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Complementary medicine update

Tai Chi as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis

Lillias Nairn, Marlene Fransen

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Abstract

Several studies have reported that Tai Chi reduces joint pain and improves physical function in people with knee osteoarthritis; however, the available clinical trials are generally small and further robust studies are needed.

Article Extract

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that has been practised for centuries in China and is gaining in popularity in Western countries. Although there are many different styles (e.g. Sun, Yang, Wu, Chen), Tai Chi basically combines deep diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with a series of postures that flow from one to the other in a slow graceful manner. Despite the many claims regarding its widespread health benefits, the biological mechanism and clinical effects of Tai Chi are not well understood.

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