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Thread: Tai Chi as medicine

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    Most of these studies at Harvard are run by Ramel Rones, using some basic qigong, or his 'Sunrise Tai Chi' form, which is basically the first 9 movements of the classical Yang form as taught by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, plus a closing move and abdominal breathing.
    do you know if Joe Audette, MD has anything to do w/any of that work? (he was a PM&R resident back when I was in PT school at Columbia)

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    The osteoarthritis study was designed by Ramel under Chenchen Wang, MD, MSc.
    as you obviously know, doing good research is a biotch, and most done by "alternative" types in the not too distant past is crap (never mind the stuff coming out of PRC - it's like a running gag); that seems to be changing of late, thankfully...
    what were the results of the study?

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    He presented their research on the benefits of tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee at the International Tai Chi Symposium in Nashville, TN in July this year.
    that looked like a nice event - it was suggested to me to attend, possibly even present something, but time was not available; do you know if this will be a yearly thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    "Rami" has been involved with the NIH in Boston since the 1990's and they have been very serious about slowly building real mainstream credibility, by operating WITHIN the system and following all the procedures requires of this kind of research.
    These studies are VERY controlled, with all the double-blind controls required, and they have been slowly progressing over the past 10 years or so, from small groups toward larger, longer-term studies.
    I know Steve Wolfe, PT, PhD has been involved in taiji research for over a decade down in Atlanta, which resulted in the body of work demonstrating decreased falling incidence in geriatric pop as a result; nice thing about a standardized "mini-form" w/a specific protocol is that you can factor out operator influence to a viable greater degree and ty to get the modality interacting more "purely" in a sense; although some would argue that this robs taiji of something essential...

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    Many places here in Boston, Mass General Hospital, Tufts medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, are involved in these studies, and offer weekly taiji/qigong classes
    I keep thinking about going around to local hospitals and starting classes, but it's always an issue of time, time, time...

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    Its impossible to say if Taiji, or Qigong, or Daoyin, or whatever, is better for health and healing - it depends on the teacher, the student, the condition, etc.
    this is often the confounding aspect of doing studies along these line: operator skill / subjectivity is a critical component in application of some of this stuff - similar to any integrated movement approach (Feldenkreis, Alexander, Pilates, etc.);

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    But it is becoming clear that unlike jogging or other 'external' exercises, 'internal' arts like taiji and qigong have a lot of benefit because not only do they exercise the body, and increase range of motion, and oxygen uptake, but they also trigger the 'relaxation response' which retrains the nervous system and can have health benefits even on the genetic level.
    are there any studies demonstrating differences between something like joggin and practicing taiji? personally, I would suggest that "relaxation" can happen w/just about any sort of movement, including running (there is even practice of "qigong running"), so I would say it has more to do w/the intent and the presence of awareness that one brings to it - running on a treadmill can be "internal", but not if you are staring at ESPN and wishing you weren't there at the same time!

    Quote Originally Posted by YMAA_com View Post
    I would say taiji is about 15 years behind yoga as far as when it will hit the mainstream in a big way. Qigong is probably another 10 years behind that.
    I think taiji in its "traditional" incarnation may be on a plateau - modified forms, such as taught by guys like Yang Yang, PhD or Stephen Wolfe, PhD are more "consumer friendly"; qigong, OTHO, I think is just ascending, but quickly - I mean, when the Boomers figure out that they can't do yoga anymore, what are they gonna do?

    if you are interested in a large bibliography of taiji / qigong research, I can post the link

  2. #47
    Yes, post the link please, I collect that kind of data.

    I think the Tai Chi Symposium will be annual.

    In general these studies show benefits in varying degrees. Interestingly, data has show that the physical body can improve and range of motion can increase and immunity can be restored even at advanced age.

    There are many, many of the studies being done now through the NIH and its really starting to happen now. Newsflash! Exercising and relaxing is good for you!

    I haven't seen a study that weighs qigong against jogging or somesuch, but I agree with your point. ANY kind of activity can be a type of qigong, or moving meditation. That's kind of the point of practicing qigong: it becomes you. After a while of regular practice, you can't help but be mindful of your alignment when climbing stairs, or how you're breathing while you drive, or how you internalize negative stressors...until you are practicing all day every day.

