in VO2max from 16.2 +/- 2.3 mL x kg-1 x min-1 to 15.0 +/- 2.7 mL x kg-1 x min-1. At the ventilatory threshold (VeT), the sedentary group also showed a significant decrease in VO2. During the steady-state performance of TCC, subjects’ mean HR was approximately the HR at the VeT (53-57% of HRmax reserve). CONCLUSION: The data substantiate that practicing Tai Chi Chuan regularly may delay the decline of cardiorespiratory function in older individuals. In addition, TCC may be prescribed as a suitable aerobic exercise for older adults.
Cardiorespiratory responses of Tai Chi Chuan practitioners and sedentary subjects during cycle ergometry.
Lai JS, Wong MK, Lan C, Chong CK, Lien IN.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, R.O.C. J Formos Med Assoc. 1993 Oct;92(10):894-9.
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC; shadow boxing) is a traditional Chinese conditioning exercise. To evaluate its beneficial effect on cardiorespiratory function, 21 male and 20 female TCC practitioners, ranging in age from 50 to 64 years, voluntarily participated in this study. The control group comprised 23 male and 26 female sedentary subjects. Breath-by-breath measurement of the cardiorespiratory function was obtained during the incremental exercise of leg cycling. At the maximal exercise level, the oxygen uptake (VO2), O2 pulse and work rate of the TCC group were significantly higher than the respective values of the control group (p < 0.01). At the ventilatory threshold, the TCC group also showed a higher VO2, O2 pulse and work rate (p < 0.05). The results imply that TCC training may be beneficial to the cardiorespiratory function of older individuals. To estimate the exercise intensity of TCC, heart rate (HR) was monitored in 15 men and 15 women while they performed the classical Yang TCC. During the steady-state performance of TCC, the mean HR was 130 +/- 14 bpm for men and 127 +/- 13 bpm for women. The mean HR during TCC exceeded 70% of their HRmax. Our data substantiate that TCC is aerobic exercise of moderate intensity, and it may be prescribed as a suitable conditioning exercise for the elderly.
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
What is the evidence? Researchers have focused on studying the benefits of relaxation and exercise that result from practicing tai chi. Clinical trials suggest that tai chi improves posture, balance, flexibility, muscle mass and tone, stamina, and strength in older adults and may help prevent falls and fractures. A recent randomized clinical trial of people over age 69 compared tai chi to a stretching exercise class. After 6 months, the tai chi group had better balance and fewer falls than the stretching group. . . . benefits have also been noted for older people with chronic diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and peripheral artery disease. Research has found that tai chi can reduce stress and provide the same cardiovascular benefits as moderate exercise, such as reduced heart rate and blood pressure. In one randomized study, older adults with sleep problems who practiced tai chi were able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than those who did low impact aerobics. . . . Though there is no scientific evidence that tai chi cures cancer or any other disease, it may be useful as a complementary therapy to conventional treatment. . . . http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_ 3X_Tai_Chi.asp?sitearea=ETO
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER
Tai chi improves overall fitness, coordination, and agility. People who practice tai chi on a regular basis tend to have good posture, flexibility, and range of motion, are more mentally alert, and sleep more soundly at night. . . . Tai chi is both a preventive and a complementary therapy for a wide range of conditions. Specifically, it is beneficial for chronic pain, gout, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, headaches, and sleep disorders. Tai chi is also beneficial for the immune system and the central nervous system, which makes it especially good for people with a chronic illness, anxiety, depression, or any stress-related conditions. The deep breathing of tai chi regulates the respiratory system, helping to treat respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. It also stimulates the abdomen, which aids digestion and helps relieve constipation and gastrointestinal conditions. Many studies indicate that elderly people who practice tai chi are much less prone to falls, a serious health risk to people in that age group. . . . http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsModalities/TaiChicm .html
Constant stress can increase your cholesterol, suppress your immune system and make your stomach ache. Why not avoid it altogether? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. . . . If you have persistent trouble relaxing, consider taking up meditation or studying yoga or tai chi, Eastern disciplines said to focus your mind, calm your anxieties and release your physical tension. Therapeutic massage may also loosen taut muscles and calm frazzled nerves. . . . http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001
22, May, 2006
MS is not hereditary, although there is a much greater chance of developing it if there is family link. In my case, the doctors thought it resulted because of a slow-acting virus. . . . I have taken the exercise bike out of the wardrobe and use weights to try to rebuild my legs and arms which had succumbed to muscle wastage. I have also taken up the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi, which helps tremendously with my balance. . . . Scotland has the highest rate of MS in the world. About 10,500 Scots – one in 500 of the population – have MS.
SLEEP DISORDERS CAN BE TREATED WITH TAI CHI
TAI CHI PROVIDES SAME CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS AS AEROBIC EXERCISE, WITH LESS HEART RATE ELEVATION:
Each group consisted of 31 participants, most of whom (93 percent) had a body mass index of more than 25. Ninety-seven percent of participants completed the study and the follow-up visits. Both groups showed significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. Most of the decreases in blood pressure occurred during the initial stages of the intervention, but less marked decreases continued to occur over the course of the 12-week study. Average heart rate during the exercise activity for the aerobic exercise group was 112 beats per minute, compared with 75 beats per minute for those in the t’ai chi group.
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