Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson

Keywords

Blood Pressure; Postural Balance; Martial Arts

Abstract

Our society is faced with more stress, injury, and disease every year. Besides the traditional medicine that we know so well in the Western cultures, people are trying more non-traditional therapies to alleviate their aches and pains. One of these non-traditional therapies that is becoming popular is Tai Chi. The purpose of this study is to determine if balance can be improved and/or blood pressure can be reduced in adults ages 20-39 by practicing Tai Chi Chih three times a week for six weeks.

Eleven subjects participated in Tai Chi Chih, and seven subjects participated in a walking program, each three times a week for six weeks. Each subject had their blood pressure checked and performed tests including Single Leg Stance, Rhythmic Weight Shift, and Functional Reach before and after the six weeks. A descriptive analysis was then performed comparing the pre- and post test scores.

From our results and current research, the researchers conclude that practicing Tai Chi Chih can reduce blood pressure. There were no significant improvements in balance, but this study is not statistically powerful enough to conclude that Tai Chi Chih does not improve balance. The researchers also conclude that Tai Chi Chih would be a useful addition to an exercise program for a patient with high blood pressure and/or balance impairments.

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