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Tai Chi for Heart Failure

Tai Chi for Heart Failure

Tai Chi for Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure

Heart failure is a chronic condition. When the heart muscle becomes damaged it is unable to heal itself, this results in blood/oxygen not pumping around the body as well as it could do.  This creates stress on the body as it cannot function normally.

Possible Damage to the Heart

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Severe lung disease
  • Inflammation/infection of the heart muscle/valve
  • Heart attack
  • Congenital heart conditions
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Slow, fast, irregular heart rhythm
  • Severe anemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Alcohol, drugs, some prescription medicine

Symptoms of Heart Failure

  • Sleep problems
  • Breathlessness
  • Swollen feet/ankles/abdomen
  • Chronic fatigue or general tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe cases coughing up blood
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation

Life with Heart Failure

  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Eat a healthy and natural diet
  • Take regular exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs

How can Tai Chi and Qi Gong Help?

  • Helps improve heart health with regular exercise
  • Helps increase mood and emotional wellbeing
  • Aids relaxation and calms the mind
  • Helps reduce physical tension
  • Helps circulation, increase blood flow and transfer of oxygen to the cells in the body
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Helps aid normal sleep patterns
  • Helps cardiac rehabilitation (improving physical activity, balance, and coordination)
  • Helps increase energy levels
  • Helps all body systems function to the best of their capability


  • Effects of Tai Chi on Symptoms of Depression and Fatigue in of Depression and Fatigue in Heart Failure Patients Heart Failure Patients.
  • Tai Chi can Treat Heart Failure.   The British Heart Foundation said the study was "excellent news" and Tai Chi could be adopted into treatment programmes in the UK in the future."
  • Chronic Heart Failure Patients Benefit From Tai Chi.  "At the end of the 12 weeks those in the Tai Chi group had significantly more improved quality of life compared to the education group, even though their change in six-minute walk distance and peak oxygen uptake were similar."
  • Tai Chi For Heart Health  "In the past, patients with systolic heart failure were considered too weak to exercise, and were even advised to avoid physical activity all together. Due to the nature of tai chi and its ability to decrease anxiety, improve mood and increase energy, this type of exercise has proven itself beneficial. It may also benefit people with other health conditions including hypertension, balance problems and inability to perform high-intensity exercise."
  • Tai Chi May Help Heart Failure Patients.   "Maintaining an exercise regimen is important in heart failure, and Tai chi may be a suitable alternative or adjunct exercise for these patients."
  • Tai chi and heart health in older people.   "The researchers say that the tai chi practitioners showed “better artery compliance” than the control group. "  and "A higher proportion of subjects in the control group had high blood pressure than in the tai chi group (61% versus 38%). On average, people in the control group also had significantly higher BMIs than the tai chi practitioners." And; "The researchers conclude that their findings suggest that tai chi could be a suitable exercise for older people who wish to improve both cardiovascular function and muscle strength."

* Please note that the Taoist practices are not a replacement for conventional medical treatment. Please speak with your doctor prior to starting a new exercise programme. This article is for information purposes only and must not be taken as medical advice. *

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One Comment

  1. YES! I used to run in the morning in New York past dnzeos and dnzeos of people doing Tai Chi as the sun rose. So happy that you are now going to be my Yoga/Tai Chi/climbing friend 🙂

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