Parkinson’s disease is a disease that causes nerve damage sufferers have difficulty controlling their own movements. An ancient martial art of Mandarin known as Tai Chi can help improve balance and walking ability of Parkinson’s patients.
According to the National Parkinson Foundation in the United States, Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nerve damage that affects about 1 million people in the U.S.. Symptoms usually progresses slowly, the form of muscle stiffness and instability as it is difficult to control the movements and tremors. Physical activity is known to help slow the damage to these motor functions.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared the effects of Tai Chi with resistance training and stretching the body. Researchers looked at 195 patients in early stages of Parkinson’s disorder with mild or moderate who were randomly divided into three groups, the Tai Chi group stretching exercises and resistance training group. Each patient was asked to perform physical exercise sessions of 60 minutes twice a week for 24 weeks.
The researchers looked at changes in the stability of the patient’s body is essential to maintain balance, also see how to walk and physical strength of the patient. The result, Tai Chi group had fewer falls than the other groups. Benefits of Tai Chi can take up to three months
“Tai Chi is not better than the resistance and stretching exercises to improve balance and walking, but better in reducing the number of falls than lattihan durability and stretch,” said the researcher, Fuzhong Li, a scientist at the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene.
In Tai Chi there is a mild physical exercise and stretching. Postures or movements performed in a slow and graceful. During practice Tai Chi, the body keeps moving in one flowing movement forward.
“Tai Chi has been recommended for patients with Parkinson’s, but has not considered scientifically or clinically efficacious,” said Li as reported by HealthDay, Thursday (09/02/2012).
Tai Chi combines movement that focused on increasing the concentration, environmental awareness, and balance controls have been refined.
“Therefore, it makes sense that this type of therapy if it has been adjusted to better help train the balance compared with resistance training or stretching,” said Dr. Michael Okun, medical director of the National Parkinson Foundation.