    I think its clear that Taijiquan in all its martial glory is alive and well and there is a revived, growing internal arts community. But a simplified, short taiji or qigong form serves an entirely different purpose, and there's no need for it to be tremendously accurate to a certain lineage. A short form is a useful tool for getting people to turn attention inward and take responsibility for their own health physically, energetically, etc.

    In fact, a single exercise like 'Embrace the Tree' can serve that purpose. Its got everything inside: alignment, four/five gates breathing, abdominal breathing, interaction with the earth and heavens...

    But of course, people need to move their bodies too...

    (said the person sitting in a c0mput3r chair...)

  3. #48
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    it was said that
    I think taiji in its "traditional" incarnation may be on a plateau - modified forms, such as taught by guys like Yang Yang, PhD or Stephen Wolfe, PhD are more "consumer friendly"; qigong, OTHO, I think is just ascending
    This is always positive! the use of the word 'traditional' just appears to be a money making endeavour in the absence of any objective benefit to be gained by the practitioner. The bottom line is; Can taijiquan help with my condition? People want facts, assistance, real word action as opposed to fairy tales so anyone who can provide the goods, as it were, is the master.

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Sifu View Post
    I do too, except I might be then asked to explain what Tao is.

    Have you ever tried to explain Tao to a typical Texan? I have a hard enough time trying to explain it to myself.

    Bob

    Seriusly,

    Dao is just mean Let Go and Let God.

    That's it. No mind speculation but an action of continuous practicing Letting Go or surrender the mind.

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by mawali View Post
    The bottom line is; Can taijiquan help with my condition? People want facts, assistance, real word action as opposed to fairy tales so anyone who can provide the goods, as it were, is the master.
    the fact is as soon as one could loosen the physical body, silence the inner chatting and speculating thinking, and breathing naturally (meaning natural lower abdoment breathing with effortless).

    The Qi got to surface and one can sense it as a heat accumulation then heat flow.

    HOWEVER,. DO NOT intent to increase the heat or control it....etc. Just know it is there. it ok it is there and it ok if it is gone. Intenting and forcing or trying to create different heat phenomenon is a direction to get into trouble in IMA training.

    ONe often running fire and get into demon due to strong intention and forcing things......

    BE REALLY REALLY CAREFULL.

    If you find yourself forcing things, just acknowledge your self " oh I am forcing things again." and go back to focing relaxing the toes or fingers or fall into sleep or even do prayer, that is Let Go and Let God. DO NOT FIGHT with your self .


    Stay in that state the body will heal.


    instead of thinking and arguing and proving.....etc, which is wasting of life. Do it and get the benifit.


    Try this lay on a hard floor with a pillow which enable you to see your toes comfortablely.
    in a very comfortable manner, loosing your toes one by one , you feel warm feeling on your toes and angkle if you practice long enough, the loosing your fingers one by one.

    at certain point you will feel num or warm with your toes and fingers. That is the state one needs to get into in the begining of doing Taiji. stay in that state if one fall a sleep that is ok.

    the spine , waist, croch ... are automatically align with laying on the hard floor. ( Must Never lay on Ground because one doesnt want the Ground's qi to damage one's body. second floor floor is good but not the ground floor ground)


    See for yourself, how is doing this loosing of toes and fingers bring you into the state of loose physical, silence mind, and natural breathing.


    But you have to wake up slowly after your body is in that state. first rup your face, then your lower abs area before you get into any daily life action.

    and NO SEX ACtivity more then five hours before and after the loosen practice because we want to avoid draining of our energy while in sexual activity. also sexual activity needs to be cutting down big time because the art is shutting down the energy use in sexual activity to re build the body.


    the above simple practice is the first practice in taiji, but one did it laying down and get a feel before do it in standing which is much difficult to loose or relax.
    Last edited by Hendrik; 08-21-2009 at 01:55 PM.

  6. #51
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    pre-workout

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    Try this lay on a hard floor with a pillow which enable you to see your toes comfortablely. in a very comfortable manner, loosing your toes one by one , you feel warm feeling on your toes and angkle if you practice long enough, the loosing your fingers one by one.

    at certain point you will feel num or warm with your toes and fingers. That is the state one needs to get into in the begining of doing Taiji. stay in that state if one fall a sleep that is ok.

    the spine , waist ... are automatically align with laying on the hard floor. ( Must Never lay on Ground because one doesnt want the Ground's qi to damage one's body. second floor floor is good but not the ground floor ground)

    See for yourself, how is doing this loosing of toes and fingers bring you into the state of loose physical, silence mind, and natural breathing.

    the above simple practice is the first practice in taiji, but one did it laying down and get a feel before do it in standing which is much difficult to loose or relax.
    Yessssssssssssssssssss......... you just have no idea.....
    .... Skip

  7. #52
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    Tao/Dao and Texans....

