Improve Functional Fitness in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with Yoga

Improve Functional Fitness in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“yoga intervention may have the potential to enhance functional fitness in people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities.” – Kaitlin Mueller

 

Intellectual and developmental disabilities involve below average intelligence and relatively slow learning. They are quite common, affecting an estimated 10% of individuals worldwide. These disabilities present problems for the individual in learning mathematics, reading and writing. These difficulties, in turn, affect performance in other academic disciplines. The presence of intellectual disabilities can have serious consequences for the psychological well-being of the individual, including their self-esteem and social skills. In addition, anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders often accompany learning disabilities.

 

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities often show “physical decline in sensorimotor skills, coordination, muscular strength, flexibility, and balance in part due to physical inactivity.” So, it is important to increase physical activity in these adults. Yoga is a mindfulness practice and exercise that has been shown to be a safe and effective practice. So, yoga practice may be helpful for reducing the physical decline in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga for Functional Fitness in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336942/ ) Reina and colleagues recruited adults diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were provided a 7 week, twice a week for 1 hour, group yoga practice. They were measured before and after the program for functional fitness.

 

They found that after the program the participants had significant improvements in both lower and upper body strength, agility and balance. Non-significant improvements were also detected in lower-body flexibility, upper-body flexibility, and endurance. It should be kept in mind that this was a pilot study that did not include a control condition. So, there are a number of potential alternative explanations for the results. But previous controlled studies have demonstrated that yoga practice improves physical performance. So, it is likely that the present improvements were due to the yoga practice.

 

Hence, yoga practice appears to improve the functional fitness of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This suggests that yoga is safe and effective practice for reducing the decline in physical ability that is common in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It remains for future research to determine if these improvements spill over to improvements in other functional realms.

 

So, improve functional fitness in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with yoga.

 

Yoga is an effective intervention to improve functional fitness in adults with and without disabilities,” – Clair Allison

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Reina, A. M., Adams, E. V., Allison, C. K., Mueller, K. E., Crowe, B. M., van Puymbroeck, M., & Schmid, A. A. (2020). Yoga for Functional Fitness in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. International journal of yoga, 13(2), 156–159. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_57_19

 

Abstract

Background:

Yoga is an effective intervention to improve functional fitness in adults with and without disabilities, but little research exists regarding yoga’s impact on functional fitness for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs).

Aims:

The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of a group yoga intervention on the functional fitness of adults with IDDs.

Methods and Materials:

This yoga intervention included 12 sessions of yoga over 7 weeks (60-min sessions twice a week) at a special population recreation and leisure program. The functional fitness test was used to examine physical functioning before and after the yoga intervention.

Results and Conclusions:

Eight adults completed the baseline and posttest measures (age mean = 31; standard deviation = 6.55; 50% male). There were significant improvements in lower-body strength (9.00 ± 4.63 vs. 11.50 ± 3.16, P = 0.04, 28% improvement), upper-body strength (11.25 ± 3.54 vs. 14.25 ± 3.37, P = 0.018, 27% improvement), and agility and balance (9.29 ± 4.1 vs. 6.60 ± 1.54, P = 0.036, 29% improvement). Functional fitness often declines for people with IDD at a faster rate than the general population; thus, these significant changes indicate that a yoga intervention may enhance functional fitness for people with IDD. Clinicians or other healthcare providers might consider yoga as a means to improve functional fitness in adults with IDDs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336942/

Improve Motor and Imitation Skills in Children with Autism with Yoga

Improve Motor and Imitation Skills in Children with Autism with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

children with autism, specifically, respond very positively to regular yoga practice.  Some of the encouraging physical benefits of yoga include increased strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. But there are more subtle gains as well: increased social-emotional skills, body awareness, self-regulation, focus and concentration are benefits as well!” – Rachel Costello

 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that tends to appear during early childhood and affect the individual throughout their lifetime. It affects a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others, delays learning of language, makes eye contact or holding a conversation difficult, impairs reasoning and planning, narrows and intensifies interests, produces poor motor skills and sensory sensitivities, and is frequently associated with sleep and gastrointestinal problems. It is currently estimated that over 1% of the world population has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

 

Treatment is generally directed at symptoms and can include behavioral therapies, exercises and drug treatments. Clearly, there is a need for effective alternative treatment options. A promising treatment is mindfulness training. It has been shown to be helpful in treating ASD. A characterizing feature of ASD is dysfunction in motor behavior. Since yoga is both a mindfulness practice and an exercise it is reasonable to examine the ability of yoga to improve the motor behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

 

In today’s Research News article “Creative Yoga Intervention Improves Motor and Imitation Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325451/ ) Kaur and Bhat recruited children between the ages of 5 and 13 years who were diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They were randomly assigned to receive 8 weeks of 2 sessions per week of 45 minutes led by a physical therapist and 2 sessions per week of 25 minutes led at home by parents of either yoga or sedentary academic activities such as reading and arts and crafts. They were measured before and after training for motor ability and imitation. For the yoga group was imitation was measured as the accuracy of trained yoga postures while for the academic group imitation was measured as the accuracy for performing some simple tasks such as rolling, pinching, pushing, and pulling using building materials such as Play-Doh.

