|World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
collaborates in historic strategy event
to spread Tai Chi & Qigong
in a massive way to seniors worldwide
Like to view some
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Co-Founder, Angela Wong Douglas
Acclaimed Qigong author, and prior NQA President, Roger Jahnke
Bill Douglas, World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Founder
Tai Chi & Qigong experts, researchers, national directors of aging programs
Jim Firman, President of National Council on the Aging
National Qigong Association President, Michael Demolina
"If we expanded Tai Chi and Qigong into senior centers, senior care facilities, etc. worldwide, it would
save the world hundreds of billions in of dollars in save health costs. The medical research already proves
this. Tai Chi & Qigong in senior care should be a high priority for all senior related government agencies
and NGO institutions."
-- Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
If you currently learn or teach Tai Chi or Qigong through a senior center or local YMCA, you may not be aware
that this did not happen all by itself. WorldTaiChiDay.org and World Tai Chi & Qigong Day played a role in it,
at a world altering event organized by a brilliant advocate of the internal arts, Roger Jahnke.
In November, 2005 World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day met with nearly 20 Tai Chi masters and teachers, medical researchers and national
administrators such as the National Council for the Aging and YMCA's of America, to explore ways to catapult Tai Chi and Qigong into
the mainstream of America within the next two to five years. The goal is to jump from the 1% or 2% of the population now estimated to
be using and benefitting from Tai Chi & Qigong practice to at least 25% of the US population.
This historic event came together due to the efforts of acclaimed Qigong author and former NQA President, Roger Jahnke.
Details from this national strategy session will be available to anyone and everyone, with no restrictions on use or reprinting of the program.
The initial release of the findings of this meeting will be released at the end of December 2005, and will be made available through
www.worldtaichiday.org to Tai Chi & Qigong groups and teachers worldwide in the hopes that similar efforts will be begun in other nations
worldwide as this pioneering US effort unfolds.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's focus at this expert meeting and national program development was to encourage the mass
distribution of Tai Chi & Qigong nationally, in a way that would recognize and support the value of Tai Chi & Qigong teachers
and masters now teaching across the nation. The national plan being developed is designed, not to replace existing teachers and masters,
but to rather interest millions more in Tai Chi & Qigong with mass introductory "tastes" of Tai Chi & Qigong. This effort will create
abundance and recognition for long time teachers as millions who are now ignorant of Tai Chi & Qigong will be exposed to it through this
national program, and many of whom will seek more indepth instruction after being introduced to Tai Chi & Qigong by national programs.
ORGANIZATIONS that Event Attendees Represented Included:
- National Council on the Aging
- World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
- Oregon Health Institute
- National Qigong Association
- Active for Life
- University of Arizona, Cancer Center
- University of California (Irvine)
- Purdue University
- Beth Israel Medical Center
- Qigong Institute
- Senior Services Seattle
- YMCA of the USA
- Partners in Care Foundation
Angela Wong Douglas, Co-Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, contributes at brainstorming session with
National Council on the Aging, other regional and national senior program directors, and researchers. (Upper right in blue shirt)
Roger Jahnke, former President of the National Qigong Association and noted researcher and author, was
a key reason this historic conference came into being (right side of photo in red sweater).
Jim Firman, President of the National Council on the Aging, speaks at roundtable discussions to expand
Tai Chi & Qigong use massively in the next five years. (Lower left in brown/burgandy shirt)
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Founder, Bill Douglas, at roundtable at University of Illinois with national senior
program directors and researchers on expanding Tai Chi & Qigong use widely (left of image in red shirt next to speaker).
Current National Qigong Association President, Michael Demolina (left of screen with blue shirt).
National Aging Program Experts, researchers, and Tai Chi & Qigong experts who participated in the historic project
sponsored by the National Council for the Aging and held by the Kineseology Department of the University of Illinois
(Wojtek Chodzko-Zadjko, head of the Department of Kineseology, University of Illinois, directed this event - 4th from right front row) pose
for group photo. (World Tai Chi & Qigong Co-Founders lower left)
This Expert Meeting on Qi Gong/Tai Chi was hosted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and facilitated and
coordinated in a brilliant fashion due to the efforts of several people within the Department of Kinesiology at the University.