    Quote: "I do too, except I might be then asked to explain what Tao is.

    Have you ever tried to explain Tao to a typical Texan? I have a hard enough time trying to explain it to myself.

    Bob"


    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    Seriusly,

    Dao is just mean Let Go and Let God.

    That's it. No mind speculation but an action of continuous practicing Letting Go or surrender the mind.
    I have known Bob a long time..... and he has been serious occasionally.... I can say for sure he's very serious about his taijiquan...

    Still, you cannot properly appreciate the merits of his statement about Texans until you have been here awhile....
    .... Skip

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Skip J. View Post
    Yessssssssssssssssssss......... you just have no idea.....




    Why do I have no idea according to your idea?


    Please share.
    Last edited by Hendrik; 07-31-2009 at 11:45 AM.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Skip J. View Post
    Quote: "I do too, except I might be then asked to explain what Tao is.

    Have you ever tried to explain Tao to a typical Texan? I have a hard enough time trying to explain it to myself.

    Bob"



    I have known Bob a long time..... and he has been serious occasionally.... I can say for sure he's very serious about his taijiquan...

    Still, you cannot properly appreciate the merits of his statement about Texans until you have been here awhile....


    So what is the point?

    To communicate what is what to others so that others understand ; or
    to keep emphasis on Texan's mind set?

    So what is Dao?
    Last edited by Hendrik; 07-31-2009 at 11:43 AM.

  10. #55
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    Mercy, that was quick...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    So what is the point?

    To communicate what is what to others or
    to keep emphasis on Texan's mind set?
    Hmmmm, welllll......... let's see, since you asked... here goes...

    the point is that Bob's and my natural philosophy, long before we met each other, or started to practice taiji, or knew there was such a thing as the I-Ching...

    was very much like the dao... My own personal thinking in the formative years of the '60's was heavily influenced by native American cultures... others just cussed me as a &*(^*$ pagan... If anything, I am worse about that the more I accept daoist principles...

    I can't speak for Bob, but I have no relatives or long term friends born and raised in Texas who would even consider embracing the principles of the dao....

    All that said, now that we practice taiji we meet dedicated Texan daoists frequently, altho I'm not sure whether they were born and raised here..... the question never comes up.

    But still, I could walk down my street and knock on the doors of folks I have known for 20 years - and start talking about the principles of the dao and be shot dead by the end of the day.

    Hopefully I have answered your question; but if not, fire away... I have some flameproof underwear around here somewhere..
    .... Skip

  11. #56
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    cultural divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrik View Post
    Why do I have no idea according to your idea?


    Please share.
    I temporarily forgot that Texanisim's do not translate well cross- culturally.. please accept my apologies..

    My statement of "Yesssss" was an emphatic statement to other readers that what you said was correct...

    the "no idea" part means some additional emphasis to those that haven't tried it themselves..... yet...
    .... Skip

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Skip J. View Post
    Hmmmm, welllll......... let's see, since you asked... here goes...

    ..


    Fair enough,

    Thanks and appreciate for your clarification from you point of view.

    Best Regards
    Last edited by Hendrik; 07-31-2009 at 12:16 PM.

  13. #58
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    you're welcome!

    anytime....
    .... Skip

  14. #59
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    Not scientific...

    ...but it's been picked up by a few web sources. Arthritis is always marketable since so many of us suffer from it on some level.
    Tai Chi helps people battling Arthritis
    Beth Haynes Updated: 8/4/2009 6:46:16 PM Posted: 8/4/2009 3:33:51 PM

    Slow movements, mystical music, and meditation--all are part of the ancient Chinese art of tai chi, which dates back to the 1500s.

    Instructor Donna Dixon of Blount County first discovered it 8 years ago.

    "I began learning tai chi because I was looking for a way to manage my own stress," says Dixon. "It's a really moving form of meditation. You're constantly moving."

    But the benefits of tai chi go beyond that. As a registered nurse and an clinical exercise physiologist, Dixon began to experience tai chi's healing power first hand.