 

They found in comparison to baseline that the children in the yoga group had significant improvements in gross motor ability while the academic group had significant improvements in fine motor ability. Both groups had significant reductions in imitation errors. These findings suggest that children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) benefit from either yoga or academic practice with both improving imitation but with yoga improving gross motor movements while academic training improved fine motor movements.

 

Inactivity and problems with motor ability are characteristic of children with ASD, and these impairments are associated with social and behavioral problems. The results suggest that these children would benefit by practicing both yoga and academic skills. The improved motor ability is postulated to be translated in better social interactions and lower levels of behavioral issues. It remains for future research to investigate this speculation.

 

So, improve motor and imitation skills in children with autism with yoga.

 

creative movement interventions utilizing music and yoga should be an essential part of the standard of care for children with ASD.” – Kaur & Bhat

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kaur, M., & Bhat, A. (2019). Creative Yoga Intervention Improves Motor and Imitation Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Physical therapy, 99(11), 1520–1534. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzz115

 

Background

There is growing evidence for motor impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including poor gross and fine motor performance, poor balance, and incoordination. However, there is limited evidence on the effects of motor interventions for this population.

Objective

In the present study, the effects of a physical therapy intervention using creative yoga on the motor and imitation skills of children with ASD were evaluated.

Design

This study had a pretest-posttest control group design.

Methods

Twenty-four children with ASD aged between 5 and 13 years received 8 weeks of a physical therapist-delivered yoga or academic intervention. Children were tested before and after the intervention using a standardized motor measure, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Performance–2nd Edition (BOT-2). The imitation skills of children using familiar training-specific actions (ie, poses for the yoga group and building actions for the academic group) were also assessed.

Results

After the intervention, children in the yoga group improved gross motor performance on the BOT-2 and displayed fewer imitation/praxis errors when copying training-specific yoga poses. In contrast, children in the academic group improved their fine motor performance on the BOT-2 and performed fewer imitation errors while completing the training-specific building actions.

Limitations

The study limitations include small sample size and lack of long-term follow-up.

Conclusions

Overall, creative interventions, such as yoga, are promising tools for enhancing the motor and imitation skills of children with ASD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7325451/

 

Improve Balance in Parkinson’s Disease with Tai Chi and Yoga

Improve Balance in Parkinson’s Disease with Tai Chi and Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

In addition to easing balance problems, and possibly other symptoms, tai chi can help ease stress and anxiety and strengthen all parts of the body, with few if any harmful side effects. . . with Parkinson’s disease.” – Peter Wayne

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. PD also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Balance is a particular problem as it effects mobility and increases the likelihood of falls, restricting activity and reducing quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi and yoga practices have been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, mind-body practices may be excellent treatments for the symptoms of PD. It is important to discover which of various exercises works best to improve balance and mobility in patients with PD.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of home-based Tai Chi, Yoga or conventional balance exercise on functional balance and mobility among persons with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: An experimental study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136531/), Khuzema and colleagues recruited adult patients with Parkinson’s Disease and randomly assigned them to receive 5 days per week for 8 weeks for 30-40 minutes of either home based Tai Chi exercise, yoga exercise, or balance exercise training. They were measured before and after training for balance and mobility with a timed up and go test and a 10-minute walking test.

 

They found that all three exercise programs produced significant improvements in all measures. Balance increased significantly by 26.414%, 8.193% and 14.339%, Timed up and go time decreased by 22.695%, 7.187% and 8.902%, and 10-m Walk Time decreased by 24.469%, 5.914% and 8.986% in Tai Chi, yoga and balance exercise groups, respectively. Although, on average, Tai Chi exercise produced superior results on all measures, the study was too small (9 patients per group) to determine significant group differences. These results, however, support conducting a large randomized controlled trial in the future.

 

Tai Chi is an ancient mindfulness practice that involves slow prescribed movements. It is gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Hence Tai Chi training should be recommended to improve balance and mobility in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve balance in Parkinson’s Disease with Tai Chi and Yoga.

 

Benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga for those with Parkinson’s Disease:

  1. Promotes conscious awareness of movement and actions.
  2. Increases awareness of proper body alignment/posture
  3. Improves balance with reduced fall risk
  4. Enhances flexibility
  5. Affords a greater sense of well-being
  6. Offers relaxation which can help to lessen Parkinson’s symptoms (tremor, rigidity) or manage medication side effects such as dyskinesia
  7. Improves breath support and control
  8. Helps to build healthy bones through weight-bearing activities
  9. Increases strength, especially in core muscles” – National Parkinson’s Foundation

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Khuzema, A., Brammatha, A., & Arul Selvan, V. (2020). Effect of home-based Tai Chi, Yoga or conventional balance exercise on functional balance and mobility among persons with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: An experimental study. Hong Kong physiotherapy journal : official publication of the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association Limited = Wu li chih liao, 40(1), 39–49. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1013702520500055

 

Abstract

Background:

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) invariably experience functional decline in a number of motor and non-motor domains affecting posture, balance and gait. Numerous clinical studies have examined effects of various types of exercise on motor and non-motor problems. But still much gap remains in our understanding of various therapies and their effect on delaying or slowing the dopamine neuron degeneration. Recently, Tai Chi and Yoga both have gained popularity as complementary therapies, since both have components for mind and body control.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to determine whether eight weeks of home-based Tai Chi or Yoga was more effective than regular balance exercises on functional balance and mobility.

