Tai Chi For Parkinson’s Disease

Tai Chi For Parkinson’s Disease

Study reveals how Tai Chi For Parkinson’s Disease is helping people better than stretching or strength exercises.

It’s encouraging to see more evidence for effective treatment of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. Tai Chi for Parkinson’s Disease is now shown to be safe and appears to have no adverse side effects. Furthermore,  it may also benefit the rest of the body and the mind.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neuro- degenerative condition after Alzheimer’s.

Common Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

People living with Parkinson’s disease may show symptoms of impaired balance which

  • leads to a decline in functional abilities and
  • and increases the likelihood of frightening and damaging falls.

Other symptoms may also range form range from

  • tremors and stiffness to a
  • slowing or freezing of movement,
  • memory problems as well as
  • anxiety, and in the end contribute to an experience of disability.
  • Although exercise is routinely encouraged by health care providers, few programs have been proven effective. Those which have been observed to be effective we’ve discussed here at Occupational Therapy Brisbane on other pages such as the LSVT program.

The Tai Chi For Parkinson’s Disease Study

A team from the Oregon Research Institute recruited 195 people with mild to moderate PD symptoms.

Participants were randomly allocated to twice-weekly sessions of either

  • tai chi,
  • strength-building exercises,
  • or stretching.

What They Found After 6 Months Was Surprising

Those who did tai chi for Parkinson’s Disease were stronger and observed to have much better balance than those in the other two groups.

Interestingly,

  • Tai Chi for Parkinson’s Group was almost 2x better than those in the resistance-training group and 4x better than those in the stretching group.
  • Tai Chi for Parkinson’s Group had far less falls, and slower rates of decline in overall motor control.

The Pros and Cons of the Oregon Tai Chi For Parkinson’s Disease Study

Pro: Tai chi training appears to reduce balance impairments in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease, with additional benefits of improved functional capacity and reduced falls. It is significant as it is also suggests it is likely a valuable addition to the treatment mix of OT, Medication and other therapies for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Con: The study lacked a much need research insight to answer what are the long term functional experiences of people who commit to Tai Chi long term.

Schedule A Free PD Exercise Program Enquiry Call

Simply fill out the form below, and Meg, Karen or Nicki will arrange a time to speak with a senior OT. On this call the OT will see whether this program is a good fit for you and your goals.


Schedule A Free PD Exercise Program Enquiry Call

Simply fill out the form below, and Meg, Karen or Nicki will arrange a time to speak with a senior OT. On this call the OT will see whether this program is a good fit for you and your goals.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Article sources:

Here’s an video example of a Tai Chi Class for Parkinson’s Disease from the U.S.A.


DISCLAIMER:

The Occupational Therapy Blog is a news and health promotion initiative. It by no means aims to be a source of medical or therapeutic advice. We enjoy sharing information and will attempt to curate it as best we can. You’d appreciate we like to lighten our blog articles which often tackles very serious and personal issues. It’s our way of sharing. The information contained on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, or intervention. Always seek the advice of your GP or qualified therapist with any questions you may have regarding your personal situation. Never substitute or delay seeking professional advice because of information you’ve read on this website.

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