09/14/2010 03:12 PM
BATON ROUGE – LSU associate professor Li Li, the Jo Ellen Levy Yates Professor in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, recently published an article in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
The article, titled “Long term Tai Chi exercise improves physical performance among people with peripheral neuropathy,” details Li’s study using Tai Chi to combat the effects of the condition.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include temporary numbness, tingling and prickling sensations, sensitivity to touch or muscle weakness. More extreme symptoms can include burning pain, muscle wasting, paralysis, organ or gland dysfunction.
In his 24-week study on the physical functions of individuals with peripheral neuropathy, Li recruited 25 men and women to participate in Tai Chi classes on LSU’s campus. Testing showed most participants recovered balance, improved mobility and suffered less pain. A small percentage even recovered some sensation.
“If you go to a doctor complaining of loss of sensation, they will tell you there is nothing they can do,” said Li. “Any recovery of sensation is a medical miracle.”
Marian King, a retired school teacher, was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy seven years ago and has participated in Li’s class since 2006. King experienced frequent loss of balance, but has noticed an improvement since taking Tai Chi. “My balance has gotten much better,” said King. “I can tell if I miss a Tai Chi class.”
For more information on Li and LSU Peripheral Neuropathy Studies, visit www.pn.lsu.edu.
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010