Methods:

Twenty-seven individuals with Idiopathic PD (Modified Hoehn and Yahr stages 2.5–3) were randomly assigned to either Tai Chi, Yoga or Conventional exercise group. All the participants were evaluated for Functional Balance and Mobility using Berg Balance Scale, Timed 10 m Walk test and Timed Up and Go test before and after eight weeks of training.

Results:

The results were analyzed using two-way mixed ANOVA which showed that there was a significant main effect for time as F (1, 24) =74.18, p=0.000, ηp2=0.76 for overall balance in Berg Balance Scale. There was also significant main effect of time on mobility overall as F(1, 24) =77.78, p=0.000, ηp2=0.76 in Timed up and Go test and F(1, 24) =48.24, p=0.000, ηp2=0.67 for 10 m Walk test. There was a significant interaction effect for time×group with F(2, 24) =8.67, p=0.001, ηp2=0.420 for balance. With respect to mobility, the values F(2, 24) =5.92, p=0.008, ηp2=0.330 in Timed Up and Go test and F(2, 24) =10.40, p=0.001, ηp2=0.464 in 10 m Walk test showed a significant interaction. But there was no significant main effect between the groups for both balance and mobility.

Conclusion:

The findings of this study suggest that Tai Chi as well as Yoga are well adhered and are attractive options for a home-based setting. As any form of physical activity is considered beneficial for individuals with PD either Tai Chi, Yoga or conventional balance exercises could be used as therapeutic intervention to optimize balance and mobility. Further studies are necessary to understand the mind–body benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga either as multicomponent physical activities or as individual therapies in various stages of PD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136531/

 

Improve the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Mind-Body Practices

Improve the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Mind-Body Practices

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

The mind-body connection recognizes that emotional, mental, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health, and mind-body techniques can improve quality of life and may help reduce symptoms of disease.” – Emily Downward

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi practice has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, mind-body practices may be excellent treatments for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Impact of Mind-body Exercises on Motor Function, Depressive Symptoms, and Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981975/), Jin and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mind-body practices for the relief of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. They selected randomized controlled trials with Tai Chi, Qigong and Yoga practices for patients with Parkinson’s Disease over 40 years of age. They identified 22 studies with a total of 1199 participants, 18 of which employed Tai Chi and Qigong practices and 4 employed Yoga practice.

 

They report that the studies found that the mind-body practices produced significant improvements in overall Parkinson’s Disease motor function, walking ability, balance, depression, and quality of life. Hence, the published research studies demonstrate that mind-body practices significantly improve the physical and psychological symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong practices have been demonstrated in prior research to improve balance, walking ability, depression, and quality of life in a variety of healthy and sick people. In addition yoga practice has been demonstrated to improve balance, walking ability, depression and quality of life in various populations. The present study extends these findings to patients with Parkinson’s Disease. These practices appear to be a safe and effective treatment to relieve the symptoms and suffering of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with mind-body practices.

 

Mindfulness-based interventions have the ability to reprogram brain conditioning and alter the ways in which we respond to the world. Parkinson’s patients can benefit immensely from this method as a means of decreasing stress and anxiety while slowly increasing quality of life.” – Alana Kessler

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Jin, X., Wang, L., Liu, S., Zhu, L., Loprinzi, P. D., & Fan, X. (2019). The Impact of Mind-body Exercises on Motor Function, Depressive Symptoms, and Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(1), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010031

 

Abstract

Purpose: To systematically evaluate the effects of mind-body exercises (Tai Chi, Yoga, and Health Qigong) on motor function (UPDRS, Timed-Up-and-Go, Balance), depressive symptoms, and quality of life (QoL) of Parkinson’s patients (PD). Methods: Through computer system search and manual retrieval, PubMed, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library, CNKI, Wanfang Database, and CQVIP were used. Articles were retrieved up to the published date of June 30, 2019. Following the Cochrane Collaboration System Evaluation Manual (version 5.1.0), two researchers independently evaluated the quality and bias risk of each article, including 22 evaluated articles. The Pedro quality score of 6 points or more was found for 86% (19/22) of these studies, of which 21 were randomized controlled trials with a total of 1199 subjects; and the trial intervention time ranged from 4 to 24 weeks. Interventions in the control group included no-intervention controls, placebo, waiting-lists, routine care, and non-sports controls. Meta-analysis was performed on the literature using RevMan 5.3 statistical software, and heterogeneity analysis was performed using Stata 14.0 software. Results: (1) Mind-body exercises significantly improved motor function in PD patients, including UPDRS (SMD = −0.61, p < 0.001), TUG (SMD = −1.47, p < 0.001) and balance function (SMD = 0.79, p < 0.001). (2) Mind-body exercises also had significant effects on depression (SMD = −1.61, p = 0.002) and QoL (SMD = 0.66, p < 0.001). (3) Among the indicators, UPDRS (I2 = 81%) and depression (I2 = 91%) had higher heterogeneity; according to the results of the separate combined effect sizes of TUG (I2 = 29%), Balance (I2 = 16%) and QoL (I2 = 35%), it shows that the heterogeneity is small; (4) After meta-regression analysis of the age limit and other possible confounding factors, further subgroup analysis showed that the reason for the heterogeneity of UPDRS motor function may be related to the sex of PD patients and severity of the disease; the outcome of depression was heterogeneous. The reason for this may be the use of specific drugs in the experiment and the duration of intervention in the trial. Conclusion: (1) Mind-body exercises were found to have significant improvements in motor function, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and can be used as an effective method for clinical exercise intervention in PD patients. (2) Future clinical intervention programs for PD patients need to fully consider specific factors such as gender, severity of disease, specific drug use, and intervention cycle to effectively control heterogeneity factors, so that the clinical exercise intervention program for PD patients is objective, scientific, and effective.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981975/

