Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Effect of Tai Chi versus Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia

Recently there has been a study on tai chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia. Tai chi or maybe better tai ji quan (太极拳), has a long history in China. Tai ji quan combines physical exercises and meditation. One can find balance between tension and relaxation. So it’s interesting to have a study in a syndrome, where patients have lost the ability to relax.

Ch. Wang and colleagues published this study: “Effect of tai chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia: comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial” [1]. The authors concluded: “Tai chi mind-body treatment results in similar or greater improvement in symptoms than aerobic exercise, the current most commonly prescribed non-drug treatment, for a variety of outcomes for patients with fibromyalgia. Longer duration of tai chi showed greater improvement. This mind-body approach may be considered a therapeutic option in the multidisciplinary management of fibromyalgia.”
There is a little shortcoming, however: “Participants attended the tai chi training sessions more often than participants attended aerobic exercise.”

All in all, we should encourage fibromyalgia patients to include tai chi into their exercise plan.

[1] BMJ 2018;360:k851 doi:


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