tai chi and heart failureThere are many things that a person who has suffered from major heart failure must do in order to affect the best possible recovery so that they can get their lives back on track. Of all these things, getting involved in a regular program of exercise is considered by most doctors to be among the most important. However, the type of exercise you choose is just as important as actually exercising itself. Tai Chi is now considered to be a very effective form of exercise.

In a study that was conducted over the course of three years between May 1st of 2005 and September 30th of 2008 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School by Gloria Yeh MD MPH and a group of colleagues, a number of patients were randomly assigned to Tai Chi classes similar to those available in Portland Oregon. Others were enrolled in one of eleven different health education modules that had been developed by the Heart Failure Society of America.

The Tai Chi classes themselves were held twice weekly and lasted for one hour. The health classes covered topics such as low sodium diets, self-care, exercise, and how to deal with heart failure systems. All patients were given the standardized Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire at the outset. Those in the Tai Chi group scored 28 at the outset and 9 at the end of 12 weeks. Those in the other group scored 21 at the outset and 22 at the end of the same 12 weeks.

At the same time those who were taking Tai Chi were also noted to have marked improvement in their moods using the Profile of Mood States, scoring 10 at the outset and 4 at the finish. On the other hand those in the education class group scored approximately the same at both ends of the test period. Researchers will be quick to tell you that these tests are not conclusive and that more research is needed to provide conclusive results.

Concluding Tai Chi & Heart Failure

At the same time you will find that more doctors and medical experts are leaning towards using mind-body medicine such as Tai Chi as a way to help improve the overall health related quality of life and functional capacity of patients who had undergone some form of major heart failure. Many will readily admit that Tai Chi Chuan offers great promise in helping these patients to recover from what is considered to be a potentially catastrophic medical condition.


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