They included: Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D., Head of the Department of Kinesiology; Chae-Hee Park; Karl Rosengren; and Lisa Sheppard
Department of Kinesiology at the University of Illinois, in conjunction
with the National Council on the Aging, explore the opportunities, issues,
and challenges of integrating Qi Gong and Tai Chi into the Aging Network nationally.
Qi Gong and Tai Chi are ancient Chinese wellness practices (including martial arts, breath practices, self-applied massage, and meditation) that have been used throughout Asia for thousands of years as a means of promoting health and functional well-being. There is a growing awareness that Qi Gong and Tai Chi are excellent forms of exercise for older adults due to the low impact, low cost, and ease of performance.
The purpose of the expert meeting is to assemble experts in three areas:
1) Physical activity and the Aging Network;
2) Qi Gong/Tai Chi research; and
3) Qi Gong/Tai Chi practice to provide insight into the challenges of translating existing
research models into effective community-based programs.
Experts will discuss the issues of integrating elements of Qi Gong and Tai
Chi into physical activity programming, the feasibility of training "lay
leaders" in Chinese health enhancement arts programs, and implementation
and evaluation strategies.
Tai Chi Gaining Ground as Exercise for Elderly
Reuters - ABC News
Mar 30, 2005 By Amy Norton
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new take on the ancient martial art Tai Chi may offer a gentle way for even frail elderly adults to keep moving.
The style, known as Tai Chi Fundamentals, combines the traditions of the Chinese practice along with modern therapeutic principles to form an
exercise plan feasible for elderly adults with a range of health problems from arthritis to heart disease.
. . . Long used in China as a way to promote wellness, Tai Chi focuses on building strength, balance and flexibility through slow, fluid movements
combined with mental imagery and deep breathing. Studies have suggested that the elderly can reduce their risk of falls, lower their blood pressure
and ease arthritis symptoms through the practice, and some research indicates Tai Chi can improve heart and blood vessel function in both
healthy people and those with heart conditions.
"It's the regular practice of Tai Chi that makes it beneficial," Matsuda told Reuters Health. Making the practice accessible through a simplified
style like TCF or through free classes at community senior centers, for example, should help older people stick with it.
Writing in the March issue of the Rehab Management Journal, Matsuda and her co-authors, including one of the developers of TCF, Tricia Yu,
describe how various rehabilitation therapists in the U.S. are using the program to help older patients with chronic illnesses.
The exercise, according to the Matsuda and her colleagues, can be beneficial for a range of patients, including those who are recovering from
total knee replacement or who have cardiovascular or lung conditions, given that instructors are properly trained in the needs of elderly adults
with health limitations.
EXERCISE HELPS REDUCE ALZHEIMERS ONSET
A study from the University of Chicago is being reported on in the press
concerns the risk and incidence of Alzheimers Disease as
affected by physical and mental activity. The study shows that an "enriched
environment" which includes both learning and physical activity increases
the output of genes involved in maintaining the health of neurons,
constructing synaptic connections, and building arterial highways to supply
more blood and nutrients to the brain.
Sangram Sisoda, the Director of the U of C Molecular Biology Center says
"Anything that keeps the mind active is going to be healthful. The
mind-body connection is a very important one. The brain can be restructured
simply by increasing physical activity." Bill Thies, Vice President of
Scientific Affairs for the Alzheimers Assn. agrees and continues, " . . .
inactivity is going to become more of a consideration . . . kids are
playing (video games), watching TV, eating hamburgers, and not doing
The findings of the study indicate that environment can alter the molecular
function of the brain. " . . . A more engaging enriched life (which
includes learning and physical activity) may reduce the progression of
Alzheimers Disease." according to S. Karsten and D. Geschwind of UCLA, in
an accompanying editorial.
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Comment:
T'ai Chi's complex motions which engage left and right brain, mind and body, upper body and lower body, and left body
right body motions that require mental awareness to perform in sequence, may make Tai Chi the most profound exercise
to achieve the above results. We hope the medical establishment will apply the resources necessary to investigate this,
for the benefit of those with Alzheimers, as well as others with degenerative conditions Tai Chi may help with. Traditional
Chinese Medicine has long understood that when the patient "believes" in the therapy, it works more effectively. With
modern (Western) medical sciences research it can help patients get the most from T'ai Chi & Qigong by informing the
patient with empiricl data that T'ai Chi & Qigong can and will help their conditions.
