“Tai Chi for a Healthy Immune System
Tai chi, long recognized for its positive effects on coordination, balance, relaxation and concentration, appears to have an exciting additional benefit: the ability to strengthen the immune system. Thats the conclusion of a new study from UCLA, which showed that practicing tai chi boosted immunity against shingles to a level comparable to that offered by the vaccine against the virus that causes the nasty, painful rash. The study involved 112 adults aged 59 to 86. Half took tai chi classes three times a week for 16 weeks while the other half attended classes on diet, sleep habits and stress management but did no tai chi. After 16 weeks, all the participants received a dose of the shingles vaccine, Varivax. By the end of the 25 week study, the tai chi group had immunity levels measured at twice that of the other group. The researchers said that their findings have implications for boosting resistance to flu, pneumonia and other infectious diseases. The UCLA study was published in the April 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.”
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