Scientific research shows TCC improves immune system
The strong relationship between the practice of T’ai Chi Chih and improvements in the immune system have been studied for many years, initially led by Michael Irwin, MD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). (See list of links to academic research articles lower in this post.)
Dr. Irwin and other medical researchers have found, for example, that shingles immunity is greatly strengthened by regular TCC practice. In one study, people who practiced TCC experienced up to a 50 percent increase in the immune system’s memory T-cells, which are responsible for attacking the virus that causes shingles.
This is groundbreaking research in the meeting of Eastern and Western-based traditions. Dr. Irwin is the Norman Cousins Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute; Vice Chair Elect of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine; and a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Justin Stone, who originated T’ai Chi Chih and trained the very first teachers many years ago, always encourages students to try the practice and see for themselves whether there’s any benefit. From world-class scientific studies to each person’s individual experience, the answer usually is ‘yes.’
- “Practicing T’ai Chi (Chih) Boosts Immune System in Older Adults”
- “T’ai Chi Chih Acutely Decreases Sympathetic Nervous System Activity in Older Adults”
- “Shingles Immunity and Health Functioning in the Elderly: T’ai Chi Chih as a Behavioral Treatment”
- “Effects of a Behavioral Intervention, T’ai Chi Chih, on Varicella-Zoster Virus Specific Immunity and Health Functioning in Older Adults.”
- “Mind over Matter: T’ai Chi Class Boosts Shingles Immunity, Improves Physical Functioning in Older Adults”
"Every year I would become bedridden for a couple of weeks at a time, six to seven times a year with some type of illness. Since learning TCC, I have only been sick three days in a year and a half. My new calmness and sense of peace has created a new me. TCC is a wonderful tool.” – Catherine Millman, TCC teacher, Chesterfield, MO (Reprinted with permission from Blooming the Flower: T’ai Chi Chih Experiences)