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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 Nov;125(11):1191-5.

Effects of T'ai Chi on balance.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill 60611, USA.



To determine if the practice of T'ai Chi significantly improves balance.


Twenty-two persons with mild balance disorders were studied. Five measures of balance were obtained, including 3 objective measures (moving platform posturography, Romberg testing, and reach testing) and 2 disability questionnaires (Dizziness Handicap Inventory and a modified Medical Outcomes Study general health survey). To be included, patients were required to be able to stand in the eyes-closed regular Romberg position for 30 seconds. The subjects underwent 8 weeks of T'ai Chi training and practice and then were retested.


Highly significant improvements were found on both the posturography test and the Dizziness Handicap Inventory questionnaire scores (P<.001 and P=.004, respectively). Trends toward improvement were also noted in Romberg test results and the Medical Outcomes Study survey (P=.03 for both). Reach was not improved.


These findings suggest that T'ai Chi training improves balance.

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