Cerebrovascular disease is a major global concern. The individuals with stroke would suffer from disease associated symptoms which influence their functioning in everyday life. These symptom clusters were usually known to be sharing similar underlying mechanisms. It is clear that the development of effective stroke rehabilitation involves interdisciplinary team approach to manage physical, social, cognitive, and psychological functioning in this population.
Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, is a low intense aerobic exercise characterized by continuous movements that embrace the mind, body, and spirit. Tai Chi addresses the integration and balance of mind and body using the fundamental principles of slow, smooth, and continuous movement control, and the transfer of body weight while maintaining an upright and relaxed posture. The newly developed style of Tai Chi for health programs is the seated Tai Chi, which shares the common Tai Chi principles while being modified to adjust the movements for wheelchair bound patients.
The present feasibility project aims to apply the suggested principles as the typical features of Tai Chi applied stroke rehabilitation, and to evaluate the effects on physical (balance), psychological, and cognitive function. Only a few studies ever addressed the feasibility of Tai Chi for stroke rehabilitation, and the relationship between cognition and balance in this population is still very early stage of investigation. The main purpose of our collaborating project is to explore the effect of long-term Tai Chi program on balance and functional outcome in stroke patients during their rehabilitation process.