Chinese Martial Arts Tai Chi Offers Effective Treatment for Dizziness, Balance Disorders

SAN DIEGO –  A form of Chinese martial arts called Tai Chi may prove an effective treatment for patients who suffer from dizziness and balance disorders, also known as vestibular disorders.

In a study presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO in San Diego, a team of researchers evaluated the utility of Tai Chi in managing patients with vestibular symptoms who have failed conventional vestibular therapy.

It could include individualized physical therapy or different sets of physical maneuvers that a doctor performs on a patient.

As part of the study, the researchers conducted a survey from April 2008 to March 2009 at an outpatient rehabilitation program, utilizing the activities-specific balance confidence scale and dynamic gait index survey, both prior to therapy and at the conclusion of an eight-week course.

A total of 21 patients (18 females, 3 males) completed the study to date.

According to the researchers, patients reported subjective improvements in their vestibular symptoms.

Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that the technique might be effective because Tai Chi promotes coordination through relaxation, rather than muscular coordination.

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