Taiwanese researchers have identified a possible scientific evidence for the health benefits of the taichi: Shadow boxing apparently reinvigorates stem cells.
In a study published in the latest issue of international medical journal Cell Transplantation, a research team found that taichi can increase the number of stem cells in practitioners.
Lin Hsin-jung (林欣榮), a neural surgeon and head of China Medical University Beigang Hospital in Yunlin County, said his team’s research was selected for the cover story of the journal’s latest issue.
Lin said he had wanted to scientifically test the theory that taichi is good for the body, with practitioners saying it helps them live longer, healthier lives.
His team conducted three years of research in which 60 subjects under the age of 25 were divided into three groups, one of which undertook taichi and a second brisk walking. A control group did no exercise at all.
At the end of the experiment, the researchers concluded that the individual stem cell counts among the taichi practitioners was significantly higher than subjects in the other groups.
Doing regular taichi helped the subjects with their heart function, reinvigorated neural cells, balanced excitement and inhibition controls, and helped with mental trauma and nerve exhaustion, Lin said.
The research paper is titled “Taichi intervention increases progenitor CD34+Cells in young adults.”