Tai Chi Illustrated: Enhanced Edition
In a recent study, Taylor-Piliae and Coull [ 67 ] recruited 28 stroke patients to participate in a community-based Yang Tai Chi training program. There were no falls or other adverse events in the training period. Tai Chi appears to be safe and can be considered as a community-based exercise program for stroke patients. Normal sensorimotor agility and dynamic control are required to maintain balance during motor and cognitive tasks. Gait changes include difficulty in initiating steps, shuffling, and freezing of gait and they are common in patients with PD.
Balance difficulties are also prominent during turning and backward walking, and thus patients with PD have high risk of falls [ 68 ]. Tai Chi can improve balance, kinesthetic sense, and strength, and hence it may be prescribed as a sensorimotor agility program for patients with PD. Li and colleagues [ 69 ] designed a Tai Chi program for 17 community-dwelling patients with mild-to-moderate idiopathic PD. At the end of this intervention, the program was well received by all participants with respect to participant satisfaction, enjoyment, and intentions to continue.
The results of this pilot study suggested that even a 5-day Tai Chi program was effective for improving physical function in patients with PD. In another study [ 70 ], 33 patients with PD were randomly assigned to a Tai Chi group or a control group. The Tai Chi group participated in 20 training sessions within 10—13 weeks. In a recent study, Li and colleagues [ 71 ] randomly assigned patients with PD to one of three groups: Tai Chi, resistance training, or stretching.
All patients participated in minute exercise sessions twice weekly for 24 weeks. After training, the Tai Chi group performed better than the other two groups in maximum excursion and in directional control. The Tai Chi group also performed better in strength, functional reach, timed up-and-go, motor scores, and number of falls than the stretching group.
Additionally, the Tai Chi group outperformed the resistance-training group in stride length and functional reach. This study revealed that Tai Chi could reduce balance impairments in patients with PD, with improved functional capacity and reduced falls. Tai Chi appears to be a safe and effective exercise for patients with mild-to-moderate PD. Traumatic brain injury TBI is a common disease in the young male population. However, the outcome is disappointing in severely injured patients. Exercise therapy for patients with TBI may improve the motor function and independence. Shapira and colleagues [ 72 ] reported the application of long-term Tai Chi training in 3 patients with severe TBI.
After 2 to 4 years of training, all patients can walk without assistance, rarely fall, and feel more secure while walking. One patient can lead independent daily activities and even return to car driving. The results showed that Tai Chi was associated with significant improvement on all Visual Analogue Mood Scales scores with decreases in sadness, confusion, anger, tension, and fear and with increases in energy and happiness.
Intervention participants attended a Tai Chi Qigong program for one hour per week, while control participants engaged in nonexercise-based social and leisure activities. After the intervention, mood and self-esteem were improved in the Tai Chi group when compared with controls. There were no significant differences in physical functioning between groups.
Husted and colleagues [ 75 ] reported that 19 patients with multiple sclerosis participated in an 8-week Tai Chi program. The results may be attributed to the effect of neuromuscular facilitation during Tai Chi practice. Studies have shown that patients with rheumatological diseases can benefit from Tai Chi exercise. Although Tai Chi is performed in a semisquat posture, joint pain can be prevented because most motions of Tai Chi are performed in a closed kinematic chain and in very slow speed [ 20 ].
However, patients with arthropathy should perform Tai Chi in high-squat posture to prevent excessive stress on lower extremities. In a recent review, Tai Chi may modulate complex factors and improve health outcomes in patients with rheumatologic conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis RA is a chronic, inflammatory, and systemic disease which affects the musculoskeletal system. In addition, Tai Chi has significant benefits to lower extremity range of motion for patients with RA. Recently, two studies reported the benefits of Tai Chi for patients with RA.
The Tai Chi group had greater improvement in the disability index, the vitality subscale of the SF, and the depression index. Similar trends to improvement for disease activity, functional capacity and health-related quality of life were also observed. In another study [ 80 ], 15 patients with RA were instructed on Tai Chi exercise twice weekly for 12 weeks. The result showed that the Tai Chi group improved lower-limb muscle function at the end of the training and at 12 weeks of follow up. Patients also experienced improved physical condition, confidence in moving, balance, and less pain during exercise and in daily life.
