The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Discrepant results on the benefits of tai chi in the elderly

    At the Chinese University of Hong Kong 180 men and women participated in tai chi or resistance training 3 times a week. The results were compared to a control group. The objective was to examine the effects on bone mineral density, muscle strength, balance and flexibility in independently living seniors.

    I know, you’ve heard this song before. But this time the researchers hit some flat notes.

    After a year, there was no difference in balance, flexibility, or in the number of falls between those practicing tai chi or the controls. Conclusion: “the beneficial effects of tai chi … on musculoskeletal health are modest and may not translate into better clinical outcomes.”

    These findings are at odds with other research.

    • Simplified 50-minute tai chi sessions 3 times a week for 6 months in 51 older men resulted in a significant drop in blood pressure, increased handgrip strength, and better lower body flexibility.


    • 3-times-per-week tai chi for 6 months decreased falls, the risk for falling and the fear of falling, and improved functional balance and physical performance in physically inactive persons aged 70 years or older.

    Older studies (all positive for tai chi) are summarized here.

    The bottom line?
    I wouldn’t stop the tai chi just yet.

    3/16/07 22:48 JR

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