Tai Chi helps improve balance in stroke survivorsMarch 24th, 2009 - 12:18 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 24 (ANI): Chinese martial art of Tai Chi can help stroke survivors increase balance, reducing fall risk, says a new study.
Stroke can impair balance, heightening the risk of a debilitating fall. However, according to Christina Hui-Chan, professor and head of physical therapy at University of Illinois, stroke survivors can improve their balance by practicing tai chi.
Tai chi consists of constant coordinated movement of the head, trunk and limbs requiring tremendous concentration and balance control.
To reach the conclusion, researchers used 136 subjects in Hong Kong who had suffered a stroke more than six months earlier. Participants were randomly assigned to a tai chi group or a control group that practiced breathing, stretching and other exercises that involved sitting, walking, memorizing and reasoning.
Participants learned a simplified form that had been shown to be beneficial to arthritis patients.
Patients were trained in small groups by physical therapists in a weekly class, then practiced at home three days a week for one hour. They received 12 weeks of training but were able to learn the technique in as little as eight.
The goal was to make the patients as independent in their treatment as possible, Hui-Chan said.
They were then tested for their ability to maintain balance while shifting weight, leaning in different directions, and standing on moving surfaces to simulate a crowded bus. In these tests the tai chi group out-performed the control exercise group.
The two groups performed about the same on another test, which was not focused solely on balance but involved sitting, standing, walking, and returning to sit down.
“The tai chi group did particularly better in conditions that required them to use their balance control,” Hui-Chan said.
“In only six weeks, we saw significant improvements. The ability to shift your weight is very important because all reaching tasks require it, the expert added. (ANI)
- Stroke survivors can improve balance with tai chi - Mar 24, 2009
- Tai chi can help heart failure patients - Apr 26, 2011
- Tai chi benefits people with chronic heart failure - Apr 26, 2011
- Family involvement in exercise therapy benefits stroke patients - Mar 05, 2011
- New research looks at getting stroke patients back on the feet - Feb 13, 2011
- Study says that Tai Chi is good for heart patients - Apr 26, 2011
- Tai Chi improves arthritis pain, fatigue, stiffness: Study - Nov 08, 2010
- Green tea and tai chi 'improve quality of life in postmenopausal women' - Apr 11, 2011
- Tai Chi may help combat osteoarthritis - Nov 02, 2009
- Is Qigong the new kid on the fitness block? - Feb 08, 2011
- Tai Chi, Qigong offer significant health benefits - Jul 01, 2010
- Chinese exercise Tai chi improves pain in arthritis patients - Jun 02, 2009
- Tai chi 'cuts depression in elderly people' - Mar 17, 2011
- More research needed to establish Tai Chi's psychological benefits - May 21, 2010
- Exercises that can help treat arthritis - Aug 15, 2010
Tags: arthritis, arthritis patients, balance control, chinese martial art, christina, concentration, control group, exercise group, exercises, participants, physical therapists, physical therapy, significant improvements, six months, six weeks, small groups, stroke survivors, surfaces, tai chi, university of illinois