Tai Chi & Qigong --

as Alzheimer's Therapy

Alzheimer's Disease and Tai Chi

Links to Alzheimer's Disease Information, Resources, and Support Groups:

Comprehensive Alzheimer's disease (AD) information and resources from the U.S. Government's National Institute on Aging (NIA).



World Tai Chi & Qigong Day provides the above links to encourage Alzheimer Support Groups, to contact local Tai Chi teachers, and visa versa.

Research / Medical Articles on Tai Chi & Alzheimer's Disease:

Medical Research on T'ai Chi & ALZHEIMERS ARTICLE.


Al Gibb, H., Morris, C.T., & Gleisberg, J. (1997). A therapeutic programme for people with dementia. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 3(3), 191-199.

[more below]

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day member, Sifu Jonathan B. Walker, LPN, has been selected by UMDNJ (University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey), School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ to participate in a research study regarding the effects of Tai Chi on seniors who have memory problems. This study is citing people who suffer from early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.

There will be three (3) groups of volunteers participating in one of each type group (Tai Chi, Low Impact Exercise or Tai Chi Wait Group) for an initial period of three (3) time per week for twelve (12) weeks. At the conclusion of that period, the participants will change groups and participate in another group for another twelve (12) weeks.

This study is being directed by one of the leading gerontologist in the country, Rachel Pruchno, Ph.D, University Professor, Endowed Professor of Gerontology, Director of Research, Center for Aging at the University of Medicine & Dentistry, New Jersey - School of Osteopathic Medicine and conducted by Brian R. Frye, M.S., Project Coordinator, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Center for Aging, UMDNJ.

Sifu Jonathan B. Walker, LPN
QiSsage Body Systems, LLC
Three Mountains Schools
(609) 518-9399 / Yangqichen@aol.com

Member of www.worldtaichiday.org.


A study from the University of Chicago is being reported on in the press
concerns the risk and incidence of Alzheimers Disease as
affected by physical and mental activity. The study shows that an "enriched
environment" which includes both learning and physical activity increases
the output of genes involved in maintaining the health of neurons,
constructing synaptic connections, and building arterial highways to supply
more blood and nutrients to the brain.

Sangram Sisoda, the Director of the U of C Molecular Biology Center says
"Anything that keeps the mind active is going to be healthful. The
mind-body connection is a very important one. The brain can be restructured
simply by increasing physical activity." Bill Thies, Vice President of
Scientific Affairs for the Alzheimers Assn. agrees and continues, " . . .
inactivity is going to become more of a consideration . . . kids are
playing (video games), watching TV, eating hamburgers, and not doing

The findings of the study indicate that environment can alter the molecular
function of the brain. " . . . A more engaging enriched life (which
includes learning and physical activity) may reduce the progression of
Alzheimers Disease." according to S. Karsten and D. Geschwind of UCLA, in
an accompanying editorial.

World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Comment:

T'ai Chi's complex motions which engage left and right brain, mind and body, upper body and lower body, and left body right body motions that require mental awareness to perform in sequence, may make Tai Chi the most profound exercise to achieve the above results. We hope the medical establishment will apply the resources necessary to investigate this, for the benefit of those with Alzheimers, as well as others with degenerative conditions Tai Chi may help with. Traditional Chinese Medicine has long understood that when the patient "believes" in the therapy, it works more effectively. With modern (Western) medical sciences research it can help patients get the most from T'ai Chi & Qigong by informing the patient with empiricl data that T'ai Chi & Qigong can and will help their conditions.

Excerpt from "Editorial: AMERICAN MEDICAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION" for full editorial go to:

The Emerging Triad in Alzheimer's Disease
by Eric G. Tangalos, MD, CMD, Professor of Medicine and Chair,
Division of Community Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Alzheimer's disease is reaching epidemic proportions, and nowhere is this more apparent than in nursing facilities. Although many providers tried their hand at Alzheimer's units in the early and mid '90s, such units were poorly defined and came out of marketing strategies rather than a commitment to meeting patient needs. . . .

. . . Triad of Alzheimer's Disease Care

Alzheimer's disease can now be defined in terms of the progressive decline first in cognition, then in function, and finally in behavior. It is essential to have a fund of knowledge that includes both drug and non-drug therapies for patients that display cognitive, functional, or behavioral disorders.

Emerging trends include treatment modalities that affect multiple conditions, thus simplifying therapeutic options. For example, providing residents with opportunities to enjoy tasks that are physically stimulating, such as Tai Chi, preserves function, reduces falls, and prevents excess disabilities.


