Immune System & Tai Chi
Tai Chi Boosts Immunity, Improves Physical Health in Seniors
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind conducted in the United States, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have shown that behavioral interventions and integrative exercise programs such as tai chi can have a direct, positive effect on the immune system in older adults. Published in the September/October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, the study found that prolonged use of a specific form of tai chi appeared to boost the immune system's response to a common virus, and could help ward off outbreaks of a painful, debilitating skin condition that occurs in the elderly population.
In the TCC group, there was a "robust increase" levels of memory T-cells in the blood. On average, the scientists found "a nearly 50 percent increase" of varicella virus responder cells in TCC patients from the start of the study to the one-week post-TCC period. On a patient-by-patient basis, levels of memory T-cells increased in nine TCC patients, remained unchanged in seven patients and decreased in one patient. In the control group, memory T-cell levels increased in three patients, were unchanged in eight patients and decreased in five patients.
Prevention Magazine, 1990, Vol 42, May Issue, Pages 14-15
A study conducted in China indicates that T'ai Chi may increase the number of T lymphocytes in the body. Also know as T-Cells, these lymphocytes help the immune system destroy bacteria and possibly even tumor cells.
See VIDEO on this study at: http://www.drkoop.com/video/93/2177/_Tai_Chi_Infection_Protection.html
A new study indicates that Tai Chi practiced three times per week may boost people’s resistance to viruses by 50%. This study was regarding the shingles virus in particular but the researchers believe Tai Chi may have a powerful effect in raising resistance to other types of infection as well.