Rick J. Krause

4535 NW 36th St
Okahoma City, OK


Various Western researchers have begun to study the benefit of Tai Chi (TC) exercises.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored research on frailty reduction in the elderly. The results were published in the May 1996 issue of the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.

These studies indicated that a fifteen (15) week TC program reduced the risk of falling by 47.5% and that it helped to maintain strength in the participants. This was superior to any other exercise program evaluated by the study. (It is estimated that falls alone cost over twelve (12) billion dollars in the U.S. annually.)

Studies at Sheffield University in England and Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. have also shown TC to be effective in lowering blood pressure. Currently studies are being conducted at New York University with cardiac patients and TC exercise.

According to Dr. Mariano Rey, M.D., Director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at NYU, there is a clear indication that not only is TC an effective form of gentle rehabilitation for cardiac patients, but results also indicate that patients who practice TC have "significantly lower scores on anger scales after participating in the Tai Chi program."


Much current research points to excessive anger as a major factor in heart disease. An exercise, which can reduce the amount of anger a person has, may significantly decrease their risk of heart disease.

Other studies suggest that TC is helpful in the treatment of such diverse health problems as cancer, asthma, diabetes, depression, arthritis, anxiety disorder, back pain, osteoporosis and heartburn. (source:Guide to Alternate Medicine, 1997).

Is TC then some sort of wonder exercise comparable to such "wonder drugs" as Penicillin and Prozac? While certainly a cautious approach is appropriate, the studies done so far clearly indicate that TC is a valuable therapeutic exercise system.

Modern medical research and ancient wisdom agree that Tai Chi is an important health promotion activity.