By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, October/November 2005.
A study sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the Chinese practice of tai chi helped patients recover quicker from chronic heart failure than those who received standard drug therapy, exercise, and diet counseling. Patients who performed the ancient meditative/movement practice twice a week for 12 weeks were able to walk farther than the control group and even outdistanced themselves, compared to their abilities before treatment began. Researchers point to how beneficial low-impact exercise can be for chronic heart failure patients.