TAI CHI is
- AEROBIC ALTERNATIVE - HEART HELPER - BALANCE BOOSTER
- BONE PROTECTOR - IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTER - PAIN RELIEVER !!
Readers Digest Health - July, 2005
. . . among recent findings:
Aerobic alternative . . . Taiwan University Hospital study found that t'ai chi qualifies as aerobic exercise. (A 150 pound person can burn
270 calories in an hour.) University of California, San Francisco, researcher reported that it has cardiovascular benefits for heart disease patients.
2004 University of Liverpool study of women ages 33-55 showed that those who did t'ai chi three times a week for 12 weeks had improved balance
and lower blood pressure . . . University of Hong Kong . . . postmenopausal women had stronger bones [due to tai chi] . . . South Korean study . . .
osteoarthritis patients had less pain after 12 weeks of t'ai chi. . . .
TAI CHI IS TOP GROWTH EXERCISE - says Sporting Goods Manufactuerers Assn. Study -
Gentler exercise embraced
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - By LISA LIDDANE
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Gentler. Kinder. These are the types of activities that are capturing the time and attention of more Americans. Elliptical-trainer workouts, yoga and
tai chi are the fastest-growing fitness activities in the United States, according to a six-year survey by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
Conversely, high-impact aerobics has been declining from 1998 to 2004.
BBC News - Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 23:22 GMT 00:22 UK
Tai Chi 'can treat heart failure !
A US study of 30 patients found regular classes gave patients better movement and reduced BNP levels, a measure of heart failure.
A number of the patients attended twice weekly classes for 12 months while a second group had standard treatment.
The British Heart Foundation said the study was "excellent news" and Tai Chi could be adopted
into treatment programmes in the UK in the future.
KLTV CHANNEL 7 - TYLER, TEXAS
May 1, 2005
Tai chi aids people with chronic ills
By Hap LeCrone -Cox News Service
An ancient Chinese exercise has become a mainstream approach to enhancing medical care and therapy around the world.
Tai chi is a form of martial art that has been practiced in China since the 12th century. As a movement therapy, tai chi is well-suited for a
number of medical- and health-related issues, including arthritis, balance and movement control, lowered blood pressure, improved flexibility,
cardiovascular fitness, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. . . .
The exercises take the group through a calming and peaceful repertoire of movement that results in enhanced feelings of relaxation, stress
reduction, self-esteem and social participation.
Why Tai Chi Is the Perfect Exercise - Time Magazine AUSTRALIA'S BEAUTIFUL
"YARRA VALLEY" WINE-COUNTRY, is the scene of one of
Australia's World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day 2005 events
"Every year this gets bigger," she said. "We just need to get the message out."
Especially for seniors. The slow-motion martial art builds strength, agility and, best of all, balance
By CHRISTINE GORMAN
Aug. 5, 2002 It's easy to tell people to make exercise part of their daily routine. It's not so easy to tell them what to do. Some folks like to run
marathons or climb mountains. But if you would rather care for your body without risking life or limb or increasingly creaky joints, you might consider
Tai Chi Chuan, the ancient martial art that looks like a cross between shadow boxing and slow-motion ballet. Not to be confused with Falun Gong,
a quasi-religious and political movement that uses similar exercises, Tai Chi combines intense mental focus with deliberate, graceful
movements that improve strength, agility...
Schools Trying to Relieve Testing Stress [T'ai Chi]
By MARTHA RAFFAELE
.c The Associated Press, April 18th, 2005
COLUMBIA, Pa. (AP) - Across the nation, educators are trying a variety of methods - including beach days, barbecues, flute music and fun hats - to ease
student test anxiety as schools face increased pressure to improve their scores under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
. . . ``We need to somehow take the stress off the kids, . . .,'' said Brent Swartzmiller, principal of Wayne Trail Elementary School in suburban Toledo, Ohio. . . .
. . . Joseph Pisacano, a fifth-grade teacher in the Philadelphia suburb of Warminster, decided to use tai chi as a
stress-relief activity two years ago after he saw how it relaxed a group of 100 students
during an Asian culture celebration at his school.
