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US Study finds Tai Chi Lowers Blood Pressure

July 20, 2016
US Study finds Tai Chi Lowers Blood Pressure

Recently, a Study in the US found the regular practice of tai chi as effective as taking antihypertensive drugs or aerobic exercise.

Earlier this month, Sarah Herrick, PhD, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, claimed, You don’t need to do crazy intense exercise to get cardiovascular benefits. She made this statement at the American College of Sports Medicine 2016 Annual Meeting. It was based on a finding by Linda Pescatello, PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs and was reported in the Medscape Medical News that tai chi lowers blood pressure in older people as effectively as taking drugs or aerobic exercise. She defined tai chi as a low-intensity physical activity that concentrates on breathing and relaxation.

Many antihypertensive drugs cause adverse reactions and aerobic exercise can be difficult or uncomfortable, especially for people with medical conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Dr. Pescatello said, Tai chi offers possibilities for older people who can’t or don’t want to exercise strenuously. And, because it is low intensity and social she believes older adults find it an easier form of exercise. She added, that it also provides other benefits, such as improved balance.

Twentyeight studies of tai chi were conducted with 3215 people participating. The average age was 62.1 years. On average, tai chi was performed for 61.1 minutes per session, 2.9 times a week for 20.6 weeks.

During this time Dr Pescatello reported that the average drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was comparable to first-line antihypertensive medications, and consistent with what was typically prescribed.