 

Improve Physical Function and Postural Control Complexity in Older Adults with Peripheral Neuropathy with Tai Chi

Improve Physical Function and Postural Control Complexity in Older Adults with Peripheral Neuropathy with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“slow and fluid movements improve the body’s alignment, posture, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and stamina. Many of these benefits of Tai Chi are consistent with many other forms of low-impact exercise, with the added benefit of focus on improved posture, balance, and alignment.” – Robert Humphries

 

The process of aging affects every aspect of the physical and cognitive domains. Every system in the body deteriorates including motor function with a decline in strength, flexibility, and balance. Impaired balance is a particular problem as it can lead to falls. In the U.S. one third of people over 65 fall each year and 2.5 million are treated in emergency rooms for injuries produced by falls. About 1% of falls result in deaths making it the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly. Falls, with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact.

 

Peripheral neuropathy can compound the effects of aging on motor ability. It involves damage to the peripheral nerves carrying information to the spinal cord and brain. This results in deficits in sensory information from the body and motor control. Peripheral neuropathy can impair muscle movement, prevent normal sensation in the arms and legs, and cause pain. In this way peripheral neuropathy may further impair older adults motor abilities and increase the likelihood of falls.

 

Tai Chi training is designed to enhance and regulate the functional activities of the body through posture, regulated breathing, mindful concentration, and gentle movements. It includes posture and balance training and has been shown to improve balance and coordination. Indeed, Tai Chi training has been shown to reduce the likelihood of falls in the elderly. One possible way that Tai Chi training may contribute to the decrease in falls is by improving postural control. This interesting speculation has not been previously investigated in older patients with peripheral neuropathy.

 

In today’s Research News article “Complexity-based measures inform Tai Chi’s impact on standing postural control in older adults with peripheral neuropathy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3640896/), Manor and colleagues recruited older adults (average age 71 years) with peripheral neuropathy. They were provided 3 1-hour Tai Chi classes per week for 24 weeks. They were measured before and after training for foot sole sensation, leg strength, mobility, functional ability, and postural control, including measures of balance, speed, area under the curve, and complexity of postural control while standing.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline, after Tai Chi training there were significant improvements in foot sole sensation, leg strength, mobility, and physical function, including knee extension, walking, and speed. There was also a significant increase in postural control complexity. In addition, they found that the greater the increase in postural control complexity the greater the improvements in foot sole sensation, mobility, and functional ability.

 

This study did not have a control condition so conclusions must be tempered with the understanding that the results may have been due to time-based confounding variables. Nevertheless, the results suggest that Tai Chi practice improves the physical condition and abilities of older adults with peripheral neuropathy. Aging is associated with a loss of motoric complexity. The improvement in postural complexity observed in the present study may then represent the ability of Tai Chi practice to restore this complexity and thereby help the older adults’ physical abilities.

 

So, improve physical function and postural control complexity in older adults with peripheral neuropathy with Tai Chi.

 

We work to maintain great posture for a 60-120 minute class, reap the benefits, feel great, and then go home and try to emulate the posture in our natural environment.” – Scott

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Manor, B., Lipsitz, L. A., Wayne, P. M., Peng, C. K., & Li, L. (2013). Complexity-based measures inform Tai Chi’s impact on standing postural control in older adults with peripheral neuropathy. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 13, 87. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-13-87

 

Abstract

Background

Tai Chi training enhances physical function and may reduce falls in older adults with and without balance disorders, yet its effect on postural control as quantified by the magnitude or speed of center-of-pressure (COP) excursions beneath the feet is less clear. We hypothesized that COP metrics derived from complex systems theory may better capture the multi-component stimulus that Tai Chi has on the postural control system, as compared with traditional COP measures.

Methods

We performed a secondary analysis of a pilot, non-controlled intervention study that examined the effects of Tai Chi on standing COP dynamics, plantar sensation, and physical function in 25 older adults with peripheral neuropathy. Tai Chi training was based on the Yang style and consisted of three, one-hour group sessions per week for 24 weeks. Standing postural control was assessed with a force platform at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 weeks. The degree of COP complexity, as defined by the presence of fluctuations existing over multiple timescales, was calculated using multiscale entropy analysis. Traditional measures of COP speed and area were also calculated. Foot sole sensation, six-minute walk (6MW) and timed up-and-go (TUG) were also measured at each assessment.

