Tai chi

  1. Tai chi can help prevent falls

    It's just about the slowest and easiest form of exercise on the planet -- but what tai chi lacks in flash, it more than makes up for in benefits.

    These simple Chinese stretching exercises have been shown to help seniors beat everything from pain to depression -- and now, new research shows that they can also help improve balance and prevent falls.

    Falls are a leading cause of loss of independence in seniors. The breaks and fractures often require long and even permanent hospitalization -- and with the rise of hospital-acquired infections, any admission for any reason has the potential to be your last.

    But if the new study is any indication, you can dramatically lower your risk of a life-changing or life-ending fall through tai chi.

    In the new study, researchers assigned 70 seniors from assisted-living homes to either four months of tai chi or musical instruction.

    Music is nice -- but those who went to the 90-minute tai chi classes three times a week learned critical skills such as weight shifting, awareness of body alignment, and the rotation of the head and trunk.

    As a result, the study in Age and Ageing found that these seniors had significant improvements in their ability to balance and the awareness of the position of their limbs than those who learned music.

    And if boosting your balance and slashing your risk of a fall aren't enough, that's not all tai chi can do for you.

    Studies have found that these slow stretches can help bring relief from arthritis and osteoarthritis, boost overall physical function, beat depression, and even improve your quality life.

    Along with being easy, tai chi is cheap or even free. There may be a group practicing tai chi in your local park, library, or senior center.

    And if you can't find one near you, you're only a mouse click away from some free lessons -- search YouTube for "tai chi” for some simple exercises you can do right now, in front of your computer.

  2. Chondroitin offers arthritis relief

    A small army of seniors already swears by chondroitin for arthritis relief -- and the latest research shows they're not swearing in vain.

    The new study confirms that chondroitin can beat pain, ease stiffness, and even restore function to patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the hands.

    Researchers gave 162 patients suffering from radiographic hand osteoarthritis either 800 mg of chondroitin sulfate or a placebo every day. After six months, those who took the real supplement enjoyed a dramatic reduction in hand pain (nearly 9 points on a visual analogue scale).

    The visual analogue scale is a 100-point scale where patients estimate their pain levels. Since most of them started around 40, a nine-point drop is an improvement of nearly 25 percent.

    They also saw improvements in morning hand stiffness, grip strength, and overall function.

    As good as chondroitin is, it's even better when you pair it with glucosamine.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin together can actually restore cartilage to your joints and repair the damage caused by years of osteoarthritis.

    For an added boost, add some gentle movement exercises to your routine. Yoga, for example, has been shown to ease pain and restore function in patients who suffer from hand osteoarthritis. And Tai chi, the slow and graceful martial art, has shown to help combat osteoarthritis of the knees.

    Put that together with the arthritis-battling duo of glucosamine and chondroitin, and you have yourself a winner.

  3. Simple solution for post-menopausal sleep disorders

    If you tell your doctor you're having trouble sleeping, the first thing he'll do is reach for his prescription pad -- especially if you're a woman going through menopause.
  4. Slow motions pack a real punch

    This ancient martial art can help beat everything from physical pain to depression -- and new studies show how it can help speed recovery in heart failure patients, reduce the risk of falls, and even improve your mental health.
  5. Tai chi beats depression

    A new study finds the slow, rhythmic Chinese exercises called Tai Chi can help seniors beat depression--even in cases where drugs have failed.
  6. Vioxx on the road to rehab?

    The researchers looked at data on some 11,000 osteoarthritis patients 65 and older who were in a health system database between 2001 and 2009, and found that the number of opioid prescriptions shot up from 8 percent of the patients in 2001 to 20 percent in 2004, the final year of Vioxx.
  7. Slow exercises with big benefits

    Call them the ancient Chinese secrets to good health--because new research finds that two classic marital arts pack a serious punch when it comes to your wellbeing.
  8. Ancient Chinese secret: Tai-chi linked to osteoarthritis relief

    A new study finds that tai chi can help people cope with knee osteoarthritis.

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