Narrator: This is Science Today. A UCLA study following older adults taking a 16-week Tai Chi class, reported a significant boost in shingles immunity. The class used a variant of the meditative martial art called Tai Chi Chih, which is specially designed for easy use by older adults. Study leader Dr. Michael Irwin says Tai Chi Chih also improved health functioning.
Irwin: What I mean by health functioning is the ease at which people go about their day-to-day activities - walking upstairs, carrying packages and simply walking. The practice of Tai Chi produced the greatest improvements in the individuals who had the greatest declines of physical functioning upon entry into the study.
Narrator: The next step is conducting a larger study.
Irwin: We have a current study ongoing supported by the National Institutes of Aging and the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine that will replicate these findings and to evaluate whether these changes in improvements of immune function and health functioning are sustained over time.
For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.