Photo by Valerie Baldowski Doug Slaton (right) demonstrates a self-defense technique with Dona Kramer. Tai chi offers a low-impact, non-stressful exercise routine.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A new study in people with Parkinson's disease shows that tai chi (ty-CHEE') exercise can help improve balance and lower the risk of falling.
Parkinson's symptoms include tremors and stiff, jerky movements that can affect walking and other activities. Medications and surgery can help, and doctors often recommend exercise or physical therapy.
Tai chi with its slow and graceful movements was tried in a study in Oregon. The nearly 200 participants took twice-weekly classes in either tai chi, resistance training or stretching.
After six months, the tai chi group had better balance and control than the other groups. It also had fewer falls than the stretching group.
The results are being published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.