ExerciseHeart DiseaseTai Chi

The benefits of tai chi on exercise tolerance in people with moderate heart failure

Researchers from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK studied people with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II and III heart failure.

In other words, their condition ranged from mild symptoms and slight limitation during ordinary activity to marked limitation in activity due to symptoms, even during less-than-ordinary activity.

First, the details.

  • 52 patients were randomly assigned to tai chi chuan twice a week for 16 weeks or to standard medical care without exercise rehabilitation.

And, the results.

  • Objective measures of exercise tolerance did not improve significantly with tai chi.
  • However, there was improvement in symptom scores of heart failure as measured by the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, and in depression scores measured by the SCL-90-R questionnaire compared with those patients in the control group.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that tai chi was “enjoyed by all taking part and led to significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life.”

Earlier this year, another researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston reported, “Tai chi exercise may enhance sleep stability in patients with chronic heart failure.”

11/10/07 22:44 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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