Tim Brunson DCH

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Role of Tai Chi in the treatment of rheumatologic diseases.



Rheumatologic diseases (e.g., fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis) consist of a complex interplay between biologic and psychological aspects, resulting in therapeutically challenging chronic conditions to control. Encouraging evidence suggests that Tai Chi, a multi-component Chinese mind-body exercise, has multiple benefits for patients with a variety of chronic disorders, particularly those with musculoskeletal conditions. Thus, Tai Chi may modulate complex factors and improve health outcomes in patients with chronic rheumatologic conditions. As a form of physical exercise, Tai Chi enhances cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, balance, and physical function. It also appears to be associated with reduced stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as improved quality of life. Thus, Tai Chi can be safely recommended to patients with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis as a complementary and alternative medical approach to improve patient well-being. This review highlights the current body of knowledge about the role of this ancient Chinese mind-body medicine as an effective treatment of rheumatologic diseases to better inform clinical decision-making for our patients.

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2012 Dec;14(6):598-603. doi: 10.1007/s11926-012-0294-y. Wang C. Division of Rheumatology, Tufts Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine, Box 406, Boston, MA 02111, USA. cwang2@tuftsmedicalcenter.org

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