Tai chi may provide another tool among health resources available to recent stroke victims, a new study suggests.
Proponents argue that tai chi may improve balance and minimize falls, and Christina Hui-Chan, head of physical therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, tested whether the benefits would extend to stroke victims.
Hong Kong residents who had suffered a stroke more than six months earlier were taught a modified version of the martial art over a three-month period, and outperformed patients in the control group in balance exercises like shifting weight, leaning and standing on moving surfaces.
Hui-Chan said that this would be beneficial as “all reaching tasks” require similar motions, adding that tai chi, a popular morning activity in China, may prove beneficial to Westerners if available at “community centers, YWCAs or YMCAs, or in parks in the summer.”
Those looking to improve artery function following a stroke may consider nutritional supplements containing isoflavone, a chemical whose effect was “comparable with lifestyle changes with endurance training or pharmacological interventions with statin therapy,” according to researchers at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.