‘Tai-Chi Chuan exercise appears to be safe for RA patients and may serve as an alternative for their exercise therapy and part of their rehabilitation program. Weight-bearing exercises have the potential advantages of stimulating bone growth and strengthening connective tissue, but this effect needs to be documented in long-term studies’


Kirsteins, Andrew E. MD; Dietz, Frederick MD; Hwang, Shie-Ming PhD
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 70(3):136-141, June 1991.

‘Scientific evidence on the benefits of tai chi is piling up. One study presented at the American College of Rheumatology meeting in November 2001 showed that older people with arthritis may have less pain and less trouble with daily activities if they practice tai chi. Researchers at Soonchunhyang University in Korea looked at people with arthritis who took a 12-week tai chi course. At the end of the course, they had stronger abdominal muscles and better balance than they had before they took the course.

Another study done by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that 12 weeks of tai chi helped older people with arthritis in the legs get around better, and they had less pain. These results were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2000. ‘
Marlene Fransen, MPH, PhD, the study’s lead investigator, concludes “This study demonstrated that access to 12 weeks of intensive water exercise classes or this disease-specific form of Tai Chi for fairly sedentary older individuals (>59 years of age) with chronic symptomatic knee or hip OA resulted in clinical benefits that were sustained a further 12 weeks.” She goes on to specify, “Hydrotherapy classes appeared to provide greater relief of joint pain, and resulted in larger improvements in measures of physical performance, however this result may be mostly explained by the greater acceptability and attendance of the hydrotherapy classes in this Caucasian

sample of patients.” http://www.arthritis.org/aquatic-tai-chi.php

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