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Practising Sitting Tai Chi Beneficial For Stroke Survivors, May Improve Recovery Outcome

Practising Sitting Tai Chi Beneficial For Stroke Survivors, May Improve Recovery Outcome

A new study has found that stroke survivors who practise sitting Tai Chi may experience better recovery outcomes. Here's everything you need to know.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : April 10, 2022 2:01 PM IST

Tai chi is a traditional Chinese exercise based on martial arts, which entails a series of slow, focused movements that are complemented by deep breathing. Also known as tai chi chuan, it is a mild physical training and stretching regimen that is non-competitive and self-paced. Each posture flows seamlessly into the next, ensuring that your body is constantly in motion.

There are many distinct types of tai chi. Various tai chi ideas and practices may be gently emphasised in each style. Within each style, there are variants. Some types benefit wellness, while others benefit the martial arts side of tai chi. It has many physical and mental benefits. A new study has found that sitting Tai Chi exercise may aid patients at risk of stroke.

Tai Chi Can Benefit Stroke Survivors

The study published in the journal Stroke found that stroke survivors who practised sitting Tai Chi for three months saw an improvement in hand and arm strength, shoulder range of motion, balance control, signs of depression and daily activities.

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The researchers of the study aimed at creating a Tai Chi sitting routine for persons who had a recent ischemic stroke and had hand and arm weakness or partial paralysis. For the study, the researchers at Kunming, China, included 160 participants with an average age of 63 years, 81 men and 79 women, who had experienced their first ischemic stroke within six months of enrolling in the trial and were still able to use at least one arm.

The Findings

Half of the participants in the trial were randomly assigned to the seated Tai Chi programme, while the other half were randomised to a normal stroke rehabilitation exercise programme. After analyzing the results, researchers found:

  1. When compared to those in the usual stroke rehabilitation group, those in the sitting Tai Chi group exhibited better hand and arm function and sitting balance control.
  2. Individuals in the seated Tai Chi group exhibited significant reductions in depressive symptoms, improved shoulder range of motion, and demonstrated significant improvements in activities of daily living and quality of life.
  3. After the 12-week intervention, over half of the Tai Chi group continued to practise. These metrics continued to improve during the Tai Chi group's 4-week follow-up period.

Tai Chi Offers Other Health Benefits As Well

When performed regularly, Tai Chi can have a positive impact on your overall health. Some of the major benefits include:

  • Reduces anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Improves mood and aerobic capability
  • Increases stamina and energy
  • Better flexibility, balance, and agility
  • Improves muscle definition and strength

While there are other health benefits of Tai Chi, more research is required to know the benefits for sure:

  • Enhances sleep quality
  • Improves joint discomfort
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves symptoms of congestive heart failure
  • Reduces risk of falls in older adults

(With inputs from agencies)

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