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This Ancient Chinese Therapy May Ease Arthritis Pain

The George Institute for International Health in Sydney recently conducted the first comprehensive meta-analysis of Tai-Chi's arthritis benefits. The results of the review were published in the May 2009 issue of Arthritis Care and Research.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of mind-body therapy. In modern western culture, the exercise therapy is described as a combination of meditation and yoga. Tai Chi combines deep, relaxed breathing with various postures aimed to improve balance, strength and flexibility.

The Australian researchers analyzed seven randomized controlled trials for the meta-analysis and found that Tai Chi can effectively ease pain and reduce disability for people suffering from arthritis.

There are over 100 different forms of arthritis, many of which can easily become seriously debilitating if left untreated. Arthritis is marked by inflammation in the area in or around a joint, causing pain, stiffness and, sometimes difficulty moving. Arthritis is recognized as an international health priority.

While further research is necessary in order to fully understand the potential benefits of Tai Chi, it is already known that the ancient art is a great way for seniors to remain active. This is because Tai Chi is a "soft" martial art, meaning it isn"t overly strenuous.

Staying active by practicing Tai Chi has been shown to improve sleep quality for older adults, decrease the incidence of debilitating falls, and even raise levels of self reported happiness and satisfaction with life.

Other ways to ease arthritis pain include nutritional supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs, and acupuncture.

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