You are here

Stroke sufferers' balance 'improved with tai chi'

Stroke sufferers' balance 'improved with tai chi'
27th March 2009

Tai chi, the ancient Chinese martial art, has been discovered as beneficial to improving the balance of stroke sufferers in a recent American study.

Christina Hui-Chan, a professor and the head of physical therapy at the University of Illinois in Chicago, has studied the use of the exercise as a way to minimise the likelihood of falls by healthy elderly people, with stroke survivors also responding positively in recent research.

Over 130 stroke patients were in the study in Hong Kong, with breathing exercises and stretching being taught to them over the course of 12 weeks, with great responses.

Dr Hui-Chan said: "The tai chi group did particularly better in conditions that required them to use their balance control.

"In only six weeks, we saw significant improvements. The ability to shift your weight is very important because all reaching tasks require it."

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, tai chi is beneficial as it is capable of increasing calmness and awareness as well as assisting the digestive system.

Please click here for advice to help you find the right type of care.