According to the researchers this study provides evidence for the feasibility of enrolling and engaging Veterans with symptoms of PTSD in a Tai Chi exercise program. “Our findings also indicate that Tai Chi is a safe physical activity and appropriate for individuals with varying physical capabilities.
The movements in tai chi are called poses or moves. Connecting the moves together forms a set of poses. Tai chi poses are all gentle and rhythmic ones and they are accompanied by deliberate, slow breathing. Tai chi exercises can provide numerous benefits to the mind and body when practiced regularly.
The tai chi poses are 13 in number and are called 13 energies, 13 entrances, or 13 powers. These poses are practiced in various sequences. Mastering these simple-looking Tai chi exercises can be difficult, but very rewarding!
Shanghai Lianshang Network Technology in Pudong New Area was one of the stops, where some of the visitors to the conference watched tai chi exercises being performed by the company's employees.
Clinical trial participants assigned to the tai chi exercise group practice slow fluid arm movements in class. Photo credit: Courtesy of Fuzhong Li., Ph.D.
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that is caused by the loss of brain cells which control coordinated and purposeful motions. This cell loss results in tremor, rigidity, slowed movement (known as bradykinesia) and impaired balance (postural instability). While some symptoms, such as tremor, at least benefit from drug therapy initially, the medications currently available to treat Parkinson’s are not as effective in restoring balance. This is a special concern for Parkinson’s patients because postural instability frequently leads to falls.
Several studies have demonstrated that resistance training, for instance with ankle weights or using weight-and-pulley machines, has positive effects on balance and gait. As a result, doctors often suggest exercise or prescribe physical therapy to address problems with instability.
Fuzhong Li, Ph.D., research scientist at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, was part of a team of researchers who, in 2007, published a pilot study showing that tai chi was a safe exercise for individuals with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. “We had been using tai chi for balance training in healthy older adults, “ Dr. Li commented, “and older adults and patients with Parkinson’s disease share some difficulties with falls.”