Others experienced stress reduction, increased body awareness, and confidence in moving. These studies indicated that Tai Chi was a feasible exercise modality for patients with RA. Ankylosing spondylitis AS is a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton with variable involvement of peripheral joints and nonarticular structures. In a recent study [ 81 ], Lee and colleagues assigned 40 patients with AS to Tai Chi or control group. After training, the Tai Chi group showed significant improvement in disease activity and flexibility compared with the control group, and no adverse effects associated with the practice of Tai Chi were reported by the participants.
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, multiple tender points, nonrestorative sleep, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, complex somatic symptoms, and poor quality of life [ 82 ]. Exercise showed some benefits in the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia. An important study of Tai Chi on fibromyalgia was reported by Wang and colleagues [ 83 ]. In this trial, 66 patients with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to a Tai Chi group or a group that attended wellness education and stretching program.
The SF physical component scores and mental component scores were significantly improved compared with the control group. This study proved that patients with fibromyalgia benefited from Tai Chi training, with no adverse effects. Jones and colleagues [ 84 ] conducted a randomized controlled trial and assigned patients with fibromyalgia to Tai Chi or education group. The Tai Chi participants practiced modified 8-form Yang-style Tai Chi 90 minutes twice weekly for over 12 weeks. After training, the Tai Chi group demonstrated significant improvements in FIQ scores, pain severity, pain interference, sleep, and self-efficacy for pain control compared with the education group.
Functional mobility variables including timed up-and-go, static balance, and dynamic balance were also improved in the Tai Chi group. Tai Chi appears to be a safe and acceptable exercise modality for patients with fibromyalgia. In a recent study, Romero-Zurita and colleagues [ 85 ] reported the effects of Tai Chi training in women with fibromyalgia. Thirty-two women with fibromyalgia attended Tai Chi intervention 3 sessions weekly for 28 weeks.
After training, patients improved in pain threshold, total number of tender points, and algometer score. Additionally, the Tai Chi group improved in the total score and six subscales of FIQ: stiffness, pain, fatigue, morning tiredness, anxiety, and depression. Finally, patients also showed improvement in six subscales in SF bodily pain, vitality, physical functioning, physical role, general health, and mental health.
Patients with osteoarthritis OA show benefits from 6—20 weeks of Tai Chi training. The first randomized trial of Tai Chi and osteoarthritis was conducted by Hartman and colleagues [ 86 ]. In this study, 33 older patients with lower extremity OA were assigned to Tai Chi or control group. Tai Chi training included two 1-hour Tai Chi classes per week for 12 weeks. After training, Tai Chi participants experienced significant improvements in self-efficacy for arthritis symptoms, total arthritis self-efficacy, level of tension, and satisfaction with general health status.
Song and colleagues [ 87 ] randomly assigned 72 patients with OA to a Tai Chi group or a control group. After training, the Tai Chi group perceived significantly less joint pain and stiffness and reported fewer perceived difficulties in physical functioning, while the control group showed no change or even deterioration in physical functioning.
The Tai Chi group also displayed significant improvement in balance and abdominal muscle strength. Patients were assigned to a Tai Chi or an attention control group. Subjects in the attention control group attended six weeks of health lectures, followed by 12 weeks of no activity. After six weeks of training, the Tai Chi group showed significant improvements in overall knee pain, maximum knee pain, and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index WOMAC subscales of physical function and stiffness compared with the baseline. The Tai Chi group reported lower overall pain and better WOMAC physical function than the attention control group, but all improvements disappeared after detraining.
The result implies that a short-term Tai Chi program is beneficial for patients with OA, but long-term practice is needed to maintain the therapeutic effect. Fransen and colleagues [ 90 ] randomly assigned older persons with chronic hip or knee OA to hydrotherapy classes, Tai Chi classes, or a wait-list control group. After 12 weeks of training, both the hydrotherapy group and the Tai Chi group demonstrated improvements for pain, and physical function scores and achieved improvements in the Item Short From Health Survey SF physical component summary score. This study revealed that Tai Chi and hydrotherapy can provide similar benefits to patients with chronic hip or knee OA.