For about 15 minutes at the beginning of each test day, Pisacano leads his students through a set of meditative movements
while flute music plays in the background.
``What I've noticed is that students have a positive reaction to the test,'' Pisacano said. ``Everybody applies themselves. I don't
have a lot of heads down on the desk and `Ugh!' - which is pretty typical for fifth grade when you have something as monotonous as six days of testing.'' . . .
Associated Press writer John Seewer contributed to this report from Toledo, Ohio.
04/18/05 13:36 EDT
By Sue Sterling - Star-Journal Staff Writer
A Study done by Kaiser Permenente found that
unmanaged stress was the root cause of about 70
percent of patients' health problems, according to
speaker [Bill Douglas, Founder of
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day] at Tuesday's noon
That means, he said, "If you can get rid of stress,
you can avoid 70% of health problems." . . .
. . . Deepak Chopra, M.D., world-renowned
physician and author who integrates mind,
body, and spirit into health and healing, has
said that every pharmaceutical is already in the
human body, Douglas said, and natural techniques
can trigger the release of those chemicals
to promote healing.
"That's really what Tai Chi and Qigong are designed
to do," Douglas said, by using gentle movements and
breathing techniques to constantly cleanse
stress from the body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the flow
of life energy through the body, he said, but as
people age and are subjected to stress,
"it adds up." Douglas said stress causes the
body to "tighten up and starts to reduce
the flow of life energy."
But, he said T'ai Chi is designed to remove the blocks and allow the flow of energy. . . .
. . . "It takes alot of energy to produce cells," Douglas said, noting if cells live longer [thru qigong practice] it reduces
the drain on the body.
Douglas began teaching 10 years ago in Yoga centers . . . but then moved out and on to Shawnee Mission Medical
Center. A surgeon who took the class was surprised at the benefits she recieved, he said, which included eliminating
chronic shoulder pain and regaining full mobility in her injured shoulder.
Douglas said the benefits people receive from practicing Tai Chi "never ceases to amaze me . . . Virtually any problem
can be benefitted [by Tai Chi]."
. . . Bill Douglas is hopeful that T'ai Chi . . . "will eventually be seen as part of WORLD CULTURE" and will become so
commonplace "people won't even think about it as a cultural thing."
more in the Thursday, March 31, 2005 issue of The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg Missouri
Can Tai Chi Keep Shingles At Bay? -- Time Magazine
By SORA SONG
Sep. 29, 2003
The practice of Tai Chi, the graceful, slow-motion progression through a series of poses--some call it "moving meditation"--is known to build up
strength, agility and balance. But shingles immunity? According to a study in the current edition of Psychosomatic Medicine, 15 weeks of Tai Chi
seems to have helped protect a group of 18 elderly adults against the shingles virus (the same virus that causes chickenpox). One week after the
study was completed, immune-cell levels increased an average of nearly 50% in those who practiced Tai Chi, while the control group showed no
improvement. The results, which will need to be confirmed by larger studies, suggest that a little Tai Chi could be of great value to the elderly,
since immunity to the shingles virus weakens with age. --S.S.
STRESS REDUCTION, LESS DEPRESSION,
IMPROVED MOODS, GREATER STRENGTH,
CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFIT, IMPROVED
BALANCE, FLEXIBILITY, AND EASED ARTHRITIS PAIN:
Meditation in Motion; by Jan Eberle - February 2005 Edition
[Excerpt from The American Legion Magazine]
. . . Current studies reviewed in a recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine
of Tufts - New England Medical Center reveal improved muscle strength and
flexibility in tai-chi devotees, as well as a reduced number of falls. Several studies
show tai chi helps with depression, stress and improved moods. Emory University in
Atlanta found that tai chi strengthens grip in older people and improves confidence. . .
. . . studies suggest tai chi helps sufferers of multiple scleroris . . . Circulation
improves . . . Arthritis sufferers enjoy improved flexibility and increased range of
motion . . . A recent John's Hopkins study reveals that tai chi lowers high blood
pressure almost as much as moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in once-sedentary
older adults. . .
. . . Put simply, inviting a therapeutic art like tai chi into your life will likely produce
many positive results. . .
For the complete article, refer to The American Legion Magazine, February 2005 issue.
