Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice that consists of slow, graceful movements
accompanied by deep breathing. In a recent study of 170 patients with osteoarthritis of
the knee, half the group had physical therapy. The other half did two 1-hour sessions of
tai chi per week, plus 20 minutes a day at-home tai chi practice. After 12 weeks, both
groups reported the same level of pain relief and improved function. However, the tai
chi group also had a reduction in depression and the fear of falling. Previous
research has shown tai chi to improve flexibility and balance and also to reduce
stress and anxiety.
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