In a randomized controlled trial conducted by Wang and colleagues [ 91 ], 40 patients with OA were assigned to Tai Chi group or attention control group. The result showed that Tai Chi reduces pain and improves physical function, self-efficacy, depression and health-related quality of life for patients with knee OA. In a recent randomized controlled study [ 92 ], 58 community-dwelling elderly patients with knee OA and cognitive impairment were assigned to a Tai Chi week program or a control group. After training, the Tai Chi group showed significant improvement in WOMAC pain, physical function, and stiffness score than the control group.
The result showed that practicing Tai Chi was effective in reducing pain and stiffness in patients with knee OA and cognitive impairment. Tai Chi is also beneficial to gait kinematics for the elderly with knee OA. Shen and colleagues [ 93 ] applied Tai Chi on 40 patients with knee OA. Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disorder, and it is estimated that 44 million individuals in the United States over the age of 50 years have osteoporosis or low bone mass [ 94 ]. Exercise is an effective therapy to prevent or delay the development of osteoporosis.
Qin and colleagues [ 95 ] reported that Tai Chi participants had significantly higher bone mineral density BMD than the controls in the lumbar spine, the proximal femur, and the ultradistal tibia. The follow up measurements showed generalized bone loss in both groups, but the quantitative computed tomography revealed significantly reduced rate of bone loss in trabecular BMD of the ultradistal tibia and of the cortical BMD of the distal tibial diaphysis.
In a subsequent study, Chan and colleagues [ 96 ] randomly assigned healthy postmenopausal women to Tai Chi or sedentary control group. At 12 months of training, BMD measurements revealed a general bone loss in both Tai Chi and control subjects at lumbar spine, proximal femur, and distal tibia, but with a slower rate in the Tai Chi group. A significant 2. In a recent trial, Wayne and colleagues [ 97 ] reported the application of Tai Chi in 86 postmenopausal osteopenic women aging 45—70 years. Women were assigned to either 9 months of Tai Chi training plus usual care or usual care alone.
Protocol analyses of femoral neck BMD changes were significantly different between Tai Chi and usual care-group. Changes in bone formation markers and physical domains of quality of life were more favorable in the Tai Chi group. Chronic low-back pain LBP is prevalent in the general population, and exercise therapy is among the effective interventions showing small-to-moderate effects for patients with LBP. In a recent randomized trial [ 98 ], volunteers with chronic LBP were assigned either to a Tai Chi group or to a wait-list control group. After training, the Tai Chi group reduced bothersomeness of back symptoms by 1.
Musculoskeletal disorder is a leading cause of work disability and productivity losses in industrialized nations. Tai Chi can be used as a simple, convenient workplace intervention that may promote musculoskeletal health without special equipment. A recent study applied Tai Chi to female computer users [ 99 ], and 52 subjects participated in a minute Tai Chi class per week for 12 weeks.
The results showed significant improvement in heart rate, waist circumference, and hand-grip strength. It implied that Tai Chi was effective in improving musculoskeletal fitness. In chronic muscular pain, such as tension headache, Tai Chi also shows some benefits. Abbott and colleagues [ ] randomly assigned 47 patients with tension headache to either a week Tai Chi program or a wait-list control group. The SF and headache status were obtained at baseline and at 5, 10, and 15 weeks during the intervention period.
In the United States, the relative rate of death attributable to cardiovascular disease CVD declined by Exercise training is the core component of cardiac rehabilitation CR for patients with coronary heart disease CHD. Tai Chi may be used in CR programs because its exercise intensity is low to moderate, and it can be easily implemented in communities. In a recent study, Taylor-Piliae and colleagues [ ] reported a study that included 51 cardiac patients who participated in an outpatient CR program.
After rehabilitation, subjects attending Tai Chi plus CR had better balance, perceived physical health, and Tai Chi self-efficacy compared with those attending CR only. Hypertension is the most prevalent form of CVD affecting approximately 1 billion patients worldwide. In the United States, about one in three adults has hypertension [ 62 ]. Hypertension is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Regular exercise and lifestyle change are the core of current recommendations for prevention and treatment of hypertension.
