- Effects of aging and tai chi on finger-pointing toward stationary and moving visual targets. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010; 91(1):149-55. By Kwok JC, Hui-ChanMessage 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2010View Source
Effects of aging and tai chi on finger-pointing toward stationary and moving visual targets. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010; 91(1):149-55. By Kwok JC, Hui-Chan CW, Tsang WW. Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University , Hong Kong (SAR), China .
Abstract: Effects of aging and Tai Chi on finger-pointing toward stationary and moving visual targets. OBJECTIVE: To examine the aging effect on speed and accuracy in finger pointing toward stationary and moving visual targets between young and older healthy subjects and whether or not Tai Chi practitioners perform better than healthy older controls in these tasks. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: University-based rehabilitation center. PARTICIPANTS: University students (n=30) (aged 24.2+/-3.1y), were compared with healthy older control subjects (n=30) (aged 72.3+/-7.2y) and experienced (n=31) (mean years of practice, 7.1+/-6.5y) Tai Chi practitioners (aged 70.3+/-5.9y). INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Subjects pointed with the index finger of their dominant hand from a fixed starting position on a desk to a visual signal (1.2cm diameter dot) appearing on a display unit, as quickly and as accurately as possible. Outcome measures included (1) reaction time-the time from the appearance of the dot to the onset of the anterior deltoid electromyographic response; (2) movement time-the time from onset of the electromyographic response to touching of the dot; and (3) accuracy-the absolute deviation of the subject's finger-pointing location from center of the dot. RESULTS: Young subjects achieved significantly faster reaction and movement times with significantly better accuracy than older control subjects in all finger-pointing tasks. Tai Chi practitioners attained significantly better accuracy than older controls in pointing to stationary visual signals appearing contralaterally and centrally to their pointing hand. They also demonstrated significantly better accuracy when the target was moving. Accuracy in Tai Chi practitioners was similar to young controls. CONCLUSIONS: Eye-hand coordination in finger-pointing declines with age in time and accuracy domains. However, Tai Chi practitioners attained significantly better accuracy than control subjects similar in age, sex, and physical activity level.
Feasibility and effects of a tai chi self-help education program for Korean gastric cancer survivors.
College of Nursing , Seoul National University , Republic of Korea .
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of conducting a study of a tai chi self-help education program in Korean adults with gastric cancer and to describe the effects of a six-month tai chi self-help education program on depression, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and immune markers. DESIGN: One-group, pre- and post-test design. SETTING: Outpatient clinics of two large hospitals in the Republic of Korea.Sample : Convenience sample of 33 Korean adults with gastric cancer diagnoses after gastrectomy. METHODS: The Korean gastric cancer survivors participated in a 24-week tai chi self-help education program. The participants completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (Korean version) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (Korean version) for HRQOL and provided blood samples for immune markers. All measurements were conducted at baseline and at one week following the 24-week intervention. RESEARCH VARIABLES: Feasibility was determined as the percentage of participants completing the 24-week protocol. Preliminary data on depression, HRQOL, and immune markers were obtained.Findings: The dropout rate was 36.4%; 21 of 33 survivors participated in the tai chi self-help education program for 24 weeks. No complications or injuries occurred to the participants during the program. No significant differences were noted in depression, HRQOL, and immune markers before and after the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Tai chi exercise, in combination with a self-help program, can be safe and feasible for Korean gastric cancer survivors. This feasibility study did not show that the tai chi self-help education program improves depression, HRQOL, and immune markers in Korean gastric cancer survivors. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Additional studies are needed to determine the long-term impact relative to usual care.
From York University , Toronto , Ontario , Canada M3J 1P3 . htamim@...
BACKGROUND: Workplace computer use has increased dramatically in recent years and has been linked to musculoskeletal disorders, a leading cause of work disability and productivity losses in industrialized nations. Tai Chi is a simple, convenient workplace intervention that may promote musculoskeletal health without special equipment or showering, yet no study has investigated Tai Chi as a workplace physical exercise for health promotion. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of a workplace Tai Chi (TC) intervention on musculoskeletal fitness and psychological well-being among female university employees who are computer users. METHODS: The exercise program consisted of two 50 minute TC classes per week for 12 consecutive weeks during the months of May-August 2007. Fifty-two participants were enrolled in a class conducted on campus by a professional TC practitioner during the lunch hour. Socio-demographic characteristics, including information on age, marital status, ethnicity, job category and perceived overall health were collected from all participants. Fitness testing conducted by qualified personnel was assessed pre- and post-program. The tests included resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, anthropometric measures, musculoskeletal fitness and back fitness. Psychological well-being was assessed by the Perceived Stress Scale pre- and post-program. RESULTS: There were significant positive results in several areas including resting heart rate, waist circumference and hand grip strength. Results showed that the TC program was effective in improving musculoskeletal fitness and psychological well-being. CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvements in physiological and psychological measures were observed, even at the large class sizes tested here, suggesting that TC has considerable potential as an economic, effective and convenient workplace intervention.
