Tufts University School of Medicine researchers evaluated the effectiveness of Tai Chi in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA).  In a trial of 40 individuals with OA, they were randomly assigned to 60 minutes of Tai Chi or wellness education and stretching, twice a week for 3 months.  The status of each participant was measured using standardized indicators (the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) pain score at the end of the trial.  Additional measurements, including quality of life, depression index, physician and patient assessments, timed standing, etc.

Tai chi: Discover the many possible health benefits

Tai Chi, a Chinese ancient art of gentle flowing movements, is described as “moving meditation,” because it promotes a peaceful state – connecting the mind and body.  It was created for the purpose of self-defense, and evolved into a more graceful form that is used globally for stress reduction and to assist numerous health conditions.

The patients’ average age was 65 years.  The persons using Tai Chi exhibited significantly greater improvements in pain at the end of the study.

The researchers concluded that Tai Chi reduces pain and improves self-efficacy, depression, physical function and health-related quality of life for people with knee osteoarthritis.



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  • Treatment for osteoarthritis is a combination of exercise, weight and stress management, hot and cold treatments and medication. Every situation is different. What works for some may not work for others even if the disease is in the same joint.

    Any osteoarthritis treatment plan is patient specific. What works for one person may not work for another even if the same joint is affected.

  • Very true. Often however, the approach is on physical treatments-drugs, vitamins, herbs, exercise, while overlooking the role the mind/body connection plays in a condition such as osteoarthritis.

    I believe a true key to the management of any physical disorder includes mind/body approaches that addresses the underlying role our emotions play in our health and well-being.

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