Systemic review of randomized clinical trials indicated that aerobic exercise significantly reduced BP, and the reduction appears to be more pronounced in hypertensive subjects [ , ]. Previous studies have shown that 6- to week Tai Chi training programs might decrease systolic and diastolic BP at rest or after exercise, and hypertensive patients exhibit the most favorable improvement [ — ].
In a recent systemic review, Yeh and colleagues [ ] analyzed 26 studies and found positive effect of Tai Chi on blood pressure. For patients with acute myocardial infarction AMI , both Tai Chi and aerobic exercise were associated with significant reductions in systolic BP, but diastolic BP was decreased in the Tai Chi group only.
Diabetes mellitus is a fast growing risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Estimated Previous studies have shown that exercise has benefits for those who have diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance [ — ]. Several studies have shown the benefits of Tai Chi for diabetic patients. In a pilot study for 12 patients with diabetes, Wang [ ] reported that an 8-week Tai Chi program could decrease blood glucose. Additionally, high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers and low-affinity insulin receptor-binding capacity were increased. For obese diabetic patients, Chen and colleagues reported that 12 weeks of Chen Tai Chi training induced significant improvement in body mass index, triglyceride TG , and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol HDL-C [ ].
In addition, serum malondialdehyde oxidative stress indicator and C-reactive protein inflammation indicator decreased significantly. In diabetic patients complicated with peripheral neuropathy, Ahn and Song reported that Tai Chi training one hour twice per week for 12 weeks improved glucose control, balance, neuropathic symptoms, and some dimensions of quality of life [ ]. A recent study reported that a week Tai Chi program for diabetic patients obtained significant benefits in quality of life [ ]. After training, the Tai Chi group revealed significant improvements in the SF subscales of physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, and vitality.
Dyslipidemia, or abnormalities in blood lipid and lipoprotein, is a major risk factor of cardiovascular disease. In the United States, The prevalence of dyslipidemia increases with age and westernized lifestyle, but regular exercise may ameliorate the trend toward abnormal blood lipid profile. A meta-analysis of 31 randomized controlled trials with exercise training reported a significant decrease in total cholesterol TC , low-density lipoprotein cholesterol LDL-C , and triglyceride, and an increase in HDL-C [ ].
Tsai and colleagues [ ] randomly assigned 88 patients to Tai Chi or sedentary control group. This may be attributed to differences in baseline lipid concentrations, training amount and intensity, changes in body composition, or the adjunctive interventions such as diet or lipid-lowering agents. In a recent study, Lan and colleagues [ ] assigned 70 dyslipidemic patients to a month Yang Tai Chi training group or the usual-care group.
After training, the Tai Chi group showed a significant decrease of In addition, the Tai Chi group also showed a significant decrease in fasting insulin and a decrease in homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance HOMA index, which is suggestive of improved insulin resistance Figure 4.
Acute myocardial infarction is the most common cause of mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease, but exercise can significantly reduce the mortality rate in patients with AMI. A recent Cochrane review [ ] involved in 47 studies randomizing 10, patients with AMI to exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation or usual care. Channer and colleagues [ ] randomized patients with AMI to Tai Chi, aerobic exercise, or nonexercise support group.
The Tai Chi and the aerobic exercise group participated in an 8-week training program, attended twice weekly for three weeks, and then once weekly for five weeks. Lan and colleagues [ ] assigned 20 patients after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery CABG to classical Yang Tai Chi program or maintenance home exercise.
After 12 months of training, the Tai Chi group showed significant improvements of oxygen uptake at the peak exercise and the ventilatory threshold. At the peak exercise, the Tai Chi group showed Furthermore, the Tai Chi group increased Congestive heart failure CHF is characterized by the inability of the heart to deliver sufficient oxygenated blood to tissue.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & QiGong Illustrated, Fourth Edition
CHF results in abnormalities in skeletal muscle metabolism, neurohormonal responses, vascular and pulmonary functions. In , heart failure was the underlying cause in 56, of those deaths in the United States [ 62 ]. Exercise training improves functional capacity and symptoms in patients with CHF, and the increase in exercise tolerance may be attributed to increased skeletal muscle oxidative enzymes and mitochondrial density.
