Tai Chi benefits for improving memory function
by Cindy Collins, PhD, RD
Researchers from the University of South Florida and Fudan University tested the memories of elderly Chinese people who had practiced Tai Chi three times per week for eight months. Those practicing Tai Chi versus the control group who did not scored better on the memory tests and exhibited an increase in brain volume. In dementia, the brain volume shrinks; the growth exhibited with Tai Chi is very promising implying a chance to delay the onset of dementia. Brain volume increases have also been seen in subjects who socialized with ‘lively discussions’ three times per week versus those who did not.
Population studies have already indicated a protection against Alzheimer’s Dementia with physical activity and social interaction. This new research suggests actual growth and preservation of certain areas of the brain.
Tai Chi offers many health benefits from increased balance and relaxation to enhanced memory. Look for a local group in the park or at the community centers. South Florida Radiation Oncology, (SFRO) offers Tai Chi at select clinics and the new Survivorship Clinic. Please view our Resources tab on the website and go to Support Groups.