A new study is the first to assess cognitive abilities of former chemotherapy patients in terms of various programs of exercise including Tai Chi. It addresses the fact that about a third of former patients develop cognitive impairments after chemotherapy although scientists don’t know exactly why.The research, published in the journal "Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice", measured participants’ physical and psychological well-being and cognitive skills such as attention and multitasking.
A blog by clinical psychologist Joseph Nowinski appearing in the “Huffington Post” describes how both Tai Chi and Yoga can be looked at as alternative and complementary treatments or ACTs. While the writer doesn’t believe that complementary treatments should be used in lieu of medical treatments, he states that “I think there is good reason to consider and include many complementary treatments in a holistic approach to treatment. Moreover, many ACTs may be beneficial to caregivers as well as the loved ones they care for.”The article goes on to cite a study conducted at the Oregon Research Institute which found that “Tai Chi participants were twice as likely as nonparticipants to be able to perform moderate physical activities…These same researchers found that Tai Chi participants had improved sleep, both in terms of quantity and quality.”
New research is showing that Tai Chi can boost quality of life in heart failure patients. This study was conducted jointly by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. According to Time magazine, scientists found that “those who did tai chi showed significant improvements in mood and well-being, compared with the education group. Depression-related mood scores dropped for the tai chi group, while those who had the heart training actually saw their scores rise. People who practiced tai chi also reported increased confidence in performing various other types of exercise (traditionally, heart failure patients had been thought to be too frail to exercise), increased daily levels of activity and greater feelings of well-being, compared with the education group.”
A new article from the Wall Street Journal discusses why physicians are increasingly questioning the conventional wisdom about how to deal with joint pain and are now recommending physical activity to help osteoarthritis patients. The article recommends Tai Chi, Yoga, and some specific stretching exercises for treating osteoarthritis. Tai Chi is widely known to be an excellent practice for people of all ages to maintain healthy joints.
According to The New York Times, a new study from The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry has concluded that Tai Chi appears to relieve symptoms of depression in older people. “Altogether the effects were pretty dramatic", Dr. Helen Lavretsky, lead author and professor of psychiatry at U.C.L.A was quoted as saying. According to the article, those participating also showed marked improvement in physical function and cognitive tests.
A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Bender Institute of Neuroimaging found that “deep meditation for 27 minutes a day for eight weeks produced changes in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, and stress.”
Qigong is gathering momentum in the mainstream media. Here’s an interesting story (and video) about an eight-year old boy who has studied Qigong for four years and (according to the report) is using the power of Qigong energy to heal others.
Here’s an interesting narrative about one person’s journey towards acceptance of Qigong. A quote from the article: "Each human being is a unique universe, who is in contact and communication with nature, and the most beautiful part of Qigong is the mystery of this communication."