stroke

Tai Chi exercise may reduce falls in adult stroke survivors | American Heart Association

American Stroke Association Meeting Report – Abstract P362 – Embargoed until 7 a.m. HT/Noon ET on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

February 06, 2013

This news release is featured in a news conference at 7 a.m. HT, Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Study Highlights:

Tai Chi exercise reduced falls among stroke survivors.

The ancient Chinese martial art helped survivors achieve and maintain balance to aid stroke recovery.

HONOLULU, Feb. 6, 2013 — Tai Chi may reduce falls among adult stroke survivors, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.

Compared to survivors receiving usual care or participating in a national fitness program for Medicare-eligible adults called SilverSneakers®, those practicing Tai Chi had the fewest falls.

Tai Chi is a martial art dating back to ancient China. It includes physical movements, mental concentration and relaxed breathing.

“Learning how to find and maintain your balance after a stroke is a challenge,” said Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Ph.D., R.N., the study’s principal investigator and assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing in Tucson, Ariz. “Tai Chi is effective in improving both static and dynamic balance, which is important to prevent falls. Tai Chi is readily available in most U.S. cities and is relatively inexpensive.”

Stroke survivors experience seven times as many falls each year than healthy adults, Taylor-Piliae said. These falls can cause fractures, decrease mobility and increase fear of falling that can result in social isolation or dependence. Tai Chi has significantly reduced falls in healthy older adults.

Researchers recruited 89 stroke survivors — most of whom had ischemic strokes — for a randomized prospective study outside of a hospital setting. Participants were an average 70 years old, 46 percent were women and most Caucasian, college educated and living in the Tucson area, and suffered a stroke on average three years prior to beginning the study.

Among the participants, 30 practiced Tai Chi, 28 took part in usual care and 31 participated in SilverSneakers®. The Tai Chi and SilverSneakers® groups participated in a one-hour exercise class three times each week for 12 weeks. The usual care group received a weekly phone call and written material about participating in community-based physical activity.

During the 12-week trial, there were a total of 34 reported falls in participants’ homes mainly from slipping or tripping: five falls in the Tai Chi group; 15 falls in the usual care group; and 14 falls in the Silver Sneakers group. Only four people sought medical treatment.

Yang-style Tai Chi, as practiced in the study, is the most popular of five styles used in the United States because of its emphasis on health benefits, both physical and psychosocial benefits, researchers said.

“The main physical benefits of Tai Chi are better balance, improved strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance,” Taylor-Piliae said. “Psycho-social benefits include less depression, anxiety and stress, and better quality of life.”

Co-authors are: Tiffany Hoke, R.N.; Bijan, Najafi, Ph.D.; and Bruce Coull, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

An American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Grant funded the study.

Follow news from the ASA International Stroke Conference 2013 via Twitter @HeartNews; #ISC13.

Learn more about physical activity for stroke survivors.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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Note: Actual presentation is 4:45 p.m. HT/9:45 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.

All downloadable video/audio interviews, B-roll, animation and images related to this news release are on the right column of this link. Video clips with researchers/authors of studies will be added to the release links after embargo.

ASA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173 [Call: (214) 706-1173]

ASA News Media Office, Feb. 6-8

at the Hawaii Convention Center: (808) 792-6506 [Call: (808) 792-6506]

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

via Tai Chi exercise may reduce falls in adult stroke survivors | American Heart Association.

 

Meditation may prevent heart attacks or strokes. – Health – MensJournal.com

Meditation may prevent heart attacks or strokes.

People with heart disease who meditate for 20 minutes a day are 48 percent less likely to die prematurely of a heart attack or stroke, says a new study from the U.S.’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Researchers tracked 200 people for more than five years and found that meditation lowers blood pressure and improves anger control. The study asked participants to sit quietly with eyes closed for 20 minutes twice daily, but most did so only once a day – and results were still impressive. “Stress on the brain hurts the heart because stress hormones like cortisol damage arterial walls,” says lead author Dr. Robert Schneider.

– Melaina Juntti

via Meditation may prevent heart attacks or strokes. – Health – MensJournal.com.

7 REASONS WHY FIRMS SHOULD INVEST IN MEDITATION FOR STRESSED EXECUTIVES | TrainingZone.co.uk

In this article ex-Barrister, Trainer and Executive Coach, Neil Seligman digests the latest scientific discoveries on the benefits of presence, mindfulness and meditation that all professionals should know about.

