Immune System

Tai Chi 'improves body and mind'

The ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi can help to improve people's health, research suggests.

Doctors in the United States analysed 47 studies looking at the impact Tai Chi had on people with chronic health problems, like heart disease or MS.

They found that it could improve balance control, flexibility and even the health of their heart.

Writing in The Archives of Internal Medicine, they said it also reduced stress, falls, pain and anxiety.

Deep breathing

Tai Chi 'helps improve diabetes'

Tai Chi exercises can help people with type 2 diabetes control their condition, research suggests.

Two separate studies found a 12-week programme of exercise was enough to boost the immune system, and to cut blood sugar levels.

The traditional Chinese martial art combines deep breathing and gentle movement to boost relaxation levels.

Both studies, by researchers in Taiwan and Australia, appear in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Shingles Immunity and Health Functioning in the Elderly: Tai Chi Chih as a Behavioral Treatment

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 December; 1(3): 223–232.

Published online 2004 December 1. doi: 10.1093/ecam/neh048.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Tai Chi

Tai chi aims to address the body and mind as an interconnected system and to improve mental and physical health while benefiting posture, balance, flexibility and strength. Tai chi includes sequences of slow movements coordinated with deep breathing and mental focus. Tai chi can be practiced alone or with a group of people in a class.

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