- According to a study by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Tai chi — a traditional Chinese martial art — can help slow down Parkinson's disease symptoms for years.1
- The researchers asked a group of 143 patients to practice Tai Chi twice a week for an hour while a group of 187 patients were given standard care for the degenerative disease.2
- The five-year study — published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry on Tuesday — found that cognitive function declined slowly in Parkinson's patients who practiced Tai Chi. There's no cure for the disease, and currently available medications only ease symptoms without slowing the disease's progression.3
- Researchers also discovered that Tai Chi participants had fewer falls, less back pain, and lower levels of dizziness while their sleep and quality of life continuously improved.4
- In addition, Parkinson's patients who took up Tai Chi — which involves sequences of prolonged controlled movements — also required fewer doses of medications over time.5
- A 2018 prevalence study estimated that approximately 1M US residents had Parkinson's disease in 2020. According to the Census Bureau population projections, the number is expected to reach over 1.2M by 2030.6
- Narrative A, as provided by Medical News Today. While it's promising to see that Tai Chi can help Parkinson's patients lead a higher quality of life, the study is observational and can't establish cause and effect. The medical community shouldn't get too excited about this development too soon.
- Narrative B, as provided by SciTech Daily. As there's currently no cure for the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world, the research shows Parkinson's symptoms can be reduced considerably. If Tai Chi can increase flexibility, improve balance, and help patients prolong their time without disability, it must be given due consideration.