Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Posted by Neill Abayon

About one-third of adults aver 60 develop shingles, a burning, blisterly rash caused by the chickenpox virus. Now researchers have found an exercise that plays a key role in its prevention: tai chi.
By the end of a 25-week study of adults aged 59-86, those who practised tai chi alone boosted their shingles immunity to a level comparable to having received the shingles vaccine. When tai chi was combined with the vaccine immunity shot up further.
"We don't know exactly how tai chi boosts immunity, but we believe its the combination of aerobic exercise and meditation," says lead researcher Professor Michael Irwin of UCLA's Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. He thinks these findings may have implications for other infections disease such as influenza and pneumonia.

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