Results

Traditional measures of postural control did not change from baseline. The COP complexity index (mean±SD) increased from baseline (4.1±0.5) to week 6 (4.5±0.4), and from week 6 to week 24 (4.7±0.4) (p=0.02). Increases in COP complexity—from baseline to week 24—correlated with improvements in foot sole sensation (p=0.01), the 6MW (p=0.001) and TUG (p=0.01).

Conclusions

Subjects of the Tai Chi program exhibited increased complexity of standing COP dynamics. These increases were associated with improved plantar sensation and physical function. Although more research is needed, results of this non-controlled pilot study suggest that complexity-based COP measures may inform the study of complex mind-body interventions, like Tai Chi, on postural control in those with peripheral neuropathy or other age-related balance disorders.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3640896/

 

Improve Health and Cognitive Ability in the Elderly with Tai Chi

Improve Health and Cognitive Ability in the Elderly with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Tai chi is a gentle exercise that helps seniors improve balance and prevent falls. Studies have found that tai chi also improves leg strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, immune system, sleep, happiness, sense of self-worth, and the ability to concentrate and multitask during cognitive tests.” – DailyCaring

 

Human life is one of constant change. We revel in our increases in physical and mental capacities during development, but regret their decreases during aging. The aging process involves a systematic progressive decline in every system in the body. It is inevitable and cannot be avoided. This includes our mental abilities which decline with age including impairments in memory, attention, and problem-solving ability, and in emotion regulation. There is some hope for age related decline, however, as there is evidence that it can be slowed. There are some indications that physical and mental exercise can reduce the rate of decline. For example, contemplative practices such as meditation, yoga, and Tai Chi or qigong have all been shown to be beneficial in slowing or delaying physical and mental decline with aging

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effects of Tai Chi on Markers of Atherosclerosis, Lower-limb Physical Function, and Cognitive Ability in Adults Aged Over 60: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6427726/), Zhou and colleagues recruited healthy elderly (aged 60-79 years) who were not practicing Tai Chi or other mindful movement practices and randomly assigned them to engage in one of three different Tai Chi practices for 12 weeks. The practices contained either 24, 42, or 56 different movements. They attended 3 times weekly Tai Chi classes. For the first 6 weeks the classes were 60 minutes while for the second 6 weeks the classes were 90 minutes. They were measured at baseline and at 6 and 12-weeks of practice for resting heart rate and as markers of atherosclerosis resting ankle brachial index and ankle pulse wave velocity. They were also measured for cognitive ability and movement tests of chair rise, walking, balance, and up-and-go test.

 

They found that for both males and females all three Tai Chi practices produced significant improvements in health-related outcomes at 6 and 12 weeks including improvements in walking, balance, up-and-go test, and ankle brachial index. Compared to the 24-movement practice, the 42- and 56-movement practices produced significantly better results for walking and balance and the resting ankle brachial index indicator of atherosclerosis. There were no adverse events recorded.

 

These results have to be interpreted with caution as there wasn’t a control condition such as a different exercise and there was no long-term follow-up. Nevertheless, the results suggest that Tai Chi practices is safe and effective treatment to produce significant improvements in the elderly’s movements, balance, and atherosclerosis. The 24-movement practice appears to be inferior to Tai Chi practices containing a greater number of distinct movements. Supporting these findings is the fact that these improvements including improved balance, movement, cardiovascular performance have also been documented in prior research.

 

Tai Chi practice is gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, they can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. All of these characteristics make Tai Chi practice an excellent practice to improvement the health of the elderly.

 

So, improve health and cognitive ability in the elderly with Tai Chi

 

Practicing Tai Chi regularly is known to enhance health and fitness. It can also help seniors with a better sense of balance and strength.” – MedicalAlert

 

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Study Summary

                 

Zhou, S., Zhang, Y., Kong, Z., Loprinzi, P. D., Hu, Y., Ye, J., … Zou, L. (2019). The Effects of Tai Chi on Markers of Atherosclerosis, Lower-limb Physical Function, and Cognitive Ability in Adults Aged Over 60: A Randomized Controlled Trial. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(5), 753. doi:10.3390/ijerph16050753

 

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi (TC) on arterial stiffness, physical function of lower-limb, and cognitive ability in adults aged over 60. Methods: This study was a prospective and randomized 12-week intervention trial with three repeated measurements (baseline, 6, and 12 weeks). Sixty healthy adults who met the inclusion criteria were randomly allocated into three training conditions (TC-24, TC-42, and TC-56) matched by gender, with 20 participants (10 males, 10 females) in each of the three groups. We measured the following health outcomes, including markers of atherosclerosis, physical function (leg power, and static and dynamic balance) of lower-limb, and cognitive ability. Results: When all three TC groups (p < 0.05) have showed significant improvements on these outcomes but overall cognitive ability at 6 or 12 weeks training period, TC-56 appears to have superior effects on arterial stiffness and static/dynamic balance in the present study. Conclusions: Study results of the present study add to growing body of evidence regarding therapeutic TC for health promotion and disease prevention in aging population. Future studies should further determine whether TC-42 and TC-56 are beneficial for other non-Chinese populations, with rigorous research design and follow-up assessment.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6427726/

 

Reduce Pain and Falls and Improve Mobility in the Elderly with Tai Chi

Reduce Pain and Falls and Improve Mobility in the Elderly with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Solid research shows that tai chi can benefit people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, tension headache, and other ongoing, painful conditions.” – Harvard Health

 

The process of aging affects every aspect of the physical and cognitive domains. Every system in the body deteriorates including motor function with a decline in strength, flexibility, and balance. Impaired balance is a particular problem as it can lead to falls. The elderly also frequently suffer from chronic pain.

