January 15, 2014
December 25, 2013
If strengthening your leg muscles, promoting flexibility and balance, and stimulating your mental and physical health is on your to-do list, consider tai chi. Learn more about this gentle yet effective exercise. Go to http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/TIP05035/Want-To-Improve-Your-Overall-Health.html
November 2, 2013
The flowing movements and meditative exercises of the mind-body activity Qigong may help survivors of prostate cancer to combat fatigue. These are the findings of a trial study led by Dr. Anita Y. Kinney at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center and Dr. Rebecca Campo at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study took place at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, and was published in Springer’s Journal of Cancer Survivorship. See more at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030093039.htm
June 8, 2013
CHAPEL HILL, NC — In the largest study to date of the Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi program, participants showed improvement in pain, fatigue, stiffness and sense of well-being. The study found that there are significant benefits of Tai Chi for individuals with all types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, said Leigh Callahan, PhD, lead author.
January 31, 2013
Researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found qigong, an ancient mind-body practice, reduces depressive symptoms and improves quality of life in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.
The study, published in the journal Cancer, is the first to examine qigong in patients actively receiving radiation therapy and include a follow-up period to assess benefits over time. Even though individual mind-body practices such as meditation and guided imagery appear to reduce aspects of distress and improve quality of life, questions remain about their effectiveness when conducted in conjunction with radiation therapy.
“We were also particularly interested to see if qigong would benefit patients experiencing depressive symptoms at the start of treatment,” said Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Departments of General Oncology and Behavioral Science and director of the Integrative Medicine Program. “It is important for cancer patients to manage stress because it can have a profoundly negative effect on biological systems and inflammatory profiles.”
For the trial, Cohen, the corresponding author, and his colleagues enrolled 96 women with stage 1-3 breast cancer from Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center in Shanghai, China. Forty-nine patients were randomized to a qigong group consisting of five 40-minute classes each week during their five-to-six week course of radiation therapy, while 47 women comprised a waitlist control group receiving the standard of care.
The program incorporated a modified version of Chinese medical qigong consisting of synchronizing one’s breath with various exercises. As a practice, qigong dates back more than 4,000 years when it was used across Asia to support spiritual health and prevent disease.
Participants in both groups completed assessments at the beginning, middle and end of radiation therapy and then one and three months later. Different aspects of quality of life were measured including depressive symptoms, fatigue, sleep disturbances and overall quality of life.
Results show benefits emerged over time
Patients in the qigong group reported a steady decline in depressive symptom scores beginning at the end of radiation therapy with a mean score of 12.3, through the three month post-radiation follow-up with a score of 9.5. No changes were noted in the control group over time.
The study also found qigong was especially helpful for women reporting high baseline depressive symptoms, Cohen said.
“We examined women’s depressive symptoms at the start of the study to see if women with higher levels would benefit more,” Cohen said. “In fact, women with low levels of depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy had good quality of life throughout treatment and three months later regardless of whether they were in the qigong or control group. However, women with high depressive symptoms in the control group reported the worst levels of depressive symptoms, fatigue, and overall quality of life that were significantly improved for the women in the qigong group.”
As the benefits of qigong were largely observed after treatment concluded, researchers suggest qigong may prevent a delayed symptom burden, or expedite the recovery process especially for women with elevated depressive symptoms at the start of radiotherapy.
Cohen notes the delayed effect could be explained by the cumulative nature of these modalities, as the benefits often take time to be realized.
Future research needed
The authors note several limitations to the study, including the absence of an active control group making it difficult to rule out whether or not the effects of qigong were influenced by a patient’s expectations or simply being a light exercise. Additionally, the homogeneity of the group, Chinese women at a single site, limits the ability of applying the results to other populations.
According to the authors, the findings support other previously reported trials examining qigong benefits, but are too preliminary to offer clinical recommendations. Additional work is needed to understand the possible biological mechanisms involved and further explore the use of qigong in ethnically diverse populations with different forms of disease.
November 6, 2012
From the Newsletter of Johns Hopkins Medicine-
If you have mild to moderate heart failure, the ancient Chinese exercise tai chi may help improve your mood, your ability to exercise independently and your quality of life, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Volume 171, page 750).
Investigators randomly assigned 100 people, average age 67 years, with mild to moderate heart failure to attend tai chi classes for 12 weeks or traditional classes on diet, exercise, medication use and other self-management strategies. Participants in the tai chi group learned a simplified Yang style of tai chi. Both groups received educational materials and the tai chi group also received an instructional video and was encouraged to practice at home at least three times a week.
