Do you have Tai Chi at your outpatient physical therapy center? Once considered a fad, the very old Chinese martial art, Tai Chi has now been shown to be helpful to fibromyalgia patients in a randomized trial.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine,conducted a single-blind, randomized trial of classic "Yang-style" Tai Chi and compared it to patients doing stretching exercises and some wellness education.
Patients did 60 minute classes, twice a week for 12 weeks. The results? Of the 66 randomly assigned patients, 33 in the Tai Chi group had "clinically important improvements," compared to the control group doing simple stretching exercises.
While an important landmark, the study was small with only 66 patients. The researchers conlcuded that while Tai Chi may be a useful treatment for fibromyalgia, larger and more long term studies are needed to guage its lasting effectiveness.