The beneficial effects of Tai Chi Chuan on blood pressure and lipid profile and anxiety status in a randomized controlled trial.
Tsai JC, Wang WH, Chan P, Lin LJ, Wang CH, Tomlinson B, Hsieh MH, Yang HY, Liu JC.
Institute of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, People's Republic of China.
After 12-weeks of Tai Chi training, the treatment group showed significant decrease in systolic blood pressure of 15.6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure 8.8 mm Hg. The serum total cholesterol level decreased 15.2 mg/dL and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased 4.7 mg/dL. By using STAI evaluation, both trait anxiety and state anxiety were decreased.
This study shows that under well-designed conditions, Tai Chi exercise training could decrease blood pressure and results in favorable lipid profile changes and improve subjects' anxiety status. Therefore, Tai Chi could be used as an alternative modality in treating patients with mild hypertension, with a promising economic effect.
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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. T'ai Chi can significantly lower high blood pressure in many cases.
They located 26 relevant studies including 9 randomized controlled trials, 13 nonrandomized controlled studies, and 4 observational studies. Among the studied reviewed, 85% reported reductions in blood pressure in those who practiced Tai Chi, but the study quality varied, and 2 of the most rigorous studies showed that blood pressure was not affected by Tai Chi practice. - Medscape Today, from WebMD, 10/26/2010
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Hypertension. In a review of 26 studies in English or Chinese published in Preventive Cardiology (Spring 2008), Dr. Yeh reported that in 85% of trials, tai chi lowered blood pressure with improvements ranging from 3 to 32 mm Hg in systolic pressure and from 2 to 18 mm Hg in diastolic pressure.
Harvard Medical School's Health Publications, May, 2009
Twenty female subjects received 2 Tai-Chi sessions per week for 10 weeks. Each session lasted for one hour. RESULTS: At the end of the study, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels significantly reduced. Among all SF-36 items, Vitality and Mental Health significantly improved after the 10-week Tai-Chi program.
Medical Science Monitor, 12, 196-9
Tai Chi was observed to be equally effective as aerobic exercise in reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
A growing body of evidence suggests Tai Chi practice, even over short periods of time, may improve cardiovascular health. Depending on how it is practiced, Tai Chi has been characterized as a low to moderate intensity exercise. Three studies are briefly discussed to illustrate the types of evidence available to evaluate the impact that Tai Chi may have on components of cardiovascular health. Young et al.  conducted a well designed, randomized controlled trial with 62 subjects that compared the effects of aerobic exercise versus Tai Chi on blood pressure in mildly hypertensive older adults. Over the 12-week study period, Tai Chi was observed to be equally effective as aerobic exercise in reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
-- Read more at Tufts University's website
Dynamic balance measured by the Functional Reach Test was significantly improved following Tai Chi, with significant decreases in both mean systolic (9.71 mmHg) and diastolic (7.53 mmHg) blood pressure.
-- Health Promotion International, 19, 33-8
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For a reprintable article with research citings and more information on this, read, High Blood Pressure and Tai Chi Therapy by WTCQD Founder.