Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Magazine Daytona | Volusia | Flagler

Practice Sitting Tai Chi to Recover from a Stroke

Person sitting practicing tai chi

Elnur/AdobeStock.com

Tai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, typically involves moving the arms and feet in intricate, slow patterns, but a new study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found that doing the hand and shoulder movements while sitting in a chair produced significant physical and mental benefits for stroke survivors. Researchers at the Yunnan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in China, found that after 12 weeks of performing sitting tai chi, 69 stroke patients had better hand and arm function, better sitting balance, a wider range of shoulder motion, less depression and a better quality of life compared to 65 people in a standard stroke rehab program. More than half of those doing the sitting tai chi continued to practice it after the study ended, with continued improvement.