Tai chi cost-effective in reducing falls risks for people with Parkinsons

exercise board victoria 2010Just last year a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the regular practice of modified tai chi movements was more beneficial for people with Parkinson’s than either stretching or weight-resistance training on a number of measures.  In the randomized controlled study, Fuzhong Li, PhD, from the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene and colleagues, found that tai chi reduced balance impairments, improved function, and reduced falls in patients with Parkinson’s.

A new study shows not only does Tai Chi help to stop falls but is also cost effective compared to strength training.

Dr Peter Harmer, PhD, MPH, ATC, FACSM, Professor of Exercise Science, Department Chair, Senior Associate Research Scientist at Willamette University and his co-author Fuzhong Li, Phd conducted a cost-effective study comparing Tai Chi to low-impact stretching exercises or conventional strength training.  Dr. Harmer said Tai chi costs US $69.00 less per fall prevention in comparison to strength training. ” The data indicates a significant potential return on investment value of tai chi in Parkinson, the authors said. “As treatment costs for injury falls continue to rise these results have important implications for reducing overall healthcare costs while protecting patient health and independence.”

And for anyone wishing to start or refresh their tai chi journey, what better way than at the wonderful Son Ametler in N Mallorca, during a blissful week of tai chi, reflexology and walks.  October 5-12 2013   For details and bookings click here.  Limited spaces available.

(with thanks to Bill Douglas, WTCQD and Deborah Nicholson – AllVoices for information)

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