Tai Chi - a beneficial health practice
By: JILLIAN TENTE - March 22nd, 2005 - The Narragansett Times
. . . If you are looking for a work-out that promotes health, vitality, relaxation and the development of "Chi" (internal vital energy), then Tai Chi is the answer.
IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONSES FOR WOMEN
WITH BREAST CANCER USING TAI CHI:
[Excerpt from News-Medical.net in Medical Study News;
Published: Thursday, 2-Dec-2004]
$3 million to research whether stress-management
techniques can improve immune system responses
in women with breast cancer;
The National Institutes of Health has awarded the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing a $3 million grant to research whether
stress-management techniques can improve immune system responses in women with breast cancer.
The five-year study will enroll 240 women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. The research will evaluate whether complementary strategies
for stress management can ease psychological distress, positively affect physical symptoms and enhance immune function in breast-cancer patients.
These “mind-body-spirit” interventions will be evaluated using multiple biological markers to shed light on a study participant’s health status over time.
Nancy L. McCain, R.N., D.S.N., the principal investigator, will test whether two complementary approaches -- tai chi training and spiritual-growth groups
-- can reduce perceived stress and enhance coping strategies. Tai chi is described as meditation in motion that focuses on slow, graceful movements
to increase strength and flexibility and to improve balance and circulation. Both of the approaches should normalize levels of stress-related hormones
like cortisol and endorphins, she said.
For the complete article, go to News-Medical.net article at:
ACHIEVING FULL POTENTIAL WITH T'AI CHI,
BUSINESS EMBRACES TAI CHI:
MANAGER'S PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT - Dotcom fads weren't all bad;
by Gill Plimmer - October, 11, 2004
[Excerpt from The Financial Times]
Poetry and tai chi are being used to achieve full potential, writes Gill Plimmer
. . . Themes underpinning personal development philosophies appear straightforward:
people can achieve far more than they thought possible if they try to understand
themselves, overcomine their self-limiting beliefs and world at understanding what it
feels like to be in another person's shoes.
The techniques used to deliver those messages vary enormously. Jacquie Drake is
a director of the Praxis Centre, part of Cranfield School of Management, which helps
executives to develop "personal effectiveness." Everything from drama traning to
poetry to tai chi, message and yoga is used in its hollistic approach to helping
managers "realise their potential to leadership, team-building and managing change."
For the complete article, refer to Financial Times, Monday, October 11, 2004 edition.
TAI CHI'S CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFIT STUNS RESEARCHERS
TUFTS UNIVERSITY, Health & Nutrition Letter, Volume 17, Issue 10
December 1999, Volume 17, Number 10
FITNESS FORUM A No-Sweat Exercise with Multiple Benefits
People between the ages of 60 and 80 with moderately
high blood pressure were instructed to engage
either in low impact aerobic dance or Tai Chi
Several times a week. The Tai Chi Group, it
lowered their systolic blood pressure by an
average of 7 points---just a point less than
the aerobics group.
And they did it without even working up
a sweat, even though they were
medically obese and lived
sedentary lives. Tai Chi barely
raises the heart rate.
[for more medical research, visit:
STUDY FINDS MULTIPLE
QUALITY OF LIFE BENEFITS
FROM TAI CHI
Harvard Medical School, Osher Institute.
12 weeks of Tai chi. Improvements in the
Tai chi group were noted in quality-of-life
scores, distance walking and lower serum
b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels. The
Tai chi intervention was created and
supervised by New England School of
Acupuncture collaborator and
co-investigator Peter Wayne, PhD.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS & T'AI CHI:
Adaptive Tai Chi; by Seana O’Callaghan -
Sept. 2003 Edition
[Excerpt from the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society Journal: InsideMS]
We all know that exercise is an essential
part of a healthy lifewith or without
MS. But it takes most of us more than
the conviction that we ought to do it to get
ourselves out there. Finding the right kind
of exercise is one problem. Many sports
and exercise programs cause the body
temperature to rise, which may temporarily
worsen MS symptoms. Even more daunting, fatigue, spasticity, weakness, and lack
of balance make us fear exercise. Who wants to fail or look foolish in public? But, it
turns out, many types of exercise can be adapted to enable people with MS to
participate successfully. And although we would have guessed to the contrary,
tai chi turns out to be one of them.
