Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments have come a long way in efficacy, but the fact remains that intense, debilitating side effects occur, such as cognitive decline and muscle weakness.
Now, a team of researchers at the University of Missouri has found that practicing tai chi regularly may help to prevent memory loss while also improving the quality of life for chemotherapy patients.
“Tai chi really helps individuals focus their attention, and this study also demonstrates how good tai chi could be for anyone, whether or not they have undergone treatment for cancer,” said lead author Stephanie Reid-Arndt.
A group of women who were undergoing chemotherapy practiced one hour of tai chi twice a week for the 10-week study period. After testing for memory, language, attention, stress, mood and fatigue, the researchers found that participants who engaged in tai chi experienced improved psychological and cognitive abilities, when compared to a control group.
Author and philosopher Ilchi Lee recommends mind-body-spirit practices like tai chi, meditation and yoga to help individuals achieve a higher state of being.