    "As a medical person, it all just fit together. Tai chi is like a cardio vascular exercise. It helps the heart, the lungs, the muscles, it helps the blood flow."

    According to Dixon, tai chi also helps stress, blood pressure and the immune system, which is particularly important if you have arthritis.

    "A lot of arthritis is related to your immune system. The inflammatory is in your joints. It's what causes discomfort and causes the pain. So moving gently and easily is decreasing that inflammation in the joint."

    So, two years ago she began teaching tai chi to people battling arthritis and recently partnered with the Arthritis Foundation to offer more classes.

    "The good thing about tai chi is that you don't have pounding in your joints. It's not a hard exercise to do, but it is an exercise that can be adapted to about anybody's level of skill."

    The moving meditation has really helped her participants fight the pain of arthritis.

    "One of the biggest elements that I see change physically is that they become stronger in their hip flexors. So the muscles that you use for rising and standing, standing, sitting, things you push and pull with, those actually become stronger."

    She has also noticed her students have become calmer and more flexible, with stronger core muscles. Tai chi may not be medicine in a bottle, but its medicinal power is certainly working in this classroom.

    "I've been able to pass this great exercise form on to other people."

    Dixon teaches tai chi at several locations in Maryville on Mondays and Wednesday for the Arthritis Foundation. The classes last 8 weeks and cost $80 for the entire session.

    For more information on Tai Chi for Arthritis call 865-803-8887.
    Energy flows with tai chi healing exercise program
    by Kim Racette | Special to BE Healthy
    Tuesday August 04, 2009, 9:00 AM

    With gentle flowing postures performed in a calm, quiet atmosphere, a tai chi class doesn't require expensive shoes, pulsating music or lots of heavy breathing. And yet, for the older adult, it may provide even more benefits than high-impact, high-intensity exercise.

    This centuries-old discipline has been practiced by millions of people throughout the world. Its movements are easy to do, do not require expensive equipment, and can be practiced whenever and where ever convenient.

    Cheryl Schneider, a registered nurse who teaches tai chi in Muskegon and Grand Rapids, has experienced the benefits first-hand. She is a tai chi instructor for the Arthritis Foundation and Tai Chi for Kids.

    As health care administrator for Access Health in Muskegon and Kent Health Care in Grand Rapids, she and her staff were searching for a program for their members. They chose tai chi for several reasons. Schneider explains, "We needed a program appropriate for people from ages 19-64, with varying abilities and health needs, from chronic arthritis, to stress-induced difficulties, to weight issues. Tai chi doesn't require a pool or a gym, and once learned (it) can be practiced at home."

    Schneider, who had suffered from osteoarthritis in both kneecaps and a herniated disc in her back, was pain-free in a matter of weeks after teaching a tai chi class twice a day.

    "It used to be very painful to climb the steps, and to get out of bed in the morning. Now I am pain-free and have continued to practice tai chi because of the response I saw personally," she says.

    Aging takes a toll on the body without question, and most of us assume that these changes are irreversible. Douglas Chung, a professor in the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University, says that is not true.

    "Tai chi can take people to another level in life. Through the movements and correct breathing, the energy force in the body can bring back vitality, and deterioration can be reversed," he explains. At GVSU, tai chi therapy and other alternative therapies are explored and taught in his class "Holistic Practice in Social Work."

    As founder and executive director of The Asian Center in Grand Rapids, Chung has seen many health benefits achieved by tai chi students and practitioners.

    At The Asian Center, "Tai Chi for Arthritis" is offered; in which participants learn the movements as well as the philosophy. Chung also speaks from personal experience, when as a teen-ager he suffered from stomach ulcers and internal bleeding. "My father took me from school, and taught me a variety of martial arts. Under his coaching I completely recovered and went away to University. I continued the breathing, but not the movements, and the problems came back."