On average, tai chi participants attended 75 percent of their classes, while those in the standard group attended about 66 percent of their sessions. Those in the tai chi group reported practicing at home for an average of 10 hours each week.
Take-away thought.After 12 weeks, the tai chi group showed significant improvements in indexes used to measure quality of life and mood disturbances and in their ability to exercise independently. Tai chi is a safe complement to standard therapy for heart failure. If you want to give tai chi a try, get clearance from your doctor first.
July 12, 2012
We at Peaceable Dragon are happy to announce our web-presence, dedicated to informing you of classes and workshops, events and news that can improve the quality of your life. For twenty years, the Peaceable Dragon Internal Arts Consortium has formed communities of practitioners of yoga, taijiquan (tai chi), qigong (chi kung), aikido, meditation and reiki.
This is the fourth generation of our website, and we would like to especially thank our talented designer, Cary Scott, and our own Kris Brinker for invaluable assistance in presenting our message of health and joy.
Through our association with WujiTech, Peaceable Dragon members are able to track their progress, receive coaching, guidance and information about numerous internal arts subjects. We would like to thank our good friend, Francesco Garripoli, for making this available. Keep your eyes on the Peaceable Dragon Community forming on communityawake.com.
Warm best wishes,
Peaceable Dragon Internal Arts Consortium
April 26, 2012
Events in Vienna, Virginia and Wynnewood, Pennsylvania on Saturday the 28th of April were lots of fun! Demonstrations, classes and community were celebrated in gratitude for the Internal Arts.
November 26, 2011
Participants in a study by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that meditation for 20 minutes reduced their perception of pain by 57%. the team of researchers was led by Dr. Fadel Zeidan and presented at a recent meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
August 30, 2011
A study in published in Neurology showed that people who used olive oil often in their salads and food were 41% less likely to experience strokes than people who don’t use it at all. The report shows that olive oil has disease-fighting antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fat. The study was conducted by Dr. Cecilia Samieri who is a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Bordeaux in France.
July 22, 2011
An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association described the benefits to type 2 diabetics of walking 30 to 40 minutes and lifting weightsthree or more times per week. Participants in the study by Dr. Timothy Church, MD showed a 5% to 7% reductin in risk for cardiovascular disease after nine months. Reduced blood sugar levels also lowers the risk of such complications as kidney disease and eye damage.
June 28, 2011
In a study of thirty-five thousand women from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm that was published in Stroke it was reported that drinking one or more cups of coffee daily is associated with reduced risk of stroke. The idea is that coffee beans contain antioxidants and other disease-fighting chemicals that reduce inflammation and improve insulin activity. Moderate coffee consumption has also been linked to decreased risk for diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease.
April 23, 2011
After 12 weeks of practicing the ancient Chinese art, fibromyalgia patients had less pain, fatigue and sleeplessness than patients who did stretching exercises and participated in a wellness education program. The tai chi participants in the study were also more likely to remain at improved levels six months later. This is from a study from Tufts University published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
April 21, 2011
A 2006 review in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that meditation helps to relieve symptoms of autoimmune illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. This was noted in an article in the January 15th edition of Bottom Line that places emphasis on a long-term study that showed MS patients who switched to a vegetarian diet and avoided processed foods that are often high in saturated fat can reduce their relapse rate by 95%. The study notes that most medications achieve only about a 30% reduction.
December 28, 2010
In the February, 2011 edition of Men’s Health fitness fanatic Tony Horton of P90X fame stated that “Yoga is resistance, it’s balance, it’s stamina, it’s even cardiovascular, depending on how you do it. Horton recommends yoga for flexibility, especially an issue with an aging population. Peaceable Dragon yoga instructors are well trained with several having more than one certification. Classes are offered in Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and the District of Columbia.
December 27, 2010
The American Journal of Public Health reports that 90% of Americans will develop high blood pressure as they age. This increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. In a study at the University of Maryland that was conducted on 15,000 people, Stephen Havas, MD, professor of the Department of Epidemiology and of the Department of Preventive Medicine found that the average systolic blood pressure (the top number) of people ages 45 to 64 increased by five points. The study points to long-term exposure to sodium in processed and restaurant foods as the main factor in the increase.