 

Pain involves both physical and psychological issues. Physically, exercise can be helpful in strengthening the body to prevent or relieve pain. Psychologically, the stress, fear, and anxiety produced by pain tends to elicit responses that actually amplify the pain. Indeed, mindfulness practices are effective in treating pain and have been shown to be safe and effective in the management of low back painTai Chi, Qigong, and yoga  are all exercises and mindfulness practices that have been found to be effective for pain.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi for older adults with chronic multisite pain: a randomized controlled pilot study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6126990/), You and colleagues examine the ability of Tai Chi practice to reduce chronic pain in the elderly. They recruited elderly (>65 years of age) with multisite (2 or more) musculoskeletal pain who either had 1 or more falls in the last year or used a cane or walker. They were randomly assigned to receive 12 weeks, 2 hours, twice a week of either Tai Chi or light physical exercise. They were measured before and after training for acceptability of the exercises, chronic health conditions, pain, attention, executive function, physical function, gait, falls, and fear of falling. 83% of the elderly completed the study.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline the elderly who engaged in Tai Chi had significantly lower pain and pain interference with activities, improvements in gait, including stride and swing time, and decreased gait asymmetry, and decreased fear of falling, and fewer falls over the subsequent 9 months, while the light exercise group did not.

 

These are encouraging pilot results that are similar to other findings with Tai Chi with other types of patients. Unfortunately, because this was a small pilot study there were no statistically significant differences between the Tai Chi group and the light exercise group even though the Tai Chi groups was significantly improved relative to baseline whereas the light exercise group was not. But these results provide justification for performing a future large scale randomized controlled trial.

 

It’s important to note that Tai Chi is a gentle and safe mindfulness practice. It is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

So, reduce pain and falls and improve mobility in the elderly with Tai Chi.

 

“Improved flexibility will reduce stiffness and help keep joints mobile. Stiffness causes pain; increase flexibility will relieve pain.  Tai Chi for Arthritis gently moves all joints, muscles and tendons throughout the body.” – Paul Lam

 

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Study Summary

 

You, T., Ogawa, E. F., Thapa, S., Cai, Y., Zhang, H., Nagae, S., … Leveille, S. G. (2018). Tai Chi for older adults with chronic multisite pain: a randomized controlled pilot study. Aging clinical and experimental research, 30(11), 1335–1343. doi:10.1007/s40520-018-0922-0

 

Abstract

Background

Chronic pain is associated with poorer cognition and mobility, and fall risk in older adults.

Aims

To investigate the feasibility of a randomized trial of mind-body exercise (Tai Chi) versus light physical exercise in older adults with multisite pain.

Methods

Adults aged ≥ 65y with multisite pain who reported falling in the past year or current use of an assistive device were recruited from Boston area communities. Participants were randomized to either a Tai Chi or a light physical exercise program, offered twice weekly for 12 weeks. The primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability. Secondary outcomes included pain characteristics, cognition, physical function, gait mobility, fear of falling, and fall frequency.

Results

Of 176 adults screened, 85 were eligible, and 54 consented and enrolled (average age 75±8y; 96.30% white; 75.93% female). The dropout rate was 18% for Tai Chi and 12% for light physical exercise. For those completing the study, exercise class attendance was 76% for Tai Chi and 82% for light physical exercise. There were no significant group differences in most secondary outcomes. Tai Chi significantly lowered pain severity (4.58±1.73 to 3.73±1.79, p<0.01) and pain interference (4.20±2.53 to 3.16±2.28, p<0.05), reduced fear of falling (90.82±9.59 to 96.84±10.67, p<0.05), and improved several single-task and dual-task gait variables, while light physical exercise did not change these measures

Discussion and Conclusions

This study demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a larger randomized controlled trial in older adults with multisite pain. Study findings and challenges encountered will inform future research.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6126990/

 

Improve Motor Performance with Self-Talk and Mindfulness

Improve Motor Performance with Self-Talk and Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“From time to time today, ask yourself the simple question, What is on my mind? Do you notice that you are thinking mostly in images, words, or both? After being aware of one thought, ask yourself: I wonder what thought will come up next? Be curious about how your mind is so quick to judge yourself and other people. Do you notice how these various mind states—thoughts and images—are constantly changing?” – Bob Stahl

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving the physical and psychological condition of otherwise healthy people and also treating the physical and psychological issues of people with illnesses. This has led to an increasing adoption of mindfulness techniques for the health and well-being of both healthy and ill individuals.

