Chronic Pain & Tai Chi
Can 'Chi' Ease Arthritis Pain? By Elaine Zablocki WebMD Feature
“The World Health Organization has concluded it [circulation of chi energy] may be helpful for several conditions including osteoarthritis, headache, gastritis, bronchitis, and low back pain. And an influential consensus conference convened by the National Institutes of Health in 1997 reported that acupuncture might be useful as an adjunct treatment for many forms of chronic pain.”
[Note: Tai Chi promotes the “chi circulation” that acupuncture is designed to foster.]
Meditation: Focusing your mind to achieve stress reduction By Mayo Clinic staff - March 17, 2005 -- SR00007
“ . . . if you have a medical condition that's worsened by stress, you might find the practice valuable in reducing the stress-related effects of allergies, asthma, chronic pain and arthritis, among others. . .“
“. . . Meditation that includes movement can be spontaneous and free-form or involve highly structured, choreographed, repetitive patterns. This type of meditation may be particularly helpful if you find it hard to sit still. The following are examples:
. . . Tai chi. Tai chi involves gentle, deliberate circular movements combined with deep breathing. As you concentrate on the motions of your body, you develop a feeling of peace and tranquility. . .“
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 1997, Vol 5, Issue 1, pages 29-35
Fifty-two patients were given a ten-week 2 _ hour mind-body intervention that included an educational component, relaxation training and Qi Gong movement therapy. At the end of treatment patients scored significantly different on a variety of measures of pain, depression, coping locus of control and other measurements. The data indicated the usefulness of Qi Gong in facilitating restoration of function in combination with educational and relaxation interventions.
Journal of Holistic Nursing, 1999, Vol 17, Issue 3, pages 267-279
It [Tai Chi] has been used to improve balance; promote postural stability; decrease falls; enhance cardiovascular and ventilatory functions; rehabilitate persons with acute myocardial infarction and rheumatoid arthritis; and reduce pain, stress, and nightmares.
Tai Chi for posture and back pain Spine-Health.com - February 19, 2004
Tai Chi has demonstrated usefulness in the prevention and treatment of certain problems such as back pain. Importantly, Tai Chi is non-invasive, relatively inexpensive, and gentle on the spine, so many people with back pain are starting to try it as an adjunct to (or sometimes instead of) traditional medical approaches to manage back pain.
Tai Chi University of Maryland Medical Center Dec. 2002
Reviewed By: Jacqueline A. Hart, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Boston, Ma and Senior Medical Editor A.D.A.M., Inc.; Lonnie Lee, MD, Internal Medicine, Silver Springs, MD.
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.
Acupuncture Today - August, 2001, Volume 02, Issue 08
Tai Chi for the Elderly - Studies Show Exercise Relieves Pain, Improves Mobility in Seniors “. . . one [study] conducted at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio,1 the other at the Oregon Research Institute2 - have found that tai chi can reduce pain levels in people with arthritis and increase mobility and physical functioning in otherwise sedentary senior citizens.
National Health Service (NHS) UK Kent & Midway - Chronic pain services
Chronic pain is defined as pain that has persisted for longer than three months, or past the expected time of healing following injury or diseases. A significant proportion of the population suffers from chronic pain due to a wide range of conditions that commonly include:
· lower back pain
· pain following injury
· peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
Various forms of chronic pain treatments are provided at several hospitals in East Kent.
Tai chi can help increase stamina, improve circulation, increase lung capacity, quicken reaction time and give mental clarity. As the joints become more flexible and tight, muscles will learn to relax and loosen, which can help reduce the stress and pain.