People with chronic heart failure may be able to boost their quality of life by doing tai chi, the ancient Chinese exercise regimen, a US study suggested on Monday. -- ST PHOTO: GEORGE GASCON
WASHINGTON - PEOPLE with chronic heart failure may be able to boost their quality of life by doing tai chi, the ancient Chinese exercise regimen, a US study suggested on Monday.
Two group sessions of one hour each per week were enough to show significant improvements in mood and confidence, said the Boston-based study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association.
The study compared 50 US heart patients who enrolled in tai chi classes - sessions led by an instructor who guided the class in a series of fluid motions - to 50 who took classroom study in heart education.
Physical responses were similar in both groups, but those who did tai chi showed 'significant' improvements according to their answers in a questionnaire to assess their emotional state.
The tai chi group also reported better 'exercise self-efficacy (confidence to perform certain exercise-related activities), with increased daily activity, and related feelings of well-being compared with the education group,' said the study.
While experts admit they do not fully understand the science behind the findings, the study offers a positive option for complementing standard medical care of people with chronic heart failure, a debilitating and progressive disease that limits a person's ability to breathe and move. -- AFP