June 18, 2008

Tai Chi for Pain Conditions

Tai chi is being explored in a study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences by pain researcher Pao-Feng Tsai.
"Imagine being in pain and not being able to tell someone. You may be able to speak but no longer can form the sentence to communicate how bad you feel. Many people with advanced Alzheimer's are in this Twilight Zone, making it difficult for health professionals to detect their pain and leading to underreporting or overmedicating....In a quiet, windowless room at UAMS, they are testing the obvious but unproven theory that gentle exercises tailored for someone with memory loss can reduce pain and delay cognitive impairment. Seven study participants, most in their 70s, follow the lead of certified Tai Chi instructor Nola Ballinger as she takes them through modified movements of the Chinese martial art. The sound of a single flute comes from a boom box, and cool air whooshes through the air ducts. Think about a needle going through cotton, Ballinger tells them. You want it to be smooth and soft.... Left foot forward. Right foot forward.... Now wave hands in the clouds." Study results will be available late in 2009. UMAS

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