Tai Chi Exercise and Stroke Rehabilitation

According to reported global estimates, 15 million people suffer from a stroke each year, resulting in 5.5 million deaths, with 5 million left permanently disabled. Typical disabilities following stroke include poor neuromuscular control, hemodynamic imbalance, and negative mood state. Tai Chi (TC) is associated with better balance, lower blood pressure, and improved mood, which are important for stroke survivors. An overview of the philosophy and principles of TC exercise is provided, followed by a literature review of reported TC studies examining balance, blood pressure, and mood. Finally, the potential application of TC exercise to stroke rehabilitation is discussed.