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What does tai chi do for people with heart disease?
Can People With Heart Disease Benefit From Tai Chi? According to a recent study, the practice of Tai Chi apparently improves well-being and quality of life, and at the same time reduces mental stress.
A study by the University of Arizona found that tai chi can be beneficial for people with heart disease and stroke. The results were published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.
The survey included more than 1,800 participants
For the current investigation, the results of 15 clinical studies were analyzed, which looked at how Tai Chi affects mental well-being. In total, the data from more than 1,800 people with an average age of 66 years were taken into account. All of them had heart disease, heart failure or high blood pressure or had survived a stroke.
What is tai chi?
Tai Chi is an exercise for body and mind that comes from China and combines fixed movements with relaxation and breathing. Tai Chi requires a special focus on posture, relaxation and breathing. Tai Chi is also known as meditation in motion.
Heart disease leads to stress and anxiety
Many people with heart disease suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression. For example, about 20 percent of people with heart disease suffer from depression, as do 27 percent of people with high blood pressure and 35 percent of those who have survived a stroke.
What are the physical and mental benefits of tai chi?
Overall, tai chi has been associated with lower levels of mental stress, a decrease in depression and an improved quality of life. This includes both mental and physical health and quality of life.
Why does Tai Chi Benefit?
The researchers suspect that the synergy between posture and breathing contributes to the identified benefits. Good posture is adopted during Tai Chi, and research has shown that this can have a positive effect on mood. It is also known that breathing exercises can relieve stress and anxiety.
Effects on wellbeing after a stroke?
However, the current study found no statistically significant association between Tai Chi and reduced anxiety, and Tai Chi had no noticeable impact on the well-being of stroke survivors. This is probably because there were very few studies on psychological wellbeing or quality of life variables in this group, the research team reports. Although there are a lot of studies on tai chi in stroke survivors, the researchers explain that almost all physical functions such as balance and gait are examined.
Tai Chi as part of recovery
More research is needed to determine how tai chi improves mental health. If people have already had a heart attack or stroke or are affected by another heart disease, they should still include Tai Chi in their recovery and rehabilitation, the researchers advise. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Brooke A. Finley: Tai Chi exercise for psychological well-being among adults with cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis, in European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (published June 9th, 2020), European Journal of Cardiovascular nursing