Previous studies have shown that low-intensity Tai Chi training benefited patients with CHF [ — ]. In a study by Barrow and colleagues [ ], 52 patients with CHF were randomized to Tai Chi or standard medical care group. The Tai Chi group practiced Tai Chi twice a week for 16 weeks. After training, the Tai Chi group did not show significant increase in exercise tolerance, but they had improvement in symptom scores of heart failure and depression scores compared with the control group.
Yeh and colleagues [ , ] also reported that a week Tai Chi training in patients with CHF improved quality of life, sleep quality, and 6-minute walking distance and decreased serum B-type natriuretic peptide BNP. BNP is produced by ventricular cardiomyocytes and is correlated with left ventricular dysfunction. In a recent study, Yeh and colleagues [ ] randomized patients with systolic heart failure into a Tai Chi group or a control group. Tai Chi participants practiced 5 basic simplified Yang Tai Chi movements twice weekly, while the control group participated in an education program.
After 12 weeks of training, the Tai Chi group displayed greater improvements in quality of life, exercise self-efficacy, and mood. For patients with CHF, low-intensity exercise such as simplified Tai Chi may increase the acceptance. Interval training protocol by using selected Tai Chi movements is suitable for patients with very low endurance. Tai Chi can combine endurance exercise to improve functional capacity. Caminiti and colleagues [ ] enrolled 60 patients with CHF and randomized them into a combined training group performing Tai Chi plus endurance training, and an endurance training group.
After 12 weeks of training, 6-minute walking distance increased in both groups, but the combined training group showed more improvement than the endurance training group. Systolic BP and BNP decreased in the combined training group compared with the endurance training group. Additionally, the combined training group had a greater improvement in physical perception and peak torque of knee extensor compared with the endurance training group.
The left ventricle ejection fraction is found to be preserved in about half of all cases of heart failure. Patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction HFPEF appear to be older and are more likely to be females, have a history of hypertension, and have less coronary artery diseases [ ]. Change in was similar between groups, but 6-minute walking distance increased more in the Tai Chi group. Both groups had improved Minnesota Living With Heart Failure scores and self-efficacy, but the Tai Chi group showed a decrease in depression scores in contrast to an increase in the aerobic exercise group.
In patients with HFPEF, the Tai Chi group displayed similar improvement as the aerobic exercise group despite a lower aerobic training workload. Patients with COPD are at risk for low levels of physical activity, leading to increased morbidity and mortality [ ]. The effectiveness of exercise training in people with COPD is well established. However, alternative methods of training such as Tai Chi have not been widely evaluated.
Patients in the TCQ group participated in a TCQ program, including two minute sessions each week for 3 months; patients in the exercise group practiced breathing exercise combined with walking. After training, the TCQ group showed greater improvements in the symptom and activity domains. In addition, the forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in the first second, walking distance, and exacerbation rate were improved in the TCQ group [ ].
In a pilot study conducted by Yeh and colleagues [ ], 10 patients with moderate-to-severe COPD were randomized to 12 weeks of Tai Chi plus usual care or usual care alone. After training, there was significant improvement in Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire score in the Tai Chi group compared with the usual-care group. There were nonsignificant trends toward improvement in 6-minute walk distance, depression scale, and shortness of breath score.
Forty-two participants were randomly allocated to Tai Chi or usual-care control group. Compared with the control, Tai Chi significantly increased endurance shuttle walk time, reduced medial-lateral body sway in semitandem stand, and increased total score on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Exercise therapy is a safe adjunct therapy that can mitigate common treatment-related side effects among cancer patients [ ]. Additionally, exercise has beneficial effects on certain domains of health-related quality of life QOL including physical functioning, role functioning, social functioning, and fatigue [ ].
Tai Chi has been reported to be beneficial for physical, emotional, and neuropsychological functions in patients with breast cancer [ — ], lung cancer [ ], and gastric cancer [ ].
