23. April 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Cardiac, Heart Disease, Tai Chi Chuan

Tai chi training can improve renal and cardiac functions in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Chinese researchers randomly divided 21 patients with CKD and CVD into exercise and control groups. The exercise group performed tai chi for 30 minutes, three to five times a week for 12 weeks, while the control group did not. Patients’ renal and cardiac functions and blood lipid parameters were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks. After 12 weeks of tai chi, increases were observed in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, a marker of kidney function), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF, a marker of heart function) and in serum levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL, ‘good’ cholesterol) level. Decreases were seen in heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and in serum levels of creatinine (Scr), total cholesterol (CH), triglycerides (TG) and low density lipoprotein (LDL, ‘bad’ cholesterol). The change in eGFR correlated negatively with the changes in CH, TG and LDL, and positively with the change in HDL. In addition, the change in SBP correlated positively with the changes in CH, TG and LDL, and negatively with the change in HDL. The authors conclude that tai chi training may improve renal and cardiac functions in CKD and CVD patients via improved regulation of lipid metabolism. (The effects of tai chi on the renal and cardiac functions of patients with chronic kidney and cardiovascular diseases. J Phys Ther Sci. 2014 Nov;26(11):1733-6).

Qigong training can increase the exercise capacity of patients with cardiac impairment. A controlled trial enlisted thirty men and thirteen women, average age 68, suffering from chronic atrial fibrillation. They were randomised to either a 16-week medically assisted qigong training program or to a waiting-list control group. Functional capacity variation was evaluated by measuring how far patients could walk during six minutes, assessed at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and after a further 16 weeks. Patients trained in qigong walked an average 114 metres more (27%) at the end of treatment and 57 metres more (13.7%) 16 weeks later. Control subjects showed no variation in functional capacity.

(Functional capacity after traditional Chinese medicine (qi gong) training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation: a randomized controlled trial. Prev Cardiol. 2007 Winter;10(1):22-5)