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Tai Chi Good for Asthmatic Children's Lungs

February 2008 - Tai Chi has been thought to improve cardiopulmonary function in patients with chronic disease. A new study reveals Tai Chi can improve asthmatic children’s pulmonary function.

In this study conducted in Taiwan, 30 asthmatic children were enrolled, with 15 of them participating in a 12-week Tai Chi program and the remaining 15 constituting the control group. Prior to study participation, the pulmonary function of all enrolled children was assessed in 3 parameters: at rest, after exercise, and after exercise plus iced water. A 3-day symptoms questionnaire was also completed and a score obtained after each pulmonary function test.

Before the study started, there were no significant differences between the two groups in baseline pulmonary function and severity of asthmatic symptoms in the 3 assessment parameters: at rest, after exercise, or after exercise plus iced water. However, after the 12-week program, children in the Tai Chi group had a significant improvement in baseline pulmonary function compared to the control group. In the first 2 parameters, at rest and after exercise, there were no significant differences in post-training symptom scores between the two groups. But in the third parameter, under the stronger challenge of exercise plus iced water, children in the Tai Chi group had milder symptoms than those in the control group.

Based on the above results, the researchers came to the conclusion that Tai Chi can improve the pulmonary function of asthmatic children. However, they caution that long-term follow-up is required to determine the impact of Tai Chi on the severity of asthmatic symptoms.

This study is published by Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection in February 2008.


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