By: Dave Gordon
The ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi may provide physical and emotional relief for people suffering from arthritis. Taking classes twice a week for two months helped people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia feel better and move more easily. It reduced pain, stiffness and fatigue, and improved balance. Tai Chi involves slow, gentle movements along with deep breathing and relaxation to build strength and flexibility. Participants who took the classes felt better, improved their sense of wellbeing and slept better. The study was funded in part by the Arthritis Foundation and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and was presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Atlanta.