The Ancient Chinese Remedy to Cure Modern Pains

Andy Peloquin

Personal Training

Chronic pain is a problem that has been steadily on the rise in the last decade. According to the NIH, pain is the most common reason that Americans visit their doctor, and more people suffer from pain than from cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. It's estimated that one out of every four Americans has suffered from pain that lasts more than 24 hours. Chronic pain is also the #1 cause of long-term disability in the country.

 

But what if there was a simple remedy to help manage and treat the pain? According to a new study by the American Pain Society, we've known about an effective treatment option for centuries.

 

 

A team of researchers examined the effects of Tai Chi on pain. But not just any pain: non-specific neck pain. This is the sort of chronic unexplained pain that has become more common, but with no known cure. The best doctors can do is try to manage the pain, often using strong, highly addictive opioids.

 

The study consisted of 114 subjects with chronic neck pain. After just 12 weeks of performing Tai Chi, the subjects noticed visible improvement in their neck pain, disability, and their quality of life. They had better postural control and reported less pain than those who underwent no treatment. (Note: Neck exercises proved equally effective for diminishing pain and improving quality of life.)

 

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(Source: The Journal of Pain, American Pain Society) 

 

Tai Chi is both a martial art and a form of physical therapy. The exercises involve slow, rhythmic movements, meditation training, and dynamic musculoskeletal breathing movements. It has been proven an effective way to manage lower back pain, and can be a useful way to treat psychological disorders and rheumatologic disease. Now, with this new study, you can add "helps to reduce non-specific chronic neck pain" to the benefits of Tai Chi.

 

Fitness, flexibility, mental health, psychological stress, mind body. yoga, tai chi, Trending

 

If you're looking for ways to manage or cope with pain, medication is not your only hope. Physical activity may seem like the last thing you want to do, but it can be an effective option for improving your quality of life, increasing mobility, and managing pain. As this study proved, exercises like Tai Chi can do wonders to control your pain—even non-specific chronic pain—and help you to feel better. A few minutes of Tai Chi or yoga per day can go a long way toward restoring you to full, pain-free health.

 

Reference:

1. Romy Lauche, Christoph Stumpe, Johannes Fehr, Holger Cramer, Ying Wu Cheng, Peter M. Wayne, Thomas Rampp, Jost Langhorst, Gustav Dobos. "The Effects of Tai Chi and Neck Exercises in the Treatment of Chronic Nonspecific Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial". The Journal of Pain, 2016; 17 (9): 1013 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.06.004.

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