Physical Fitness and Preventing Falls - ALZHEIMERS.ORG
by Marlene Mare, RN

. . . Tai Chi, a martial arts form used for centuries in certain Asian cultures, enhances balance and body awareness. This type of physical training appears to influence favorably two important physical fitness traits: balance and strength.

Tai Chi Gaining Ground as Exercise for Elderly

Reuters - ABC News

Mar 30, 2005 — By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new take on the ancient martial art Tai Chi may offer a gentle way for even frail elderly adults to keep moving.

The style, known as Tai Chi Fundamentals, combines the traditions of the Chinese practice along with modern therapeutic principles to form an exercise plan feasible for elderly adults with a range of health problems — from arthritis to heart disease.

. . . Long used in China as a way to promote wellness, Tai Chi focuses on building strength, balance and flexibility through slow, fluid movements combined with mental imagery and deep breathing. Studies have suggested that the elderly can reduce their risk of falls, lower their blood pressure and ease arthritis symptoms through the practice, and some research indicates Tai Chi can improve heart and blood vessel function in both healthy people and those with heart conditions.

"It's the regular practice of Tai Chi that makes it beneficial," Matsuda told Reuters Health. Making the practice accessible through a simplified style like TCF or through free classes at community senior centers, for example, should help older people stick with it.

Writing in the March issue of the Rehab Management Journal, Matsuda and her co-authors, including one of the developers of TCF, Tricia Yu, describe how various rehabilitation therapists in the U.S. are using the program to help older patients with chronic illnesses.

The exercise, according to the Matsuda and her colleagues, can be beneficial for a range of patients, including those who are recovering from total knee replacement or who have cardiovascular or lung conditions, given that instructors are properly trained in the needs of elderly adults with health limitations.

more at: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=626251



Readers Digest Health - July, 2005

. . . among recent findings:
Aerobic alternative . . . Taiwan University Hospital study found that t'ai chi qualifies as aerobic exercise. (A 150 pound person can burn 270 calories in an hour.) University of California, San Francisco, researcher reported that it has cardiovascular benefits for heart disease patients.

2004 University of Liverpool study of women ages 33-55 showed that those who did t'ai chi three times a week for 12 weeks had improved balance and lower blood pressure . . . University of Hong Kong . . . postmenopausal women had stronger bones [due to tai chi] . . . South Korean study . . . osteoarthritis patients had less pain after 12 weeks of t'ai chi. . . .

TAI CHI IS TOP GROWTH EXERCISE - says Sporting Goods Manufactuerers Assn. Study - Gentler exercise embraced
Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gentler. Kinder. These are the types of activities that are capturing the time and attention of more Americans. Elliptical-trainer workouts, yoga and tai chi are the fastest-growing fitness activities in the United States, according to a six-year survey by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

Conversely, high-impact aerobics has been declining from 1998 to 2004.

BBC News - Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 23:22 GMT 00:22 UK

Tai Chi 'can treat heart failure !

A US study of 30 patients found regular classes gave patients better movement and reduced BNP levels, a measure of heart failure.

A number of the patients attended twice weekly classes for 12 months while a second group had standard treatment.

The British Heart Foundation said the study was "excellent news" and Tai Chi could be adopted into treatment programmes in the UK in the future.

May 1, 2005

Tai chi aids people with chronic ills

By Hap LeCrone -Cox News Service

An ancient Chinese exercise has become a mainstream approach to enhancing medical care and therapy around the world.

Tai chi is a form of martial art that has been practiced in China since the 12th century. As a movement therapy, tai chi is well-suited for a number of medical- and health-related issues, including arthritis, balance and movement control, lowered blood pressure, improved flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. . . .

The exercises take the group through a calming and peaceful repertoire of movement that results in enhanced feelings of relaxation, stress reduction, self-esteem and social participation.

more at: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050501/LIVING/505010380

Why Tai Chi Is the Perfect Exercise - Time Magazine

Especially for seniors. The slow-motion martial art builds strength, agility and, best of all, balance


Aug. 5, 2002 It's easy to tell people to make exercise part of their daily routine. It's not so easy to tell them what to do. Some folks like to run marathons or climb mountains. But if you would rather care for your body without risking life or limb or increasingly creaky joints, you might consider Tai Chi Chuan, the ancient martial art that looks like a cross between shadow boxing and slow-motion ballet. Not to be confused with Falun Gong, a quasi-religious and political movement that uses similar exercises, Tai Chi combines intense mental focus with deliberate, graceful movements that improve strength, agility...


The Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, Bill Douglas, has a new mind-body spiritual thriller novel coming out, 2012 The Awakening. Its publishing company is a proud sponsor of World Healing Day.
A new novel from the founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day