Institute of Neuroinformatics and Lab for Body and Mind, Dalian University of Technology , Dalian , China .
Abstract: Objective: Prior research had shown that an additional training session immediately after acute stress increased release of salivary secretory immunoglobin A (sIgA) in a group trained with 5-day Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT) in comparison to a control group given the same amount of relaxation training. However, 5 days of training did not influence the basal secretion of sIgA. The current study seeks to extend this finding and determine whether increasing amounts of IBMT will increase the basal sIgA level, suggesting further improvements in mucosal immune function. Design: Thirty-five (35) Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned either to an experimental group receiving 4 weeks of IBMT or a relaxation control. Salivary sIgA levels at baseline before training and three stages (i.e., rest, stress, and additional 20-minute practice) after 2 and 4 weeks training were assessed. Results: The basal sIgA levels increased significantly in the experimental subjects but not in controls after 4 weeks of training. An additional IBMT practice session immediately after acute stress produced significantly higher sIgA release for the IBMT-trained group in comparison with controls at week 2 and 4. This effect was larger at week 4 than week 2. Conclusions: These results indicate that the IBMT produces a change in the basal immune system and larger acute effects as the dose of training increases.
The effects of slow breathing on affective responses to pain stimuli: An experimental study. Pain, 2010 Jan 13 (Epub ahead of print) By Zautra AJ, Fasman R, Davis MC, Craig AD. From Dept of Psychology,
Arizona State University , Tempe , AZ , USA .
ABSTRACT: This study examined whether breathing rate affected self-reported pain and emotion following thermal pain stimuli in women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FM: n=27) or age-matched healthy control women (HC: n=25). FM and HC were exposed to low and moderate thermal pain pulses during paced breathing at their normal rate and one-half their normal rate. Thermal pain pulses were presented in four blocks of four trials. Each block included exposure to both mild and moderate pain trials, and periods of both normal and slow paced breathing. Pain intensity and unpleasantness were recorded immediately following each pain trial, and positive and negative affect were assessed at the end of each block of trials. Compared to normal breathing, slow breathing reduced ratings of pain intensity and unpleasantness, particularly for moderately versus mildly painful thermal stimuli. The effects of slow breathing on pain ratings were less reliable for FM patients than for HCs. Slow versus normal breathing decreased negative affect ratings following thermal pain pulses for both groups, and increased positive affect reports, but only for healthy controls with high trait negative affect. Participants who reported higher levels of trait positive affect prior to the experiment showed greater decreases in negative affect as a result of slow versus normal breathing. These experimental findings provide support for prior reports on the benefits of yogic breathing and mindful Zen meditation for pain and depressed affect. However, chronic pain patients may require more guidance to obtain therapeutic benefit from reduced breathing rates.
Abstract: Objectives: Vipassana meditation (VM) is one of the most ancient and diffused types of meditative practices belonging to the pole of mindfulness. Despite the growing interest toward the neurobiological and clinical correlates of many meditative practices, no review has specifically focused on current evidence on neuro-imaging and clinical evidence about VM. Methods: A literature search was undertaken using MEDLINE, ISI web of knowledge, the Cochrane database, and references of retrieved articles. Controlled and cross-sectional studies with controls published in English up to March 2009 were included. Results: Seven (7) mainly poor-quality studies were identified. Three (3) neuro-imaging studies suggested that VM practice could be associated with the activation of the prefrontal and the anterior cingulate cortex during meditative periods, and with increased thickness in cortical areas related to attention as well as increased subcortical gray matter in right insula and hippocampus in long-term meditators. Three (3) clinical studies in incarcerated populations suggested that VM could reduce alcohol and substance abuse but not post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in prisoners. One (1) clinical study in healthy subjects suggested that VM could enhance more mature defenses and copying styles. Discussion: Current studies provided preliminary results about neurobiological and clinical changes related to VM practice. Nonetheless, few and mainly low-quality data are available especially for clinical studies and current results have to be considered with caution. Further research is needed to answer critical questions about replications, self-selection, placebo, and long-term effects of VM.
The exploration of meditation in the neuroscience of attention and consciousness. Cogn Process. 2010; 11(1):1-7. By Raffone A, Srinivasan N. Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome , Italy , antonino.raffone@....
Many recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the importance of investigating meditation states and traits to achieve an increased understanding of cognitive and affective neuroplasticity, attention and self-awareness, as well as for their increasingly recognized clinical relevance. The investigation of states and traits related to meditation has especially pronounced implications for the neuroscience of attention, consciousness, self-awareness, empathy and theory of mind. In this article we present the main features of meditation-based mental training and characterize the current scientific approach to meditation states and traits with special reference to attention and consciousness, in light of the articles contributed to this issue.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. J Psychosom Res. 2010; 68(1):29-36. By Rosenzweig S, Greeson JM, Reibel DK, Green JS, Jasser SA, Beasley D. Office of Educational Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia , PA , USA .
