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How can tai chi help alleviate pain?

Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
Tai chi, an ancient martial art used in China more than 1,000 years ago, may give an added benefit to women who live with arthritis and deep muscular pain or any type of tension-related pain. In past clinical studies, experts concluded that tai chi helped ease arthritis symptoms and helped to build strength, balance, and flexibility through gentle movements. Findings published in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine concluded that tai chi could make healthy older adults better able to undertake an assortment of activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries.

This ancient discipline with its deep-breathing component is sometimes described as “moving meditation,” as you relax, using the various movements. Some studies have shown those adults who regularly do tai chi experienced greater spinal flexibility than those who did not practice this. In addition, in one small study of older adults, ages 68 to 87, those who regularly practiced tai chi reported less overall pain than those who did not do tai chi.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.