    The term "tai chi" (shortened from "tai chi chuan") has been translated in various ways, including "internal martial art" and "supreme ultimate fist." A popular legend credits its origins to Chang San-Feng, a Taoist monk in China who developed a set of 13 exercises that imitate the movements of animals. He also emphasized meditation and the concept of internal force (in contrast to the external force emphasized in other martial arts, such as kung fu and tae kwon do).
    Benefits of tai chi

    Those practicing or teaching tai chi often report:
    Increased flexibility and reduced stiffness from chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis

    Improved balance while standing, helping to decrease the number of falls that cause injury

    Improved leg and lower body strength

    Reduced pain from chronic arthritic conditions

    Aid in recovery from injuries

    Reduced and stabilized blood pressure

    Improved heart action

    Weight loss

    Stress reduction

    Deeper, more restful sleep


    Tai chi is sometimes referred to as "moving meditation, because as practitioners move their bodies slowly, there is an emphasis on deep breathing and mental imagery. This focus is instrumental in creating the feeling of calmness and clarity many report after practicing tai chi, and is given credit for reducing stress and related illnesses.
    Tai chi incorporates the Chinese concepts of yin and yang (opposing forces within the body) and qi or chi (energy or life force). Chi is very important in all forms of tai chi. Practicing tai chi is said to support a healthy balance of yin and yang, thereby aiding the flow of chi.

    There are more than 100 possible movements with names that evoke nature, including Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain, and the intensity of tai chi varies somewhat depending on the form or style practiced.

    As we age, many times balance is compromised, so the likelihood of falling increases. Because tai chi often involves shifting weight from one leg to the other, it can increase both balance and leg strength in older adults. And because tai chi is low-impact, experts say it is a good choice for people carrying extra weight, who often have knee and hip limitations. Better balance, less joint and back pain and a greater flexibility are just a few of the benefits seen and well documented by those practicing tai chi.

    According to the National Institutes of Health, Tai Chi instructors do not have to be licensed, and the practice is not regulated by the federal government or individual states.

    It is important to tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. By giving them a full picture of what you do to manage your health, you will ensure coordinated and safe care.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #60
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    Here's something a little more scientific

    Looks like you can download a pdf of the paper. Isn't the web awesome?
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
    Adhering to a T'ai Chi Program to Improve Glucose Control and Quality of Life for Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
    To cite this article:
    Rhayun Song, Sukhee Ahn, Beverly L. Roberts, Eun Ok Lee, You Hern Ahn. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. June 2009, 15(6): 627-632. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0330.
    Published in Volume: 15 Issue 6: June 14, 2009
    Online Ahead of Print: June 5, 2009
    Full Text: PDF for printing (84.8 KB) PDF w/ links (98.4 KB)

    Rhayun Song, R.N., Ph.D.,1
    Sukhee Ahn, R.N., Ph.D.,1
    Beverly L. Roberts, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N.,2
    Eun Ok Lee, R.N., D.N.S.,3 and
    You Hern Ahn, M.D., Ph.D.4
    1College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daegon, Korea.
    2College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
    3College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
    4College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.

    Address reprint requests to:
    Sukhee Ahn, R.N., Ph.D.
    College of Nursing
    Chungnam National University
    6 Munhwa 1-dong Jung-gu
    Daejeon 301747

    Purpose: This study was to examine the effects of adherence to a 6-month t'ai chi exercise program on glucose control, diabetic self-care activities, and quality of life among individuals with type 2 diabetes.

    Method: The data from a quasi-experimental study at multisite health-promotion centers in Korea with pretest and 3- and 6-month post-test measures were used. Ninety-nine (99) adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and HbA1c 6.0 or higher were included in the analysis. The t'ai chi intervention consisted of 19 movements from Yang and Sun styles provided twice a week for 6 months. Sixty-two (62) subjects completed both pretest and post-test measures. To achieve the desired outcomes, subjects needed to complete 80% of the sessions of the t'ai chi program, and 31 subjects who met this criteria were compared to those who did not (n=31). Outcome measures included glucose control (fasting blood sugar, HbA1c), diabetic self-care activities, and quality of life (36-Item Short Form Health Survey, version 2).

    Results: Using repeated measure analysis of variance for baseline, 3 months, and 6 months, the adherent group had greater decline in fasting glucose (interaction effect F=5.60, df=2, p<0.05) and HbA1c (interaction effect F=4.15, df=2, p<0.05) than the nonadherers. The adherent group performed significantly more diabetic self-care activities (interaction effect F=5.13, df=2, p<0.05), and had better quality of life in mental component summary, social functioning, mental health, and vitality as compared to the nonadherent group. The significant differences in quality of life remained after adjusting for self-care activities except for mental health, which was no longer significant.

    Conclusion: For those with type 2 diabetes, t'ai chi could be an alternative exercise intervention to increase glucose control, diabetic self-care activities, and quality of life. Whether t'ai chi can reduce or prevent diabetic complications requires further study.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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