Tai Chi May Be Useful to Treat Fibromyalgia

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We have previously reported that Tai Chi might be effective in improving the efficacy of antidepressant agents.  Now, a new study published in New England Journal of Medicine indicated that Tai Chi might also relieve the symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain.  Evidence from medical research has revealed abnormalities in the central nervous system, but the exact cause of fibromyalgia has not been found.

Tai chi combines meditation with slow, gentle movements, as well as deep breathing and relaxation, to move vital energy (or qi) throughout the body. It is a multicomponent exercise that integrates physical, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, and behavioral elements.

In the study, 66 patients with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned receive classic Yang-style tai chi or a control intervention consisting of wellness education and stretching for 12 weeks.

Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) were used to evaluated the improvement in symptoms while Short-Form Health Survey was use to assess the physical and mental well-beings.

The results indicated that patients who received Tai Chi training have a statistical significant improvement in symptoms when compared with the control group (p < 0.001).

The tai chi group also fared better in physical and metal component scores of the Short-Form Health Survey (P< 0.03).

Furthermore, the improvements were present at 24 weeks with no reports of adverse events.

If you have fibromyalgia, you like to try Tai Chi and see whether it improves your symptoms.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, published online July 22, 2010

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