Donnerstag, 31. Oktober 2013

Doktorarbeit 13: Fighters, Thinkers, and Shared Cultivation: Experiencing Transformation Through the Long-Term Practice of Traditionalist Chinese Martial Arts

George Bradley Jennings

University of Exeter, Sport & Health Sciences, 2010


Traditionalist Chinese martial arts (TCMAs) are popular in Britain, and some advocates have made extensive claims of their body-self transformation through sustained training. Despite extensive physiological research, there are few investigations of these practices regarding their socio-cultural practice. This qualitative sociological study examines long-term British practitioners’ experiences of transformation via Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Wing Chun by addressing five issues:

1) Rationales behind practice
2) Resulting transformations
3) Explicit/implicit pedagogic strategies
4) Cultural transmission
5) Relations to broader social life.

It approaches these questions through an emergent research design incorporating autobiographical vignettes as a practitioner- teacher-researcher, life histories of experienced practitioners and ethnographic fieldwork of two case study schools. Following thematic, metaphorical and narrative analysis, a structurationist theoretical framework illuminates the data by incorporating sensitising concepts from diverse thinkers including Bourdieu, Frank, Giddens and Yuasa. The findings are represented through autobiographical, modified realist, impressionist and confessional writing and structure the thesis as follows: Firstly, my own story demonstrates shifts in transformation from a technique-orientated approach to a more spiritual/holistic perspective, finally emerging as a scholarly position of a thinker-martial artist. Secondly, practitioner case studies further articulate transformations along a flexible continuum of changing body-self-society relations interpreted here as three ideal types: Fighters, martial artists and thinkers. Thirdly, the connecting pedagogical issues are addressed, as well-rounded TCMA systems possess specific partner exercises to develop intercorporeal awareness and embodied sensitivity, which are explicit aspects of each association’s martial habitus and body lineage.

Meanwhile, socio-linguistic metaphors articulate these transformations and are also interpreted as transformations in thinking and schemes of perception. Overall, these sensitising concepts and empirical findings offer a social theory of shared cultivation that acknowledges transformation on individual, relational, institutional and art levels. This shared cultivation framework may be useful for future methodological, theoretical and empirical considerations of wider physical culture.

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Sonntag, 20. Oktober 2013

Doktorarbeit 12: Effects of Taiji and Strength Training Interventions on Knee Osteoarthritis of Older Adults

Michael George Wortley

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville,2010

Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate a 10-week Taiji intervention to a 10-week strength training intervention in terms of their ability to relieve osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms, alter gait, and improve mobility in seniors with knee OA.

Methods. Men and women between the ages of 60 and 85 years who met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for knee OA were recruited to participate in either a simplified Taiji program (n=12), an open-chain strength training program (n=13), or a control group (n=6). All participants completed the Western Ontario and MacMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), three physical performance tests, and a 3-D gait analysis at baseline and again after the 10-week intervention.

Results. The strength training group significantly improved on the time up-and-go test (p = 0.001), the WOMAC pain sub-score (p=0.006), WOMAC stiffness sub-score (p<0.001), and WOMAC physical function sub-score (p=0.011). The Taiji group significantly improved on the timed up-and-go (p<0.001), but there was no change in their WOMAC scores. Neither group showed any significant changes in either kinematic or kinetic gait variables. Conclusion. Strength training was effective for improving mobility and improving the symptoms of knee OA. Taiji was also effective for improving mobility, but did not improve the participants‟ knee OA symptoms. Neither intervention had an effect the participants walking gait. Mehr: hier

Samstag, 19. Oktober 2013

Masterarbeit 2: Is Yang Style Tai Chi A “One Size Fits All” Fall Prevention Exercies Program For Older Adults?

Investigating Yang style tai chi and its influence on physical function and fall prevention among older adults

Rohan Gonsalves

The Faculty of Health Sciences Graduate Studies Program
University of Ontario Institute of Technology Oshawa, Ontario, 2011

Falls among Canadian older adults is a growing problem, not only in terms of incident rates and its impacts, but most importantly, the vast scope of preventable morbidity and mortality. A decline in age-related physical function is acknowledged as a risk factor of falls. Community-based group exercise programs such as Yang style tai chi may help to reduce fall risk by improving components of physical function.