. . . Tai chi is usually performed as an ordered set of slow, elegant motions that
promote balance through thoughtful consideration of movement and heightening of
body awareness. True to its Buddhist roots, tai chi seeks to relieve stress, improve
focus and muscle tone, and develop balance of the mind and the body. Recent clinical
studies have confirmed that tai chi produces measurable benefits in improving balance,
lowering blood pressure, and improving cardiovascular health. The National Institutes of
Health (NIH) has funded three current studies of tai chi as it relates to physical health,
including one that focuses specifically on balance.
None of these studies involved people with MS, however, and a discussion with a
physician or physical therapist who knows you and has experience with MS is essential
before you begin tai chi or any exercise program. Chances are that adapted tai chi will
meet strong approval. In fact, a number of National MS Society chapters sponsor programs.
For the complete article, go to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Journal article at:
RHEUMATIC DISEASES, OSTEOARTHRITIS, MUSCULOSKELETAL
CONDITIONS (FIBROMYALGIA), MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS & T'AI CHI:
TAI CHI, by Judith Horstman
[Excerpt from the Arthritis Foundation's ARTHRITIS TODAY Publication]
With slow movements as fluid as silk, the gentle Chinese practice of Tai Chi
seems tailor-made for easing sore joints and muscles . . .
Doctors recommend tai chi for people with a variety of musculoskeletal
conditions because it improves flexibility and builds muscle strength gradually.
"There's no doubt that tai chi, done properly, can be a beneficial exercise for
people with arthritis,"says Paul Lam, MD, a Sydney-based family practitioner
and tai chi master who designed the Australian arthritis program.
Martin Lee, a tai chi authority and author of many books who has directed classes
for years, says he has seen many people's overall health improve as they do tai chi.
"Tai chi relieves stress,"he says. "It can be very healing."
Tai chi is an exercise almost anyone who can walk can do safely, says Dr. Lam,
who began doing tai chi nearly 30 years ago for his own osteoarthritis. Tai chi takes
the joints gently through their range of motion, he says, while the emphasis on breathing
and inner stillness relieves stress and anxiety. Classes are inexpensive, and it can be
practiced almost anywhere at any time, with no special equipment or clothing.
Peter Stein, MD, a Greenbrae, Calif., rheumatologist, says he finds tai chi especially
good for people with fibromyalgia and those with a high level of muscle pain. "People in
pain often can't even do yoga,"he says. "They need something milder and more soothing,
and tai chi is very good for relieving pain."
. . . some physicians who treat the elderly or those with musculoskeletal conditions such as
arthritis have been impressed by how tai chi improves pain, range of motion and physical balance.
What the Science Says
Several studies have shown that regular tai chi practice has benefits: It can reduce falls in the
elderly or those with balance disorders sometimes dramatically. In one 1996 Atlanta study,
elderly people who practiced tai chi for 15 weeks reduced their risk of multiple falls by 47.5 percent.
Falls are a particular danger for elders and others with brittle bones, or osteoporosis. For such
people, falls frequently result in broken bones.
Research has shown tai chi has other benefits, too. Participants in the Atlanta study also had
lower blood pressure at the end of the study; and a 1999 study that looked at people with
multiple sclerosis who practiced tai chi found that it contributed to an overall improvement in quality
of life for people with chronic, disabling conditions . . .
a study from 1991 that evaluates its safety for rheumatoid arthritis patients. It concluded that 10
weeks of tai chi classes did not make joint problems worse, and says the weight-bearing aspects
of this exercise has the potential to stimulate bone growth and strengthen connective tissue.
And a recent University of Arizona opinion paper on mind-body alternatives, such as tai chi and
meditation, for rheumatic diseases concluded that stress and pain are closely related, and therapies
that focus on psychological as well as physical function could be beneficial, when used
along with conventional medications . . .
"Given its low impact and evidence that it tends to increase muscle strength and balance and give
general pain relief, we think it's a worthwhile option for arthritis patients,"says William L. Haskell, PhD,
deputy director of the Stanford [University] Center for Research in Disease Prevention in California.