The mental-attention Tai Chi effect with older adults
In a recent randomized trial, 21 breast cancer survivors were assigned to Tai Chi or standard support therapy controls , and patients in the exercise group practiced Tai Chi three times per week and 60 minutes per session for 12 weeks [ ]. After training, the Tai Chi group improved in total QOL, physical functioning, physical role limitations, social functioning, and general mental health.
Tai Chi may improve QOL by regulating inflammatory responses and other biomarkers associated with side effects from cancer and its treatments. By contrast, a recent meta-analysis did not show convincing evidence that Tai Chi is effective for supportive breast cancer care [ ]. Most Tai Chi studies are focused on QOL of breast cancer survivors; however, the positive results must be interpreted cautiously because most trials suffered from methodological flaws such as a small-sample size and inadequate study design.
Further research involving large number of participants is required to determine optimal effects of Tai Chi exercise for cancer patients. The training effect of an exercise program depends on its exercise mode, intensity, frequency, and duration. Although previous studies have shown that Tai Chi has potential benefits, most of the studies have limitations in study design, such as 1 a small-sample size, 2 nonrandomized trials, 3 lack of training intensity measurement, and 4 significant differences in training protocols.
In future research, a randomized controlled trial with standardized training protocol should be utilized according to the principles of exercise prescription. Tai Chi participants usually need 12 weeks of training to familiarize the movements. During the familiarization phase, the exercise intensity and amount of training are inconsistent. Therefore, a suitable training program should take at least 6 months of training.
Tai Chi is a Chinese traditional conditioning exercise that integrated breathing exercise into body movements. This literature paper reveals that Tai Chi has benefits in health promotion and has potential role as an alternative therapy in neurological, rheumatological, orthopedic, and cardiopulmonary diseases. There are several reasons to recommend Tai Chi as an exercise program for healthy people and patients with chronic diseases. First, Tai Chi does not need special facility or expensive equipment, and it can be practiced anytime and anywhere.
Second, Tai Chi is effective in enhancing aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and balance and in improving cardiovascular risk factors. Third, Tai Chi is a low-cost, low- technology exercise, and it can be easily implemented in the community. It is concluded that Tai Chi is effective in promoting health, and it can be prescribed as an alternative exercise program for patients with certain chronic diseases. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded. Journal Menu.
Special Issues Menu. Subscribe to Table of Contents Alerts. Table of Contents Alerts. Abstract Tai Chi Chuan Tai Chi is a Chinese traditional mind-body exercise and recently, it becomes popular worldwide. Introduction Tai Chi Chuan is a branch of Chinese martial arts and has developed since the 17th century in China. Figure 1: An example of a typical form of Tai Chi push down and stand on one leg. The sequential motions are performed in a semi-squat posture.
From [ 1 ], with permission. Figure 4: Changes of peak and cardiovascular risk factors after 1 year of training in patients with dyslipidemia Tai Chi group versus usual-care group. Lan, S. Chen, J. Lai, and M. Garber, B. Blissmer, M. Deschenes et al.
Chen, and J. Wu and J. Wu and X. Wu, W. Liu, J. Hitt, and D. Wu and D. Li, P. Harmer, E. McAuley et al. Church, S. Goodall, R. Norman, and M. Myers, M. Prakash, V. Froelicher, D. Do, S. Partington, and J. Lan, J. Lai, M. Wong, and M. Lai, S. Chen, and M.
The Different Forms of Tai Chi
Wolfson, R. Whipple, C. Derby et al. Jacobson, H. Chen, C. Cashel, and L. Wu, F. Zhao, X. Zhou, and L. Lu, C. Hui-Chan, and W. Li, D. Xu, and Y. Hasson, Ed. Louis, Mo, USA, View at Google Scholar S. Fong and G. Mao, J. Li, and Y. Lin, A. Wong, S. Chou, F. Tang, and P. Tsang, V. Fu, and C. Chen, A. Fu, K. Chan, and W. Wong, Y. Lin, S. Tsang and C. Xu, Y. Hong, J. Li, and K. Kwok, C. Hain, L. Fuller, L. Weil, and J. McGibbon, D. Krebs, S. Wolf, P. Wayne, D. Scarborough, and S. Parker, D. Scarborough, P. Wayne, and S. MacIaszek and W. Wolf, H. Barnhart, N. Kutner, E. McNeely, C.
