Effects of T'ai Chi on balance

Author: Hain TC//Fuller L//Weil L//Kotsias J
Affiliation: Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill 60611, USA. thain@.nwu.edu
Conference/Journal: Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg
Date published: 1999
Other: Volume ID: 125 , Issue ID: 11 , Pages: 1191-5 , Word Count: 142

OBJECTIVE: To determine if the practice of T'ai Chi significantly improves balance.

METHODS: Twenty-two persons with mild balance disorders were
studied. Five measures of balance were obtained, including 3 objective measures (moving platform posturography, Romberg testing, and reach testing) and 2 disability questionnaires (Dizziness Handicap Inventory and a modified Medical Outcomes Study general health survey). To be included, patients were required to be able to stand in the eyes-closed regular Romberg position for 30 seconds. The subjects underwent 8 weeks of T'ai Chi training and practice and then were retested.

RESULTS: Highly significant improvements were found
on both the posturography test and the Dizziness Handicap Inventory questionnaire scores (P<.001 and P=.004, respectively). Trends toward improvement were also noted in Romberg test results and the Medical Outcomes Study survey (P=.03 for both). Reach was not improved.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that T'ai Chi training improves balance.