Health Discoveries in General Health News

Tai Chi improves condition of heart failure patients

April 29, 2011
A 12-week Tai Chi program for patients with chronic heart failure enhanced their quality of life, including improved mood, confidence and ability to exercise, according to the April issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese exercise, combines low intensity aerobics, strength and balance training, breathing techniques, flexibility and relaxation. It has been shown to improve the condition of people with high blood pressure, musculoskeletal diseases and fibromyalgia.

"Maintaining an exercise regimen is important in heart failure, and Tai Chi may be a suitable alternative or adjunct exercise for these patients," said Dr. Gloria Yeh, of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

In the study, researchers assigned 100 heart failure patients to the Tai Chi program or educational sessions about heart failure. Those who performed Tai Chi showed improvement physically and mentally.

Tai Chi is one of the healing programs included in the Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Alternative medicine is offered in conjunction with traditional medical treatments for better heart health and other conditions.
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