Coogler, and T. Harmer, K. Fisher et al. Voukelatos, R. Cumming, S. Lord, and C. Huang, C. Liu, Y. Huang, and W. Tousignant, H. Corriveau, P. Roy, J. Desrosiers, N. Dubuc, and R. Taylor, L. Hale, P. Schluter et al. Woo, A. Hong, E. Lau, and H. Logghe, P. Zeeuwe, A. Verhagen et al. Logghe, A. Verhagen, A. Rademaker et al. Leung, C. Chan, H. Tsang, W. Tsang, and A. Kutner, H. Barnhart, S. Wolf, E. McNeely, and T. P—P, Dechamps, P.
Diolez, E. Brown, Y. Wang, A. Ward et al. Taylor-Piliae, W. Haskell, C. Waters, and E. Wang, R. Bannuru, J. Ramel, B. Kupelnick, T. Scott, and C. Jimenez, A. Melendez, and U. Yeung, V. Lepoutre, P. Wayne et al. Go, D. Mozaffarian, and V. Stoller, E. Knols, and K. Hart, H. Kanner, R. Gilboa-Mayo, O. Haroeh-Peer, N. Rozenthul-Sorokin, and R. Au-Yeung, C. Hui-Chan, and J. Wang, M.
Sawada, Y. To find the common intersection of overlapping relevant shapes let their schemes be f1, f2, f3, …f8 , active participants generally use an analytical strategy segregation and joint attending to relevant shapes allocating attention to shapes and matching them from right-side to left-side of the page to identify the common intersection. One shape e. The item in Fig. Thus attentional demand of a class of items is given by the number of relevant shapes.
Rather it is in the demand for cognitive resources: good Tai Chi practice imposes a number of constraints corresponding to the shapes f1…f8 of FIT to be conjointly maintained. Applying together during the practice these constraints is analogous in Tai Chi to segregating the shapes in FIT f1 to f8, in the most difficult FIT items to find and mark their joint intersection. A major difference, however, is that Tai Chi constraints could be acquired progressively with practice.
Our criterion task for attentional inhibition was the Antisaccade task, an established inhibition measure in the cognitive literature [ 40 ]. In this task, brief appearance of a black square on one side of the visual field elicits a strong instinctive orienting reaction or saccade that must be willfully inhibited to solve the task [ 41 ]. This demands the immediate move of gaze to the opposite-side visual field, in order to see and respond to a target stimulus.
Because WLT exhibits protracted i. Prior research has shown that Tai Chi practice can improve cognitive performance of older persons, and perhaps slow down their biological aging [ 66 ]. The Chinese sample in the current study had significant gains from Pretest to Posttest performance on FIT, Antisaccade, and Matrix Reasoning a g-factor intelligence measure. Effect sizes were particularly large for Antisaccade and MR. Western exercise and dancing have been shown to be beneficial for cognitive performance [ 2 , 14 ]; however, these activities have not been shown to affect performance in fluid-intelligence reasoning Raven Matrices or in a working memory task e.
This may be the result of mobilizing attentional resources, predicted to be content-free and general-purpose — which would explain their transfer from Tai Chi to the very different mental-attentional tasks. Indeed, this gain in vigilance is not explained by learning due to retesting with the cognitive tasks, because the Non-Chinese sample did not show similar gain during follow up. Such retesting interpretation is also unlikely because we reported significant correlations with our epidemiological variables. Nor can it be explained as transfer of learning from Tai Chi to the Post-tasks, because specific executive and action processes in Tai Chi are unrelated to those of the cognitive tasks.
The WLT yielded a main effect for time, with both samples improving in the Posttest. This positive WLT result suggests that the attentional-control balance may improve with Tai Chi training in both our samples, although improvement due to re-testing cannot be discounted here. The Chinese sample demonstrated a clear Tai Chi effect across tasks, after receiving Tai Chi for at most four months — a short period.
