The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Reviewing the reviews of tai chi

    Prof. Ernst and a colleague critically evaluated the systematic reviews of tai chi for any improvement of medical conditions or clinical symptoms.

    First, the details.

    • 35 reviews were…reviewed.
    • The following conditions reviewed included cancer, older people, Parkinson’s disease, musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle strength and flexibility, improving aerobic capacity, cardiovascular disease and risk factors, lowering resting blood pressure, osteoporosis or bone mineral density, type 2 diabetes, psychological health, fall prevention and improving balance, and any chronic conditions.

    And, the results.

    • In several instances, the conclusions of these articles were contradictory.
    • Relatively clear evidence emerged to suggest that tai chi is effective for
      • Fall prevention
      • Improving psychological health
      • General health benefits for older people.
    • However, tai chi seems to be ineffective for the symptomatic treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “ Many systematic reviews of tai chi have recently been published; however, the evidence is convincingly positive only for fall prevention and for improvement of psychological health.”

    Lots of summaries of past tai chi studies are here.

    5/19/11 21:13 JR

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