Tai Chi And CBT Decrease Inflammation


Poor sleep has been linked to increased inflammation. Inflammation is known to cause or exacerbate musculoskeletal disorders as well as more serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. Irwin and his colleagues conducted a randomised controlled trial looking into the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Tai Chi on the inflammatory markers of subjects with insomnia. The participants were offered 2 hour weekly sessions for 4 months.

CBT was found to reduce systemic inflammation whereas Tai Chi reduced cellular inflammatory responses. Both interventions reduced the expression of genes encoding proinflammatory mediators.

Tai Chi Improves Balance In People With Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects dopamine-generating cells in the central nervous system. The physical symptoms are the classic triad: shaking, rigidity and slowness of movement. Posture, walking and balance are also impaired. Dr Fuzhong Li and colleagues studied the effects of Tai Chi on patient’s with Parkinson’s. Amongst other benefits, they found that Tai Chi improved posture, walking ability and decreased the number of falls.

Previous research has already found that Tai Chi reduces falls among the elderly. In fact it’s slow, fluid movements over a firm, balanced stance seem like an ideal form of exercise for aging populations.