Tai Chi Chuan and cardiovascular disease

There are now countless studies on the beneficial effects of Taijiquan on the cardiovascular system, but here we mention just a few as examples:

• A study at National Taiwan University published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in September 2008, showed that Taijiquan significantly increases gymnastic ability, lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and C-reactive protein levels in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

•In a pilot study at Harvard Medical School, 12 weeks of Taijiquan improved participants’ walking and quality of life. It also reduced levels of type B natriuretic proteins in the blood.

•In an analysis of 26 studies in English and Chinese published in Preventive Cardiology (Spring 2008), Dr. Yeh reported that in 85% of research, Taijiquan lowered blood pressure — with improvements of 3 to 32 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 2 to 18 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure.

In 136 patients who had suffered a heart attack at least six months earlier, 12 weeks of Taijiquan improved orthostatic balance more than a standard program that included breathing, stretching and mobilization of muscles involved in sitting and walking. These findings were published in the January 2009 edition of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Taijiquan training consists of slow, fluid, and interconnected movements, in search of a harmony that involves the whole body in every single movement. In addition, the emphasis in Taijiquan on correct posture teaches the body how to properly absorb and discharge both the pressure due to the weight of the body itself, and the pressure due to external sources.

Source: Officina della salute.


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