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LSBU starts study into Tai Chi benefits for people with Cystic Fibrosis

18 July 2014

LSBU starts second phase of study with Royal Brompton Hospital to research the benefits of Tai Chi for young people with Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in LSBU's Faculty of Health and Social Care are now conducting a second phase study to find out whether Tai Chi can help people with Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic long term, debilitating condition in which people can expect to be severely unwell for long periods. Core bodily functions such as breathing and digestion are extremely compromised, which makes exercise and even socialising problematic.

The team has already conducted one of the first studies in the world to find out whether Tai Chi might be beneficial to help people stay well or to help when they are unwell. As the results were very promising, the Tracie Lawlor Trust for Cystic Fibrosis has commissioned a second, larger scale study to ascertain whether these results can be replicated.

The study is being carried out in collaboration with the Royal Brompton Hospital and with the help of experienced teachers from Wu Shi Taiji Quan and Qi Gong association in London.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of exercise which uses mindfulness, breathing techniques and choreographed movements to improve health and wellbeing. 

During the study participants from the Royal Brompton will either receive face to face Tai Chi sessions or remote internet-delivered Tai Chi. They will all receive a DVD and a booklet to help them practice Tai Chi at home, using youngsters from St Joseph's in Croydon (pictured) and from St Jude's in Southwark.  

It is hoped the findings of the study will show whether Tai Chi could be a useful add-on treatment for those with Cystic Fibrosis, and also what further research is needed.

Prof Nicky Robinson, Dr Ava Lorenc and Dr Patricia Ronan are running the project, and Awais Mian is coordinating the Tai Chi teaching. The project is funded by the Tracie Lawlor Trust for cystic fibrosis (http://www.tracielawlortrust.com/), a leading charity for evidence based complementary research for cystic fibrosis.  For more information please contact the team: hsccfcat@lsbu.ac.uk

The previous research study can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S187638201300139X 

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