27. June 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Cardiovascular Disease, Tai Chi Chuan

Tai chi can improve factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in women, according to investigators based in the USA. In a randomised trial, 63 women aged 35 to 50 years, who were at increased risk for CVD, were assigned either to eight weekly group tai chi classes, or to a waitlist control. Tai chi was shown to decrease fatigue, and increase mindfulness and self-compassion. In addition, it was observed that tai chi may help down-regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with underlying CVD risk (including interferon gamma, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, tumor necrosis factor interleukin 8 and interleukin 4).
The Effects of Tai Chi on Cardiovascular Risk in Women. Am J Health Promot. 2016 Nov;30(8):613-622.

A meta-analysis published by Chinese authors suggests that tai chi and qigong can offer significant, wide-ranging benefits for people with cardiovascular disease. A total of 35 articles with 2249 cardiovascular disease patients satisfied their inclusion criteria. The analysis of pooled data found that tai chi could improve blood pressure enough to reduce stroke risk by up to 41% and coronary heart disease risk by 22%. Patients performing tai chi also experienced benefits in terms of triglyceride levels, physical functioning and depression, compared with controls. (Traditional Chinese Exercise for Cardiovascular Diseases: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Mar 9;4(3):e002562).

19. April 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Cardiovascular Disease, Qigong, Tai Chi Chuan

Practising tai chi (TC) can help reduce pro-inflammatory factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in women, according to American researchers. In a randomised trial of 63 women aged 35 to 50 years who were at increased risk for CVD, a wait-list control group was compared with a group who undertook an eight-week tai chi intervention. The tai chi group attended weekly 60 minute instructor-led group classes and were encouraged to practice for 15 minutes per day at home. At the end of the eight-week intervention, tai chi was found to result in significantly decreases in fatigue and reduced serum levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (a pro-inflammatory cytokine). At follow-up, two months post intervention, the results indicated that tai chi practice had down-regulated multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with underlying CVD risk, including interferon gamma, tumour necrosis factor, interleukin-8 and interleukin-4. Participants also reported increases in mindfulness, spiritual thoughts and behaviours, and self-compassion. The tai chi practice performed was tailored to address specific biological contributors to CVD. It included several ‘medical qigong’ movements, such as the Thymus Tap and Kidney Rub, purported to target the endocrine and immune systems. The study authors note that changes in several cytokines associated with functional signalling within these systems were found.
The Effects of Tai Chi on Cardiovascular Risk in Women. Am J Health Promot. 2015 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]).