Tai Chi Showed Stimulus Similar to Treadmill Exercise in Stable Patients with COPD
November 19, 2015 -
Researchers from Guangzhou Medical
University of China and the Royal Brompton Hospital of UK performed a joint
study to compare the physiological work, judged by oxygen uptake, esophageal
pressure swing and diaphragm electromyography, elicited by Tai Chi compared with
that elicited by constant rate treadmill walking at 60% of maximal load in 11
patients with COPD.
Dynamic hyperinflation was assessed by
inspiratory capacity and twitch quadriceps tension (TwQ) elicited by
supramaximal magnetic stimulation of the femoral nerve was also measured before
and after both exercises.
The EMGdi and esophageal pressure at the end
of exercise were similar for both treadmill exercise and Tai Chi. Moreover the
mean values of oxygen uptake during Tai Chi and treadmill exercise did not
differ significantly: 11.3ml/kg/min (51.1% of maximal oxygen uptake derived from
incremental exercise) and 13.4ml/kg/min (52.5%) respectively. Respiratory rate
during Tai Chi was significantly lower than that during treadmill exercise.
Both Tai Chi and treadmill exercise elicited
a fall in IC at end exercise, indicating dynamic hyperinflation, but this was
statistically significant only after treadmill exercise. TwQ decreased
significantly after Tai Chi but not after treadmill.
The researchers conclude that Tai Chi
constitutes a physiologically similar stimulus to treadmill exercise and may
therefore be an acceptable modality for pulmonary rehabilitation which may be
culturally more acceptable in some parts of the world.
This study is published by the journal Respiratory physiology & neurobiology in November of 2015.