 

Humans have an internal voice. “self-talk is a cognitive strategy that individuals use to talk to themselves either silently or aloud to interpret lived perceptions, to change evaluations and beliefs, and to give instructions or reinforcements.”  This self-talk can be positive, motivational, or instructional which generally have beneficial effects. But it can also be negative leading to worry (concern about the future) and rumination (repetitive thinking about the past). This negative self-talk is associated with mental illness, particularly anxiety and depression. Fortunately, worry and rumination may be interrupted by mindfulness and emotion regulation can be improved by mindfulness.

 

There is very little research on the relationship of mindfulness with self-talk. In today’s Research News article “Interaction of mindfulness disposition and instructional self-talk on motor performance: a laboratory exploration.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6556369/), Chiu and colleagues recruited undergraduate students from a physical education class and had them complete a measure of mindfulness. The students then performed two motor tasks, a standing long jump or a fine line tracking test. They were instructed in self-talk before each task either instructional in nature (“focus on the center of the groove of the panel and move it as fast as possible!”) or unrelated to the motor tasks (“the weather today, my clothes’ colors, or my pets’ names.”). They were asked to engage in the appropriate self-talk during the execution of the tasks.

 

They found that self-talk, but not mindfulness, had a significant effect on the standing long jump with the instructional self-talk producing longer jumps than the unrelated self-talk. With the fine line tracking test, they found than mindfulness produced significantly better performance only when the self-talk was unrelated to the task and not when it was instructional.

 

These results demonstrate that self-talk is helpful when it is instructional in nature but disruptive when it is unrelated to the task at hand. This suggests that mind wandering disrupts motor performance while reminding oneself with self-talk how to perform the task is beneficial. The results also suggest that mindfulness is beneficial with fine motor tasks when self-talk is unrelated. This suggests that mindfulness tends to counteract the effects of mind wandering when precise movements are required.

 

So, improve motor performance with self-talk and mindfulness.

 

“This inner voice combines conscious thoughts with unconscious beliefs and biases. . . . This voice is useful when it is positive, talking down fears and bolstering confidence. Human nature is prone to negative self-talk, however, and sweeping assertions like “I can’t do anything right” or “I’m a complete failure” are common diatribes. This negativity can be unrealistic and even harmful, paralyzing people into inaction and self-absorption to the point of being unaware of the world around them. The good news: That negative inner critic can and should be challenged; becoming more aware of it is just a first step.” – Psychology Today

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Chiu, Y. H., Lu, F., Gill, D. L., Lin, T. W., Chang, C. C., & Wu, S. C. (2019). Interaction of mindfulness disposition and instructional self-talk on motor performance: a laboratory exploration. PeerJ, 7, e7034. doi:10.7717/peerj.7034

 

Abstract

In considering that high mindfulness disposition individuals possess a unique ability to maintain attention and awareness, and attention is one of the key mechanisms of instructional self-talk, the purpose of this study was to examine the interaction of mindfulness disposition and instructional self-talk on motor performance. Forty-nine college students (M age = 18.96 ± 1.08) with high/low mindfulness disposition (high n = 23; low n = 26) selected out of 126 college students performed a discrete motor task (standing long jump) and a continuous motor task (line tracking task) under instructional and unrelated self-talk conditions. Two separate 2 (self-talk type) X 2 (high/low mindfulness) mixed design ANOVA statistical analyses indicated that mindfulness disposition interacted with unrelated self-talk in the line tracking task. Specifically, low mindfulness participants performed poorer than high mindfulness participants in line tracking task under unrelated self-talk. Further, participants performed better in both standing long jump and line tracking under instructional self-talk than unrelated self-talk. Results not only revealed the triangular relationships among mindfulness, self-talk, and motor performance but also indirectly support the role of attention in self-talk effectiveness. Limitations, future research directions, and practical implications were discussed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6556369/

 

Improve Balance and Mobility and Prevent Falls in Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Tai Chi

Improve Balance and Mobility and Prevent Falls in Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“There is still so much to learn from research about exactly how exercise improves the physical and mental well-being of people with living with Parkinson’s disease, as well as which combinations or activities yield the best outcomes, but there is no doubt whatsoever that exercise remains one of the best therapies for preserving and enhancing quality of life.” – Davis Phinney

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi practice has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, Tai Chi  may be an excellent treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Reducing Falls and Improving Balance Performance in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409066/), Liu and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice to improve balance and mobility and reduce falls in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients. They found and reviewed 5 published randomized controlled trials that compared Tai Chi practice to no intervention, stretching/resistance training, and walking control conditions.

 

They report that the trials found that in comparison to baseline and the control conditions Tai Chi  practice significantly improved balance and functional mobility in the Parkinson’s Disease patients and reduced the number who experienced a fall. This is important as the compromised motor ability of patients with Parkinson’s Disease makes them much more vulnerable to falls and the resultant compromised health. By improving balance and mobility in these patients Tai Chi practice produces enhanced health and well-being.

 

The results of the published research strongly suggests that Tai Chi  practice should be routinely prescribed for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Tai Chi is a gentle and safe mindfulness practice. It is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an excellent gentle practice to improve the well-being of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve balance and mobility and prevent falls in Parkinson’s Disease patients with Tai Chi.

