Western Scientists Finally Tell Patients Why Tai Chi Is Good For Them

Photo: Craig Nagy (CC)

Photo: Craig Nagy (CC)

The Chinese have known this for thousands of years. Better late than never, I suppose! From WebMD:

Just 12 weeks of tai chi — the slow-motion Chinese martial art — relieved longstanding fibromyalgia symptoms and improved quality of life in a clinical trial.

Compared with patients who received wellness education and stretching exercises, those who practiced tai chi saw their fibromyalgia become much less severe. They also slept better, felt better, had less pain, had more energy, and had better physical and mental health, says study researcher Chenchen Wang, MD, of Tufts University School of Medicine.

“We definitely saw better results than reported in trials of drug treatments for fibromyalgia,” Wang tells WebMD. “One patient with previous arthritis pain kept saying, ‘No pain! No pain!'”

It wasn’t for everyone. Wang says 10% to 20% of patients randomly assigned to tai chi did not feel it helped them. But he says 50% to 60% of the patients were “really engaged,” and after about eight weeks began to feel better.

Improvement was gradual but steady. Patients who benefited from tai chi asked the researchers to continue the program when the 24-week study ended…

[continues at WebMD]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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8 Comments on "Western Scientists Finally Tell Patients Why Tai Chi Is Good For Them"

  1. Vox Penii | Aug 19, 2010 at 10:24 am |

    The Chinese knew that Chairman Mao would guide them into a socialist paradise, too.

  2. E.B. Wolf | Aug 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm |

    I'm surprised Western Scientists can even understand that Tai Chi has health benefits since it doesn't involve drugs and/or surgery.

  3. Gosh…surprising what a little healthy movement and exercise does for flexibility and pain management compared to prescription drug addiction and immobility from fear of pain.

  4. Burlveneer | Aug 20, 2010 at 10:08 am |

    I read the whole article and still can't find the “why”.

  5. Yes god forbid we should trust 3000 years worth of practical application and positive results in the field. Nope, it only becomes “valid” when Western medicine says so. Pfft. Arrogant much?

  6. Not arrogant, just guided by standards of evidence.

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