NORTHWEST T'AI CHI CH'UAN ASSOCIATION

 Chapter P.O. Box 10071 San Bernardino, CA 92423-0071 copyright NWTCCA 1998 (nwtcca@rocketmail.com), www.ctcc.org www.dotaichi.com/

MARCH/APRIL 1998, 

RESEARCH - T'AI CHI CH'UAN IN CARDIAC REHABILITATION

126 heart attack patients (acute myocardial infarction), average age of 56 years, were randomized into three groups: T'ai-chi, aerobic exercise and non-exercise support group. They exercise 2 times a week for 3 weeks then once a week for 5 weeks. Only the patients practicing t'ai-chi showed a decrease in diastolic blood pressure. There were significant reductions in systolic blood pressure in both exercise groups. (Channer KS, et. al., Postgrad Med J 1996 Ju;72(848):349-351)

Heart attack patients should exercise under medical supervision, but it seems like t'ai-chi may be a good type of exercise for them. For example, H. Kurland (1983) used Yang Style t'ai-chi and O'mei ch'i kung (qigong) to exercise monitored outpatient cardiac patients at Centinella Hospital. The patients had good results and enjoyed the exercises. The t'ai-chi was combined with a traditional walk-jog program.

T'ai-chi was found by H. Kurland to be 3 to 4 METS. (Sports Med., Training and Rehab., 1992, Vol 3, p228) and D. Zhou, et al., found t'ai-chi long form to be 4 METS, which Zhou considers a moderate intensity for aerobic training effect for cardiac out patients. (Can J Appl Sport Sci 1984, Mar;9(1):7-10. Zhou classified the "long form" as a moderate aerobic exercise. Exercise must be appropriate in intensity for these patients to prevent potential problems. 100 minutes a week of moderate exercise is thought to improve mental and physical function. (Successful Ageing) (See Intensity page 3) * * * * * *