Stanford has offered tai chi classes for years, and is launching a major National Institute on Aging study
to assess benefits of various types of exercise on healthy aging. A year-long study of tai chi for those 60
and older is part of the project. While this study won't look at arthritis specifically, the data is expected to
provide evidence of tai chi's general benefits.
For the complete article, go to The Arthritis Foundation's ARTHRITIS TODAY Publication article at:
ATTENTION DEFICIT AND HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER & T'AI CHI:
Excerpt from Tai Chi Benefits ADHD, by Massage Magazine
-- Source: Touch Research Institute. Authors: Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., Tiffany Field, Ph.D.,
and Eric Thimas. Originally published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies,
April 2001, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 120-123
. . . During and after five weeks of tai chi lessons, adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) showed less anxiety, daydreaming, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity,
according to a study by the Touch Research Institute (TRI).
"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: benefits from Tai Chi" was conducted by Maria
Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., Tiffany Field, Ph.D., and Eric Thimas.
ADHD, often treated by drugs such as Ritalin, is characterized by inattention, impulsivity and
hyperactivity. A 1998 TRI study showed that massage was effective in increasing focus, improving mood,
reducing fidgeting and lowering hyperactivity in adolescents with ADHD. This study examined whether
tai chi, the Chinese martial art of slow-moving, meditative exercise, would have similar effects . . .
For the complete article, go to Massage Magazine's article at:
Tai Chi Chuan and Blood Pressure
(Reuters) - . . . at a meeting sponsored by the American Heart Association. "You better believe we
were surprised by those results," one of the researchers, Dr. Deborah R.Young from Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD said in a statement. "We were expecting to see
significant changes in the aerobic exercise group and minimal changes in the T'ai chi group
The scientists studied 62 sedentary adults, aged 60 years and older, assigning half to a program of
brisk walking and low-impact aerobics and the other half to learning T'ai chi. After 12 weeks, systolic
blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading) had fallen significantly in both groups, an
average of 8.4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) in the aerobic exercise group and 7 mm Hg in the T'ai chi
group. "It could be that in elderly, sedentary people, just getting up and doing some slow movement could
be associated with beneficial reductions in high blood pressure," Young theorizes.
[for more medical research, visit: http://www.williamccchen.com/Medical%20Studies.htm]
BALANCE & STRENGTH, AND TAI CHI
From Harvard Medical School, Published in
the HARVARD HEALTH LETTER,
Volume 21 Number 11 - Sept 1996 Issue
. . . citing a study by the American Geriatric
Society on Tai Chi:
A study in the May 1996 issue of the
Journal of the American Geriatrics
Society showed that Tai Chi -- an
ancient Chinese martial art that
employs slow, precise movements
-- helped improve balance and
strength among seniors. Those
who underwent Tai Chi training for
15 weeks reduced their risk of
falling by 47.5% compared with
those who didn't take classes.
[for more medical research, visit:
From University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter
The Newsletter of Nutrition, Fitness & Stress Management
Volume 15, Issue 2 November 1998 From the School of Public Health
Here are some of the potential health benefits of tai chi:
Flexibility: The choreographed exercises gently take
your joints through their full range of motion.
Studies show that the controlled movements can
be helpful for people with arthritis (but they should
check with their doctors before starting any
Physical therapy: Some research has found that
tai chi can be a form of physical therapy and aid
in the recovery of injuries.
Balance: The smooth, slow movements help
instill physical confidence and may enhance
balance and coordination.
Strengthening: Tai chi helps tone muscles
in the lower body, especially the thighs,
buttocks and calves.
Posture: Your head, neck, and spine are
usually aligned, thus relieving strain on
the neck and lower back.
Relaxation: Tai Chi can have some of the
same psychological benefits of yoga. The
concentration on the body's fluid motion
and on breathing helps many people relax,
and can relieve tension and anxiety.
Lower blood pressure: Though studies have had
conflicting results, a recent study presented at
the American Heart Association meeting found
that 12 weeks of tai chi resulted in a small but
significant drop in blood pressure in older people.
[for more medical research, visit:
A movement towards t'ai chi - Harvard Health Letter, July, 1997 by Katie Baer
This daily ritual, called t'ai chi ch'uan (pronounced tie-chee-chwann), has been practiced by millions of Chinese people for centuries.