 

Daily Tai Chi practice is extremely helpful to those with chronic ailments and illnesses like cancer, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy, respiratory problems and irritable bowel syndrome to name a few,” – Mwezo

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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Study Summary

 

Liu, H. H., Yeh, N. C., Wu, Y. F., Yang, Y. R., Wang, R. Y., & Cheng, F. Y. (2019). Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Reducing Falls and Improving Balance Performance in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Parkinson’s disease, 2019, 9626934. doi:10.1155/2019/9626934

 

Abstract

Introduction

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that may increase the risk of falls, functional limitation, and balance deficits. Tai Chi was used as an option for improving balance in people with PD. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of Tai Chi on falls, balance, and functional mobility in individuals with PD.

Method

The literature search was conducted in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PEDro, Medline, Embase, sportDISCUS, Trip, and the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) analyzing the effects of Tai Chi, compared to no intervention or to other physical training, on falls, functional mobility, and balance in PD patients were selected. The outcome measurements included fall rates, Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Functional Reach (FR) test, and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality and extracted data from the studies using the PEDro scale.

Results

Five RCTs that included a total of 355 PD patients were included in this review. The quality of evidence in these studies was rated as moderate to high. Compared to no intervention or other physical training, Tai Chi significantly decreased fall rates (odds ratio = 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.30 to 0.74, and p=0.001) and significantly improved balance and functional mobility (BBS mean difference (MD) = 3.47, 95% CI 2.11 to 4.80, and p < 0.001; FR MD = 3.55 cm, 95% CI 1.88 to 5.23, and p < 0.001; TUG MD = −1.06 s, 95% CI −1.61 to −0.51, and p < 0.001) in people with PD.

Conclusion

This meta-analysis provides moderate- to high-quality evidence from five RCTs that Tai Chi could be a good physical training strategy for preventing falls and improving balance and functional mobility in people with PD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409066/

 

Improve Psychomotor Perform of Intellectually Disabled Children with Yoga

Improve Psychomotor Perform of Intellectually Disabled Children with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Special needs experts agree that yoga activities make a positive impact on individuals with special needs.  These activities improve mobility, strength, and digestion for individuals with disabilities.” – Cara Batema

 

Intellectual disabilities involve below average intelligence and relatively slow learning. They are quite common, affecting an estimated 10% of individuals worldwide. These disabilities present problems for the children in learning mathematics, reading and writing. These difficulties, in turn, affect performance in other academic disciplines. The presence of intellectual disabilities can have serious consequences for the psychological well-being of the children, including their self-esteem and social skills. In addition, anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders often accompany learning disabilities. Not as well known is that children with intellectual disabilities also have motor problems.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to improve attentionmemory, and learning and increase success in school. Exercise has been shown to improve psychomotor performance in children with intellectual disabilities. Yoga is both a mindfulness practice and an exercise that also tends to improve motor ability. So, it would make sense to explore the application of yoga training for the treatment of children with intellectual disabilities.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of yoga practices on psycho-motor abilities among intellectually disabled children.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165980/ ), Pise and colleagues recruited children aged 10 to 15 years from a school for the intellectually disabled. They were randomly assigned to a no-treatment control group or to receive yoga training for 1 hour per day, 5 days per week, for 12 weeks. The practice consisted of relaxation, postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. They were measured before and after training for balance, eye-hand coordination, agility, and reaction time.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline after the yoga training there were significant increases balance, eye-hand coordination, and agility, and decreases in reaction time. In comparison to the no treatment control group, the yoga group after training had significantly greater balance and faster reaction times. Hence, yoga practice appears to improve motor performance in children with intellectual disabilities.

 

 

These results were obtained with a no-treatment control condition. They need to be repeated with an active control condition such as a different exercise to determine if it was yoga practice itself or the exercise provided by yoga practice that was responsible for the improvements. But, nonetheless, the results suggest that yoga practice may be beneficial for children with intellectual disabilities. Improved motor ability might affect their performance in activities and sports and thereby improve their self-esteem.

 

So, improve psychomotor perform of intellectually disabled children with yoga.

 

“Yoga for special needs classes provide a sense of belonging and community. These adaptive yoga classes focus on building strength, developing regulation skills through breathing, improving mobility and maintaining/improving overall health and emotional well-being.” – Project Yoga

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Pise, V., Pradhan, B., & Gharote, M. (2018). Effect of yoga practices on psycho-motor abilities among intellectually disabled children. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, 14(4), 581-585. doi:10.12965/jer.1836290.145

 

Abstract

The children with intellectual disabilities show disorders at motor development and coordination. Hence, the objective of this study was to see the effect of yoga practices on psycho-motor abilities of intellectually disabled children. Seventy intellectually disabled children were divided into experimental group and control group. Both experimental and control group were assessed on the first day and after 12 weeks of the yoga intervention for static balance, eye hand coordination, agility and reaction time. The subjects of experimental group then underwent a training of yoga practices, for 1 hr for a total period of 12 weeks. The result of within group comparison revealed significant improvement in static balance, eye hand coordination, agility, and reaction time (P< 0.001) in subjects of yoga group however no change was observed in control group. The present study demonstrated that 12 weeks of yoga is effective in improving psycho-motor abilities of intellectually disabled children.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165980/