Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise may retard bone loss in postmenopausal women: A case-control study

Two groups were studied: a non exercising group and a group that did Tai Chi at University medical school in Hong Kong.

This is the first case-control study to show that regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise may help retard bone loss in the weight-bearing bones of postmenopausal women. Copyright 2002 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Read the entire article here

Friday, January 8, 2010

York University, Toronto study results are in!

Tai chi can cheer you up
The Brampton Guardian
Friday January 8 2010
Tai chi can help mitigate musculoskeletal disorders caused by extended computer use and provide a lift in mood, says a study led by York University researchers.

The study looked at female computer users at the university, measuring levels of physical fitness and psychological well-being in more than 50 staff members who participated in a twice-weekly lunch-hour tai chi program.

Researchers found that participants improved their musculoskeletal and back fitness, achieved lower resting heart rates and smaller waist circumference, and experienced an emotional boost.

“Overall, the program was effective in improving both musculoskeletal fitness and psychological well-being,” says study lead author Hala Tamim, Associate Professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health. “We’re excited about these results, especially given the difficulty in treating musculoskeletal disorders using traditional methods,” she says.

Musculoskeletal disorders, such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, are painful disorders of muscles, nerves and tendons, often caused by work activities that are repetitive or involve awkward postures. Women suffer from these complications at a higher rate than men, which makes early intervention for women particularly important, according to Tamim.

The exercise program consisted of two 50-minute classes per week for 12 consecutive weeks from May to August 2007. Classes were conducted by a professional tai chi practitioner, using fitness facilities at the university.

Study participants averaged 5.8 hours a day on computers at work. The majority (79 per cent) perceived their physical fitness as average or above, yet 34.6 per cent reported that they rarely or never engaged in weekly physical activity. Of the 52 participants, 42 had never formally practiced tai chi prior to the study.

Pre-and post-program assessments included resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, anthropometric measures (height, weight, waist circumference), and musculoskeletal and back fitness (including grip strength, sit and reach, and vertical jump tests), employing the Canadian Physical Activity Fitness and Lifestyle Approach.

Psychological well-being of study participants was also assessed pre-and post-program, using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). They reported feeling less stress, and more control over their lives and personal problems.

Tamim says the simplicity of tai chi makes it especially beneficial for office workers.

“It’s something that can easily fit into a working day. You don’t need any specialized equipment, and you’re not perspiring heavily, so there’s no need to shower before going back to work,” she says.

The study, “Tai chi workplace program for improving musculoskeletal fitness among female computer users,” is published in the Dec. 23 issue of the journal, WORK.

It is co-authored by Kinesiology & Health Science graduate student Evan S. Castel, York professors Veronica Jamnik, Sherry L. Grace, Norman Gledhill, and Alison K. Macpherson, and McMaster University professor Peter J. Keir.

Study Shows Acupuncture Offers Relief to Breast Cancer Patients With Hot Flashes

Since acupuncture clears the energy pathways in a similar way to doing Tai Chi and Qigong, it would be interesting if the same study was done for those participating in those classes. Here's part of the article about the study, to read more click on the link.
Thanks to Turning Point Now's Blog for the article.

Study Shows Acupuncture Offers Relief to Breast Cancer Patients With Hot Flashes

By Jennifer Warner

WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDDec. 31, 2009 -- Acupuncture not only cools hot flashes that occur as a result of breast cancer treatment but may offer a host of other benefits to boost women's well-being.

A new study shows acupuncture was as good as drug therapy with Effexor (venlafaxine) at easing hot flashes in breast cancer patients, but it also improved sex drive, energy levels, and clarity of thought.

"Acupuncture offers patients a safe, effective and durable treatment option for hot flashes, something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors. Compared to drug therapy, acupuncture actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects," researcher Eleanor Walker, MD, division director of breast services in the department of radiation oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, says in a news release.

.....read more here