OBJECTIVE: This study compared changes in bodily pain, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and psychological symptoms during an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program among groups of participants with different chronic pain conditions. METHODS: From 1997-2003, a longitudinal investigation of chronic pain patients (n=133) was nested within a larger prospective cohort study of heterogeneous patients participating in MBSR at a university-based Integrative Medicine center. Measures included the Short-Form 36 Health Survey and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. Paired t tests were used to compare pre-post changes on outcome measures. Differences in treatment effect sizes were compared as a function of chronic pain condition. Correlations were examined between outcome parameters and home meditation practice. RESULTS: Outcomes differed in significance and magnitude across common chronic pain conditions. Diagnostic subgroups of patients with arthritis, back/neck pain, or two or more comorbid pain conditions demonstrated a significant change in pain intensity and functional limitations due to pain following MBSR. Participants with arthritis showed the largest treatment effects for HRQoL and psychological distress. Patients with chronic headache/migraine experienced the smallest improvement in pain and HRQoL. Patients with fibromyalgia had the smallest improvement in psychological distress. Greater home meditation practice was associated with improvement on several outcome measures, including overall psychological distress, somatization symptoms, and self-rated health, but not pain and other quality of life scales. CONCLUSION: MBSR treatment effects on pain, HRQoL and psychological well-being vary as a function of chronic pain condition and compliance with home meditation practice.
Mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors. J Clin Psychol. 2010 Jan;66(1):17-33.
By Kimbrough E, Magyari T, Langenberg P, Chesney M, Berman B. Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2200 Kernan Drive, Baltimore, MD 21207-6665, USA. ekimbrough@...
Twenty-seven adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse participated in a pilot study comprising an 8-week mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction (MBSR) program and daily home practice of mindfulness skills. Three refresher classes were provided through final follow-up at 24 weeks. Assessments of depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and mindfulness, were conducted at baseline, 4, 8, and 24 weeks. At 8 weeks, depressive symptoms were reduced by 65%. Statistically significant improvements were observed in all outcomes post-MBSR, with effect sizes above 1.0. Improvements were largely sustained until 24 weeks. Of three PTSD symptom criteria, symptoms of avoidance/numbing were most greatly reduced. Compliance to class attendance and home practice was high, with the intervention proving safe and acceptable to participants. These results warrant further investigation of the MBSR approach in a randomized, controlled trial in this patient population.
The effect of meditation on physical and mental health in junior college students: a quasi-experimental study. J Nurs Res. 2009 Dec;17(4):261-9. By Yang KP, Su WM, Huang CK. Cardinal Tien College of Healthcare and Management, Taipei , Taiwan , ROC. yang@...
BACKGROUND: Physical stress and mental stress are increasingly common phenomena in our rapidly changing and stressful modern society. Research has found meditation to produce positive and demonstrable stress reduction effects on brain and immune functions. This study is grounded in traditional Chinese philosophical mores that teach a process summarized by the keynote activities of "calm, still, quiet, consider, and get" and the potential of this process to reduce stress in adolescents. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of meditation on the physical and mental health of junior college students. METHODS: This research employed a quasi-experimental design. Participants included 242 freshmen from a junior college in Taiwan selected using a convenience sampling technique. Participants were then randomly separated into experimental (n = 119) and control (n = 123) groups. The project duration was 18 weeks, during which the experimental group received 2 hours of meditation treatment per week, for a total of 36 hours. Both groups completed pretest and posttest Life Adaptation Scale forms, which included questionnaires addressing information on physical and mental distress and positive and negative coping strategies. Data were analyzed using analysis of covariance. RESULTS: Findings showed that the effect of the experiment treatment was significant when student physical and mental distress pretest scores were controlled. Physical and mental symptoms in the experimental group were lower than those in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Meditation can help students to adapt to life stressors. This study also provides support for traditional Chinese wisdom, which promotes meditation as one way to improve health.
External Qi of Yan Xin Qigong Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Migration and Invasion of Estrogen-Independent Breast Cancer Cells Through Suppression of Akt/NF-kB Signaling. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2010; 25(2-3):263-270. By Yan X, Shen H, Jiang H, Hu D, Zhang C, Wang J, Wu X. Chongqing Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chongqing .
The antitumor effects of external Qi of Yan Xin Qigong (YXQ-EQ) have been widely described over the past three decades. To gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying YXQ-EQ's antitumor effects, in the present study we investigated its effects on growth, migration, invasion and apoptosis of breast cancer cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms. We show that YXQ-EQ treatment caused a time-dependent reduction in viability, blocked clonogenic growth and induced apoptosis in estrogen-independent breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, YXQ-EQ treatment blocked migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells. Biochemically, YXQ-EQ treatment markedly inhibited constitutive and EGF-induced Akt phosphorylation. YXQ-EQ also substantially repressed NF-kappaB activity, resulting in decreased expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), XIAP and survivin proteins. These findings suggest that YXQ-EQ may induce apoptosis and inhibition of migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells through the repression of Akt/NF-kappaB signaling.
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