Practicing Tai Chi May Lead to a Longer Life, Study Shows

Medical research shows tai chi can be beneficial for congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, depression and anxiety, but new research shows it may also effect DNA, promoting a longer life, according to an article published in the Chicago Daily Herald and written by Dr. Patrick B. Massey, medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for the Alexian Brothers Health System.

In a recent Australian medical study, published in the medical journal Evidence — Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers looked at DNA methylation activity, which is one of the mechanisms by which DNA is able to maintain itself, in people who practiced tai chi. The rates in a group of woman between 45 and 80 years old who had been practicing for three years or more were compared to those who never practiced.

The researchers discovered the ability to methylate DNA in the group practicing tai chi was significantly better than the group who never practiced this form of exercise. Their conclusions suggested regular practice of tai chi may result in enhanced longevity, Massey explained in the article.