Where do we stand on Tai Chi?
#1
It's been a question that I've been meaning to ask for a long while. The concept of Tai Chi as I understand it is that the body has a source of chi energy that is circulated around the body in a series of graceful movements and is converted into yin and yan energies. Even if you don't take the idea of opposing energies seriously, metaphorically it can be seen as opposite stances: a hand palm down down has one energy and the other palm up has the other kind. So in the transition of one movement to another, the yin hand is changed to yang energy and so forth..

My question is: are there any peer reviewed research to support the claim that tai chi helps ease arthritis and otherwise promote better health? The upside looks encouraging: slow movements that will provide exercise and long term benefits and takes only a few minutes out of our busy days to follow.





Looking forward to some views on this.

Cheers,
Nick.
"It's alright, I rarely meet anyone who's able to read it properly. Although personally, I never thought that it to be an odd of a name. Once I give people the pronunciation, they tend to remember my name by easily associating me with it. A unique face, a unique moniker."
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#2
Google search gave the following.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20594090/

From the link.

"CONCLUSIONS: Research has demonstrated consistent, significant results for a number of health benefits in RCTs, evidencing progress toward recognizing the similarity and equivalence of Qigong and Tai Chi. "
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#3
(This isn't a response to your question about research, it's more a two-cents comment.) I did try out a tai-chi class once, but left after two classes. The exercise did seem worth it, but there was just too much woo along with it - e.g. even in the most basic position, the instructor explained that "you're focusing all your chi energy into the palm of your hand" etc., and it was clear that to him it wasn't just metaphorical, it was all real.

I suppose one argument people could make is - the exercise is useful by itself (assuming studies back that up), so what's the harm. Harm done - taking people's money by claiming more than what you actually provide. Also at a systemic level, it perpetuates pseudoscience.
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#4
(06-Jan-2013, 08:29 AM)unsorted Wrote: I suppose one argument people could make is - the exercise is useful by itself (assuming studies back that up), so what's the harm. Harm done - taking people's money by claiming more than what you actually provide. Also at a systemic level, it perpetuates pseudoscience.

Taichi (and other eastern techniques such as yoga and meditation) does perpetuate woo and pseudoscience. But even the argument that studies back up some of the health benefit claims of Taichi is a bit specious. If argument is that Taichi is better than doing nothing then it is silly. There are lot of things that are better than doing nothing. Assuming that Taichi exercise takes 20 mintues my question would be is 20 minutes of Taichi better than one of the following.

20 minutes of walking
20 minutes of running
20 minutes of swimming
20 minutes of jumping jacks
etc....

I am not sure if the studies that backs up health benefit claims of Taichi, Yoga, meditation, etc. ever benchmark these benefits against the health benefits of simple cardio exercises that people can do with out the woo.
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