The traditional Chinese exercise of Tai Chi helps women who develop persistent arm swelling after breast cancer surgery, an Australian researcher has found.
An Australian Associated Press report on Friday quoted Neil Piller of the Flinders Medical Center in Adelaide, South Australia, as saying that up to 30 percent of breast cancer patients develop a condition known as lymphoedema after a mastectomy or partial breast removal.
Lymphoedema results from an inadequate drainage of fluid which causes swelling, pain and a feeling of heaviness.
Piller studied 24 such patients who were taught a simple Tai Chi exercise involving arm movements and deep breathing. They performed the exercise for 10 minutes twice a day for a month.
Fluid levels at the end of the month dropped an average of around 100 ml, a reduction of about 9 percent, Piller said.
"It also improved the women's range of movement, their arms felt less heavy," he said.
"They felt better and that's what Tai Chi is all about, it's about feeling better," he added.
Results of the study are soon to be published in the International Journal of Lymphology.