Monthly Archives March 2018

Tai chi helps with fibromyalgia

There’s a large and growing body of research showing the benefits of tai chi and/or qigong. In most cases it simply backs up the experience of the many practitioners who find it benefits them, improving both general health and specific problems. So we might ask why we should get excited about research at all. Well one of several reasons, and perhaps the most important, is that in Britain at least, research is the main thing that decides whether something is adopted or promoted by the National Health Service. So a new study published in the British Medical Journal showing that
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Appetite and sense of taste

‘When eating, stop when you are seven tenths full’. Chinese saying   One of the constant teachings in the Chinese diet and health tradition is to eat less and it’s clear that for most of us this seems to be true. Over several decades, research has been carried out on a wide variety of lab animals (and some humans) and pretty much without exception it’s been found that reducing overall calorie intake (while maintaining a healthy nutrient balance) results in fewer chronic diseases, better cognitive functioning and longer life. It is important to remember, though, that people who are underweight
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Exercise – what is it good for?

“If people exercise their bodies, the hundred ills cannot arise.” Sun Simiao, 7th century CE   A significant (and very long!) report by the US Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee has just been published. It accumulates all the available evidence on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of exercise. If you’re really keen, you can read the whole thing here, but below is my much shorter precis of the main findings. An even shorter snapshot is that exercise benefits every aspect of human health and quality of life, that any amount of physical activity is better than none, and that the
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Qigong and tai chi research

I must confess I have a weakness for research. Despite its many pitfalls, over time it can help clarify which health practices are helpful and which appear not to have any objective evidence to back them up. It embodies the ideals of science and philosophy – both of which are committed to accurate observation and a willingness to adapt our beliefs in the light of such evidence. This is more and more valuable in a world where people make all kinds of unfounded claims, not least in the field of complementary medicine, diet and lifestyle. Research is also useful in
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