Many people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) turn to Tai Chi for its potential health benefits. Although there is no cure for PD, Tai Chi may help improve symptoms and quality of life.
According to the study entitled, Study Finds Tai Chi Exercises May Prove Effective for Patients With Parkinson’s Disease published in the American Journal of Managed Care, “The results of this study supported that Tai Chi was an effective meditation technique for people who have mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. The incorporation of Tai Chi in the daily life of Parkinson’s disease patients allowed them to stay functionally and physically active.
Improvement of physical parameters indicated that Tai Chi had the potential to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease and delay the introduction of levodopa,” concluded the study authors.1
Keep reading to learn about how Tai Chi can help people with PD manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
The Benefits of Tai Chi Classes for Parkinson’s Disease
Tai Chi has many potential benefits for people with Parkinson’s disease. These benefits include:
Tai Chi can help improve your balance by working on your proprioception—your ability to sense the position of your body in space. This is especially important for people with PD, as balance problems are a common symptom of the disease. Improved balance can help you stay upright and reduce your risk of falls.
Tai Chi can help improve your flexibility. The slow, deliberate movements help stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. This is important because stiffness and rigidity are common symptoms of PD. Increased flexibility can lead to improved movement and function.
In addition to improving flexibility, Tai Chi can help strengthen your muscles. The slow movements require you to use your muscles more effectively than if you were simply going through the motions quickly. You can improve your mobility and reduce stiffness by working on muscle strength.
Quality of Life
Tai Chi has also been shown to improve the quality of life in general for people with PD. One study stated, “Research indicates that Tai Chi also has a positive effect on cognitive function, sleep quality, and mental health (of PD patients.)”2
Reduced Fall Risk
Falls are a serious concern for people with PD, as they can lead to injuries such as fractures or head trauma. One study conducted by the Journal of Gerontology found that the risk for multiple falls in the Tai Chi group was 55% lower than that of the control group.3 In addition, those who participated in Tai Chi class experienced fewer severe falls than those who did not participate in Tai Chi class.
Whether you’re looking to improve your balance, flexibility, muscle strength, or quality of life, Tai Chi lessons may be a good option for you. Just check with your doctor first to see if it’s right for you. To learn more about Tai Chi or to sign up for online Tai Chi classes, contact Just Breathe Tai Chi.
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