With a more intensive and longer Tai Chi practice participants in both samples might have exhibited a Tai Chi effect. Thus in our attentional-vigilance interpretation of the Chinese results we might expect that the Tai Chi effect would be smaller in old participants than in middle age participants. These data suggest that Tai Chi effect may not significantly change with age, and is still present in old participants.
Older-aged Chinese participants. They are used by subjects in developmental and psychometric intelligence, problem solving, social cognition, and emotional intelligence. Tai Chi practice increases primes general availability of these particular mental resources expressed in mental vigilance and readiness for their use. Such is the Tai Chi effect. Although this short practice did not affect the significant results in Chinese participants, it may be related to largely negative results with the Non-Chinese sample.
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Replication using longer practice is most advisable. In our study, due to budgetary limitations and other concerns of the total project e. To validate these research results, a replication should be done using random assignment to treatment along with proper control groups, who would receive the Pre-Post tests with some simple interpolated exercise activity instead of Tai Chi classes. Our samples were comprised mainly of women. Although this does not compromise our predicted finding of a Tai Chi effect, further study with a more gender-balanced sample would also be desirable.
Our findings explain, reinforce, and expand previous results about the possible use of Tai Chi in fostering cognitive readiness. From a Health Science perspective Tai Chi appears as an excellent physical activity for adults due to the effects on vigilance and executive processing, its effects on affective calmness and fitness, and its very low cost. THMK conducted the testing, performed the statistical analysis, wrote the initial draft of the paper and contributed to the final writing.
JPL co-designed the experiment, suggested data analyses and data presentation, revised the manuscript repeatedly and wrote the final version. JJ co-designed the experiment, advised on data analysis, and edited the paper drafts. HT conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, directed epidemiological aspects of the study, supervised the study and the analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Not Applicable. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. BMC Psychol.
Published online May Theresa H. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Kim, Email: ac. Corresponding author. Received Feb 5; Accepted May This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background Tai Chi practice has some fitness, wellness, and general cognitive effects in older adults. Methods Sixty-four adults 51—87 years old took part in a week Tai Chi program. Results Chinese participants showed significant gain on Figural Intersections Task mental-attentional capacity , Antisaccade attentional inhibition , and Matrix Reasoning fluid intelligence measure.
Conclusions These gains suggest that Tai Chi can improve mental-attentional vigilance and executive control, when practitioners are sufficiently motivated to pursue this practice, and apply themselves as our Chinese participants seem to have done. Background Practices that could foster physical and mental fitness in older adults increase in importance as life expectancy advances [ 1 , 2 ]; not only physical but cognitive functioning may decline with age [ 3 ].
Methods Participant samples This study was part of a broader project assessing biological functioning and psychological well-being in older adults; these biological data are not presented here. Study design Classes took place at local Community Centers. Cognitive measures Our three preselected cognitive tasks i.
Open in a separate window. Epidemiological variables Other information collected from participants included number of Tai Chi sessions attended, gender, education, age, annual income, duration of previous Tai Chi, and other physical activity participation. Table 1 Demographic characteristics of Chinese and Non-Chinese participants.
Number Pre-test Post-test Pre vs. A brief mental metasubjective task analysis MTA of Tai Chi and other tasks Tai Chi practice involves precise, slow, mindful body movements that maintain dynamic balance. Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Consent for publication Not Applicable. References 1. Physical activity and cognition in older adults: the potential of Tai Chi Chuan. J Aging Phys Act. Effects of Tai Chi and Western exercise on physical and cognitive functioning in healthy community-dwelling older adults.
Interim follow-up of a randomized controlled trial comparing Chinese style mind body Tai Chi and stretching exercises on cognitive function in subjects at risk of progressive cognitive decline. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. Association between mind-body and cardiovascular exercises and memory in older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. Neurobiol Aging. Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older. Ann Intern Med. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Accessed 14 Dec Extended practice and aerobic exercise interventions benefits untrained cognitive outcomes in older adults: A meta-analysis.
The exercise intensity of Tai Chi Chuan.
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