Tai Chi Alleviates Fibromyalgia8 years ago
Posted on Sep 06, 2010, 6 a.m.
Compared with an educational and stretching intervention, tai chi resulted with a greater overall improvement in fibromyalgia, in a 12-week long study.
Tai chi is a mind-body practice that originated as a martial art in China and combines meditation with slow, gentle movements, weight shifting, breathing exercises, and relaxation. Chenchen Wang, from Tufts Medical Center (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues enrolled 66 patients with fibromyalgia, average age 50 years, in a 12-week long study in which each subject participated in either tai chi or a wellness education/stretching program (control intervention); each intervention was held as an hour-long session taking place twice a week. While both groups showed improvements in scores on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, the tai chi participants had an 18.4-point greater reduction in severe symptoms after 12 weeks, with the difference sustained at 24 weeks. There were also significantly greater improvements in sleep quality, depression, and both physical and mental components of quality of life at 12 and 24 weeks, among the tai chi group. The team concludes that: “Tai chi may be a useful treatment for fibromyalgia and merits long-term study in larger study populations.”
Chenchen Wang, Christopher H. Schmid, Ramel Rones, Robert Kalish, Janeth Yinh, Don L. Goldenberg, Yoojin Lee, Timothy McAlindon. “A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia.” N Engl J Med, Aug. 19, 2010; 363:743-754.