Sunday, February 06, 2011

The History of Tai Chi and Health-Part IV: Tai Chi and Chronic Disease

In 1973 in Hunan Province, an archaeologist unearthed a silk scroll dating back to c. 168 B.C., which depicted exercise postures. Below each embroidered pictograph was a written “exercise prescription” for different types of diseases, many of which were chronic conditions (Cohen, 1997). This evidence suggests that long before this recent surge in research, early Taoists had devised a method of self-care in the form of exercise to manage chronic conditions. Today, a growing body of evidence suggests that Tai Chi may be an efficacious intervention for the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of CVD, diabetes, and the determinants of those diseases (Kaptchuk, 2000; Taylor-Piliae and Froelicher, 2004; Thornton, 2008; Yeh et al., 2008). However, of all the studies conducted on a broad variety of diseases, the literature on Tai Chi for the primary prevention of CVD is one of the least explored.

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