Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Blood Pressure; Postural Balance; Martial Arts


The purpose of this study is to determine if rai Chi Chih could be beneficial in a therapeutic setting. More specifically, if balance and blood pressure could be improved in healthy young adults ages 20-39 after a six week rai Chi Chih program. rai Chi Chih is a shorter form of the ancient martial art rai Chi Chuan.

Two research groups were formed consisting of a rai Chi Chih group (n=11) and a walking group (n=7). Each group participated in one hour of either walking or rai Chi Chih three times a week for six weeks. Participants were tested before and after intervention. Measurements tested included single-leg stance time, functional reach, rhythmic weight shift utilizing the Neurocom® Balance Master, and blood pressure via a standardized blood pressure machine.

Statistical analysis revealed a significant (p<.05) decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure for the rai Chi Chih practitioners. Mean velocity of rhythmic shift left to right was also improved (p=.078) but not enough to deam significance. These findings support the use of rai Chi Chih as a therapeutic modality for patients with high blood pressure in conjunction with traditional treatment methods.