Everyone knows that heart disease can trigger a scary event such as a heart attack. But, it can also trigger a stroke. When you have a stroke, blood flow to a part of your brain stops. For this reason, a stroke is sometimes called a “brain attack.” When blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, your brain can’t get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage.
Having a stroke can be a major life-changing event—mostly because of the symptoms it can leave in its wake. A stroke, for example, can create problems with physical mobility. Millions of stroke survivors experience difficulty in walking, using their arms, or even speaking. Recovery after a stroke can seem daunting, with a very long hill to climb.
Here’s some health news that could help speed that recovery process. Researchers from the Shandong Normal University, in Jinan, China, think that the martial art tai chi could play a significant role in trying to regain function after a stroke. They scanned medical databases for clinical trials that included the use of tai chi by survivors of stroke.
In all, five randomized controlled trials, four in English and one in Chinese, met the inclusion criteria, and were reviewed. Three studies reported benefits of tai chi with respect to improved balance in participants who have had a stroke. Three studies assessed mobility function and reported no improvement after tai chi intervention in survivors of stroke. Improvements in quality of life and mental health were reported in three trials. The researchers concluded that tai chi exercise might be beneficial with respect to balance, quality of life, and mental health in survivors of stroke.
To better understand tai chi and the health benefits it could impart, read Tai Chi Gets Results.
Most major cities across North America have tai chi centers where trained practitioners help teach the movements of this martial art. Try contacting The Taoist Tai Chi Society for information about where and how to participate in classes in your neighborhood.
If you are recovering from a recent stroke, get your doctor’s advice about where to go to rehabilitate with tai chi. There may be a special program that you can register to be a part of.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
The Chinese Martial Art Helping Stroke Patients
Ding M, “Tai Chi for Stroke Rehabilitation: A Focused Review,” Am J Phys Med Rehabil. October 10, 2012.