Complementary Therapies: Tai Chi in the Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular Disease

Author: Alexandrina Danilov1, William H Frishman1,2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> From the Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. <sup>2</sup> Department of Cardiology, Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY.
Conference/Journal: Cardiol Rev
Date published: 2023 Jul 3
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/CRD.0000000000000578. , Word Count: 232

Cardiovascular disease has remained the top contributor to global mortality for decades, necessitating research into the most effective methods of its prevention and treatment. Simultaneous with an immense amount of discovery and innovation in the field of cardiology, certain therapies with traditional Chinese origins have become progressively more popular in the West in recent decades. Specifically, ancient meditative mind-body practices such as Qigong and Tai Chi may lower cardiovascular disease risk and severity through a focus on movement and meditation. Such practices are generally low-cost and modifiable, with few adverse effects. Studies have shown higher quality of life in patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure after participation in Tai Chi, as well as a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and waist circumference. Most studies in the field have various limitations, such as small sample size, lack of randomization, and inadequate control; however, these practices show potential as an adjunct in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Patients unable or unwilling to partake in traditionally aerobic activities may benefit greatly from such mind-body therapies. Nonetheless, more studies are warranted for more definitive answers to the question of Tai Chi and Qigong's effectiveness. In this narrative review, we discuss the current evidence surrounding the effects of Qigong and Tai Chi on cardiovascular disease, in addition to the limitations and difficulties in conducting such studies.

PMID: 37395587 DOI: 10.1097/CRD.0000000000000578