1 . MEDITATION REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK AND STROKE

The latest study into the long assumed physical benefits of meditation has shown the strongest link yet between a regular practice of meditation and better physical health.

“The main finding [of our research] is that, added on top of usual medical care, intervention with a mind-body technique (here transcendental meditation) can have a major effect on cardiovascular events,” says Robert Schneider, lead author on the study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

2 . LONG TERM MEDITATORS ARE ABLE TO PROCESS INFORMATION FASTER

Researchers at UCLA studied the brains of people who had meditated for years comparing them with those who never meditated or who only did it for a short period of time. They took MRI scans of 100 people, half meditators and half non-meditators. They were fascinated to find that long-time meditators showed higher levels of gyrification (a folding of the cerebral cortex that may be associated with faster information processing). In a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in February 2012, they shared that, the more years a person had been meditating, the more gyrification their MRIs revealed.

3. PEOPLE WHO PRACTICE CERTAIN FORMS OF MEDITATION ARE MORE CREATIVE

Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands looked at the way two types of meditation, focused-attention (for example, focusing on your breath) and open-monitoring (where participants focus on both the internal and external) affected two types of creative thinking: the ability to generate new ideas and solutions to problems. In a study published in April 2012 in Frontiers in Cognition, they revealed that those who practiced open-monitoring meditation performed better than non-meditators at tasks related to coming up with new ideas.

4. MEDITATORS ARE LESS STRESSED AND LESS DISTRACTED DURING MULTI-TASKING

A computer scientist at the University of Washington teamed up with a neuroscientist at the University of Arizona to test whether meditation can help professionals stay focused and calm. The pair recruited 45 human resources managers and gave a third of them eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation training, a third of them eight weeks of body relaxation training and a third of them no training at all. All the groups were given a stressful multi-tasking test before and after the eight weeks. In a study published in the Proceedings of Graphics Interface in May 2012, they showed that the meditation group reported less stress as they performed the multi-tasking test than both of the other groups. This study has further obvious implications on burnout and breakdown, which cost global business a fortune in lost productivity every year.

5 . RECRUITMENT ADVANTAGE: GENERATION Z EXPECT A CONSCIOUS PERSPECTIVE

Generation Z represent our most conscious generation to date. They will be expecting a values-driven approach to doing business, where focus on profit is balanced with focus on planet and people. Whilst they will expect to work hard they will also expect their employers to train and develop them as a human being as well as a professional. The conscious generation will already be familiar with meditation and open to its benefits as these become more widely accepted by science and the media. Impressive employee wellbeing programs will differentiate the best firms from the rest.

6 . CORPORATE CULTURES ARE ALREADY BEING IMPROVED BY MEDITATION

It is already happening:

At General Mills in Minneapolis, Janice Marturano, deputy general counsel at the multinational has founded a program of meditation, yoga and mindfulness, “It’s about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected. That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us, our colleagues, customers, that’s what the training of mindfulness is really about.”William George, a current Goldman Sachs board member agrees, “The main business case for meditation is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be more effective as a leader, you will make better decisions and you will work better with other people, I tend to live a very busy life. This keeps me focused on what’s important.”

7 . MEDITATION: AN ANTIDOTE TO ADDICTION?

The body of evidence for the power of meditation in addiction treatment and prevention is growing. One 2007 study showed that individuals who participated in meditative practices during recovery gained higher levels of coping skills, as well as a heightened awareness of substance-abuse triggers. Addiction still costs global business billions each year. Meditation offers the prospect of addressing some of the root cause. Prevention is indeed better than cure.

Neil Seligman

Neil Seligman is Director at The Conscious Professsional, a new coaching and training consultancy delivering bespoke training, mindfulness and wellbeing solutions to corporate clients.www.theconsciousprofessional.com

Acknowledgements & Further Reading:

The Conscious Guide to Meditationhttp://www.theconsciousprofessional.com/library/articles/meditation

FT Online: The Mind Businesshttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d9cb7940-ebea-11e1-985a-00144feab49a.html#axzz2I579Vq3A

Ted Bloghttp://blog.ted.com/2013/01/11/4-scientific-studies-on-how-meditation-can-affect-your-heart-brain-and-creativity/

Neurosoup.com: Meditation’s Role in Drug Addiction Recoveryhttp://www.neurosoup.com/meditation_and_addiction.htm

via 7 REASONS WHY FIRMS SHOULD INVEST IN MEDITATION FOR STRESSED EXECUTIVES | TrainingZone.co.uk.