Tai Chi Chuan training to enhance microcirculatory function in healthy elderly men

Jong Shyan Wang, Ching Lan, May Kuen Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate cutaneous microcirculatory function in geriatric Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practitioners. Design: Case-control study. Setting: Community setting. Participants: Ten elderly male TCC practitioners (mean age, 69.9 ± 1.5yr) and 10 sedentary men with matched age and body size (mean age, 67.0 ± 1.0yr). Intervention: The TCC group had practiced TCC for 11.2 ± 3.4 years (mean ± standard error of the mean), with an exercise frequency of 5.1 ± 1.8 times weekly. Each session included 20 minutes of warm-up, 24 minutes of TCC practice, and 10 minutes of cool down. Main Outcome Measures: A graded exercise test with gas analysis was conducted on a bicycle ergometer for each subject. Skin blood flow (SkBF), cutaneous vascular conductance, and skin temperature were measured at rest and during exercise testing. Plasma nitric oxide metabolite was analyzed before and immediately after exercise. Results: The TCC group had a 34% higher Vo2peak than the control group; it also had a higher SkBF, cutaneous vascular conductance, and skin temperature than the control group at rest and during exercise; and it also had a higher level of plasma nitric oxide metabolite than the sedentary group at rest and after exercise. Conclusion: Older TCC practitioners had higher cutaneous microcirculatory function during exercise than did their sedentary counterparts. Moreover, this change may be partially mediated by enhancement of nitric oxide release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1176-1180
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001


  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Microcirculation
  • Nitric oxide
  • Rehabilitation
  • Skin blood flow
  • Tai Chi


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