Tai chi eases patients' pain

In Monday’s Health & Science Section my colleague Marie McCullough has a short item on the how people who with fibromyalgia - a complex pain syndrome - benefited from the tai chi, an ancient, slow-movement martial art from China. Here's a preview of that item for Check Up readers:

If you suffer from the common, complex muscle-bone pain syndrome known as fibromyalgia, try tai chi.

Tai chi, a combination of meditation, relaxation and slow, graceful movements, originated in China as a martial art. Now, a study led by Tufts University shows that the mind-body practice can be therapeutic for fibromyalgia.

Researchers randomly assigned 66 patients to twelve weeks of classes that taught either tai chi, or stretching exercises and wellness education. The tai chi group had greater improvements in their scores on questionnaires that measured qualify of life and the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.

The study, in the current edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, also found that tai chi was safe — no “adverse events.”

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