The British Medical Journal reported on a randomized study to ascertain if tai chi offers more pain relief to fibromyalgia patients than aerobic exercise — which is the current standard treatment. This U.S.-based study included 226 adults with fibromyalgia. The subjects were randomly assigned to tai chi or aerobic exercise groups, and their symptoms were measured with an impact questionnaire.
The patients were also assessed for anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life.
Fibromyalgia symptoms improved in both the tai chi and aerobic exercise groups. However, the tai chi group improved more.
The secondary measurements — anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life — also improved more in the tai chi group.
Fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. It’s long been known that aerobic exercise helps fibromyalgia patients.
Unfortunately, some fibromyalgia patients are so fatigued and have so much pain that they have difficulty performing aerobic exercises. Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise that is part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is a very easy form of exercise that consists of slow, deliberate movements.
I practice tai chi daily and find that it lowers my stress level and helps me concentrate better.
I think anyone with fibromyalgia or anxiety should give it a try.
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