Now t'ai chi is attracting great interest from Americans looking for new forms of exercise. At the same time, U.S. researchers have found
possible physical and mental health benefits to t'ai chi, particularly for older people.
Recent studies show that t'ai chi improves balance in seniors and reduces the likelihood of falls. Indeed, falls are the leading cause of
death from injury in older people. And the lives of some who survive are changed dramatically: 15%-25% of those who sustain a hip
fracture remain in long-term care institutions a year after the injury.
A study by Emory University researchers in the May 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society evaluated a
15-week course of t'ai chi taken by 72 men and women age 70 and over; another 128 people of similar ages took part in balance
training and discussion groups. Those who completed the t'ai chi course reduced their risk of falling by 47.5% compared with
the control group. The researchers suspect that t'ai chi not only improved balance but helped students abort falls by teaching
them how to cope with missteps and precarious positions.
The t'ai chi group also had significantly lower blood pressure measurements following a brisk walk when compared to such
readings before beginning the classes. Another major benefit of t'ai chi was a decreased fear of falling -- a concern that often
prevents older people from being as active as they'd like.
. . . People who practice t'ai chi are said to exploit the strength of yin (the earth) and the chi (energy) of yang (the heavens) to
focus their physical and spiritual energies on enabling the mind and body to work together to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.
Unlike many types of exercise, t'ai chi is accessible to people of all ages. It requires no expensive gear, and once the basic form
is learned through classroom instruction, it can be practiced anywhere. An average routine takes about 10 minutes. It is safe for
most people who are mobile, but sedentary, older people should check with a doctor before starting a class. . . .
. . . for more on this article refer to . . . President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Aerobic Activity vs. T'ai Chi: Effects on Blood Pressure - American Family Physician, Sept 1, 1999 by Grace Brooke Huffman
Numerous health benefits are derived from regular exercise, such as a reduced incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. The level
of intensity required to lower blood pressure is unclear, however. Moderate-intensity activity appears to be as useful as high-intensity activity in
lowering blood pressure. Young and colleagues conducted this randomized clinical trial to determine whether 12 weeks of moderate-intensity
aerobic exercise or t'ai chi could help lower blood pressure in a group of sedentary older patients. . . .
. . . The authors conclude that t'ai chi, a low-intensity physical activity, can have antihypertensive effects in sedentary older persons similar to those
associated with moderate aerobic activity. Patients who practice t'ai chi need no specialized clothing or equipment, and it is accessible to those
who have been sedentary and may be discouraged by the thought of aerobic exercise. Further studies are needed to determine what "dose" of
activity is needed to reduce blood pressure in elderly patients who are sedentary.
for more on this refer to: Young DR, et al. The effects of aerobic exercise and t'ai chi on blood pressure in older people: results of a randomized
trial. J Am Geriatr Soc March 1999;47:277-84.
American Academy of Family Physicians
Tai Chi for Older People Reduces Falls, May Help Maintain Strength
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH RELEASE: - Thursday, May 2, 1996
Public Information Office
Tai Chi, a martial arts form that enhances balance and body awareness through slow, graceful, and precise body movements, can
significantly cut the risk of falls among older people and may be beneficial in maintaining gains made by people age 70 and older who
undergo other types of balance and strength training. The news comes in two reports appearing in the May 1996 issue of the
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
The two studies are the first involving Tai Chi to be reported by scientists in a special frailty reduction program sponsored by the
National Institute on Aging (NIA).
. . . for more on this click to visit the NIH website.
National Institute of Health, NIH.gov Medline -
If your doctor finds that you have an abnormal heart rhythm, write down what it is called and be sure to tell other professionals involved in your medical care.
. . . Try stress management techniques like yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
for more on this click.
National Institute of Health nih.gov Medline
Arthritis involves inflammation of one or more joints and the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth
movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk or otherwise bear weight. Without the usual
amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Rest is just as important as exercise. Sleeping 8 to 10 hours per night and taking naps during the day can help you recover from a flare-up
more quickly and may even help prevent exacerbations. You should also:
. . . Reduce stress, which can aggravate your symptoms. Try meditation or guided imagery. And talk to your physical therapist
about yoga or tai chi.
for more on this click ...