Study finds tai chi reduces inflammation in breast cancer survivors

November 7, 2014 by Reggie Kumar, University of California, Los Angeles
Study finds tai chi reduces inflammation in breast cancer survivors
Credit: tnrelaciones.com

(Medical Xpress)—UCLA researchers have discovered that the Chinese practice of tai chi can reduce inflammation in people who have had breast cancer, thereby reducing a risk factor for the recurrence of the cancer.

Current research indicates that women diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 10 years are three times more likely to suffer from lack of sleep. Insomnia can lead to increases in inflammation, which places breast cancer survivors at risk for cancer recurrence as well as cardiovascular disease.

Led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Michael Irwin, researchers conducted a five-year from April 2007 to August 2013. His team analyzed blood samples from 90 participants between 30 to 85 years old, before and after they started the routine.

"When people practice tai chi, there is a decrease in the stress hormones produced by the sympathetic nervous system," said Irwin, who is professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA.

Irwin and his colleagues also discovered that tai chi relaxes the body to a certain point that it can reduce inflammation, which is commonly seen in most after treatment.

"We saw that tai chi reversed cellular inflammation, by producing a down-regulation of the genes that lead to ," said Dr. Irwin. "Tai chi is a movement meditation, and we have found that similar anti-inflammatory effects occur when people practice other forms of meditation."

Irwin said that he hopes the exercise will gain in popularity, particularly in low-income communities where many do not have immediate access to .

Two-time survivor Linda Tucker has had many sleepless nights until recently.

"I absolutely did not sleep, my eyes would not stay asleep, my body just would not relax and I found myself awake until six in the morning," said Tucker.

Desperate to find a cure for her sleeping problems, Tucker decided to participate in Irwin's tai chi study at UCLA despite her initial skepticism.

"I said to myself, this has to be a joke, this is not going to work or do anything. But after two sessions the insomnia started going away," she said. "I just felt a sense of peacefulness."

Explore further: Treating insomnia in elderly reduces inflammation, lowers risk for chronic diseases

Related Stories

Treating insomnia in elderly reduces inflammation, lowers risk for chronic diseases

September 16, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Lack of sleep can make you sick. And while everybody has the occasional restless night, for those who suffer from chronic insomnia—some 15 percent of older adults in the United States—that sleep loss ...

Can Tai Chi slow the aging process?

May 28, 2014
Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese martial art and sport, has been found to be beneficial in raising the numbers of an important type of cell when three groups of young people were tested to discover the benefits of Tai Chi, ...

Tai chi could be key to overcoming cognitive effects of chemotherapy

June 6, 2011
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 11.4 million Americans are currently living with cancer. While cancer treatments are plentiful, many have negative side effects. Previous studies have indicated that a significant ...

Tai Chi exercise may reduce falls in adult stroke survivors

February 6, 2013
Tai Chi may reduce falls among adult stroke survivors, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2013.

Recommended for you

Researchers find adult stem cell characteristics in aggressive cancers from different tissues

September 19, 2018
UCLA researchers have discovered genetic similarities between the adult stem cells responsible for maintaining and repairing epithelial tissues—which line all of the organs and cavities inside the body—and the cells that ...

Ketogenic diet reduces body fat in women with ovarian or endometrial cancer

September 19, 2018
Women with ovarian or endometrial cancer who followed the ketogenic diet for 12 weeks lost more body fat and had lower insulin levels compared to those who followed the low-fat diet recommended by the American Cancer Society, ...

Eating foods with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort

September 18, 2018
The consumption of foods with higher scores on the British Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system (FSAm-NPS), reflecting a lower nutritional quality, is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, according ...

Could the zika virus fight the brain cancer that killed john McCain?

September 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Preliminary research in mice suggests that the Zika virus might be turned from foe into friend—enlisted to curb deadly glioblastoma brain tumors.

CRISPR screen reveals new targets in more than half of all squamous cell carcinomas

September 18, 2018
A little p63 goes a long way in embryonic development—and flaws in p63 can result in birth defects like cleft palette, fused fingers or even missing limbs. But once this early work is done, p63 goes silent, sitting quietly ...

Enlarged genotype-phenotype correlation for a three-base pair deletion in neurofibromatosis type 1

September 18, 2018
International collaborative research led by Ludwine Messiaen, Ph.D., shows that while a three-base pair, in-frame deletion called p.Met992del in the NF1 gene has a mild phenotype for people with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.