Tai Chi, Dealing with Peripheral Neuropathy
If you have ever driven past a public park in Portland Oregon and seen a group of people who are all going through a range of what appears to be carefully synchronized movements, chances are good that they are practicing Tai Chi an ancient Chinese martial art. This particular martial art is well known for being able to enhance both physical and mental health. In a recent study conducted at Louisiana State University the practice of Tai Chi Chuan was found to be an effective treatment for the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
To understand how Tai Chi can help with the symptoms of this disease, you need to understand what this disease is and how it affects the person who has been diagnosed with it. Peripheral neuropathy is described as a systemic degenerative disease that directly affects the peripheral nervous system. This is the system that is responsible for carrying the signals from the brain and spinal column to everywhere else in your body.
The effect of this degeneration is that when the system begins to break down, the person begins to lose the ability to move their extremities and often experiences extreme pain in their hands and feet. There is no cure for this condition and no medical treatments currently exist. In the 2004 University of Louisiana study by Dr. Li Li a professor of kinesiology started with nothing more than University funding and 75 patients to investigate the effects of Tai Chi on the symptoms of this disease.
The initial study was originally scheduled to last only a few months, but to the surprise of those involved, the results turned out to be so successful that the program has become one that is still going on today. In fact you will find that on any given day there are as many as 150 people on the waiting list to get into the program. The initial form of Tai Chi practiced is one that is modified from the original styles taught in China to meet the abilities of the patients.
What actual Tai Chi patients are Saying
The average patient reports that after staying active in Tai Chi classes for a longer period of time that their episodes of severe burning sensations and the bands of pain that they were experiencing on an almost daily basis ,were reduced to less than one or two episodes per year. Tai Chi has been shown to be of great benefit in a number of degenerative diseases as it helps to boost blood circulation, helps with strength and balance as well as helping to calm the mind and the body.