„If Only We Could Put Tai Chi in a Pill”, Says a Harvard Professor

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November 15, 2014 – Dr. Lewis A. Lipsitz, a professor of medicine at Harvard, has seen remarkable results from Tai Chi in improving the older people’s balance at two facilities run by Hebrew SeniorLife, where he is vice president of academic medicine. „If only we could put tai chi in a pill,” he said.

His words were quoted in a New York Times article published on November 4, 2014 in the New York edition.

With the headline Steps to Avoid an Accident, the article cited Judy A. Stevens, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who stressed the importance of exercise: „if you’re in better physical condition, you’re less likely to be injured.”

Then the article went on to state that the regular practice of tai chi has also been found to help. „Tai chi involves very slow, purposeful movements in coordination with breathing and muscle activity, which in turn affects respiration, balance, and gait”, says the article.

In addition to the testimonial from Dr. Lipsitz, the author also used a 12-week tai chi program at the Sequoias-Portola Valley, a retirement facility 35 miles south of San Francisco, as an example. Before and after participating in the Tai Chi program, the participants are tested for how many times they can rise from a chair without using their arms. „Dr. Kati Murray, a geriatrician who is medical director of The Sequoias, said they saw marked improvement after the tai chi.”