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Tai Chi for MS
A pilot study suggested that Tai Chi may offer great benefits to people with multiple sclerosis. Eight individuals were given a two-month course in Tai Chi. Balance and depression levels were assessed before and after using standard measures. A check list of classic MS symptoms was also used for the test subjects to evaluate their own progress (or lack of it).
  • Small reductions in anxiety, anger and fatigue/inertia were noted, as was a 50% drop in depression

  • The ability to balance (measured by the number of seconds the individuals were able to stand on one leg), doubled

  • Five of the eight participants reported reduced stiffness in the joints and improved wellbeing

  • Four reported increases in the distances they could walk and improved bladder symptoms

  • Three reported improved walking steadiness and ability to stand, reduced numbness in fingers and feet, reduced constipation and pain, and improved ability to move the legs

The authors of the research are monitoring the progress of the eight participants. Exponents of Tai Chi emphasise that it often takes several months of regular practice to derive the full benefit.

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References

(6152) Mills,N et al. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 2000;4(1):39-48