To investigate, a pretest- posttest experimental design was conducted. Post-intervention assessments revealed Yang style tai chi practiced three times a week over eight weeks improved balance, muscle strength and muscle endurance. These findings suggest Yang style tai chi is moderately effective in reducing fall risk but further research is needed to determine the true effectiveness of tai chi as a fall prevention strategy. This study provides directions for future research guided by a proposed conceptual framework and offers some tentative recommendations for community health practice.

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Donnerstag, 17. Oktober 2013

Doktorarbeit 11: Evaluating the effects of Tai Chi on physical fitness and mental health of the elderly

Manh Hung Nguyen

Fakultät für Verhaltens- Empirische Kulturwissenschaften der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, 2013

The aims of this study are to examine the effects of 24-form Tai Chi exercise in six months on physical fitness, blood pressure and perceived health as well as sleep quality, cognitive performance and balance ability of older people living in dwelling community. This study is also aimed to compare differences in physical fitness and subjectively rated health between German and Vietnamese older adults in terms cross-cultural study between Vietnamese and German samples.

Results showed that 24 week Tai Chi program can be an alternative form of exercise for older adults. The 24-form Tai Chi brings physical and psychological benefits to older adults. Strength, aerobic fitness, flexibility, dynamic balance of people who engaged in Tai Chi program were remarkably improved. Blood pressure was also significantly improved except diastole blood pressure.

The scores of self-report health in two domains of Short form 36 of Tai Chi group were better than Control group. This proved that physical and mental health was much improved after Tai Chi training. There was much improvement in balance and cognitive performance in Tai Chi group. Sleep quality was enhanced with Tai Chi exercise. Tai Chi program has been demonstrating its benefits and effects on maintaining physical and mental functioning of older adults in community. It also enhances and promotes the elder adults‟ to participate in Tai Chi in public.

This study is also an initial comparison of physical fitness and mental health of the elderly between Vietnam and Germany. The results indicated that the Vietnamese elderly reported a better performance in physical fitness. However, there is no significant change in mental health. These results answer hypotheses that whether Tai Chi exercise would improve physical, mental domains older adult‟s health as well as it would promote balance, sleep quality and cognitive performance.

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Donnerstag, 10. Oktober 2013

Doktorarbeit 10: Effect Of The Long-Term Health Practices Of Tai Chi, Meditation And Aerobics On Adult Human Executive Attention: a Cross-Sectional Study

Teresa D. Hawkes

Department of Human Physiology and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon, 2012

Meditation, Tai Chi, and moderate aerobic exercise have been shown to positively affect executive attention. We compared the executive attention efficiency and aerobic capacity of long-term Tai Chi, meditation plus exercise, aerobic fitness, and sedentary participants. We hypothesized that because meditation and Tai Chi include moderate aerobic exertion and executive attention training, these groups would show significantly greater executive attention efficiency compared to aerobic exercisers or sedentary control groups.

Our results support this. Tai Chi and meditation but not aerobic fitness practitioners significantly outperformed sedentary controls on key executive measures: percent switch costs and P3b ERP switch amplitude (Tai Chi, p = .001; p = .031, respectively; meditation, p = .006; p = .003, respectively). This suggests participation in chronic health practices requiring moderate aerobic exertion and attentional focus may offset declines in aerobic, neuromotor, and executive attention capacity often seen in normal aging.

More: here

Samstag, 5. Oktober 2013

Doktorarbeit 9: Untersuchungen zum Einfluss einer exogen induzierten repetitiven Schmerzstimulation auf die peripheren und trigeminalen Schmerzreizschwellen

Monika Dirkwinkel

Medizinischen Fakultät der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2008

In den letzten Jahren ist die Frage in den Mittelpunkt der Schmerzforschung gerückt, wie sich Schmerzbahnung und Schmerzhemmung gegenseitig beeinflussen und wie diese Phänomene gemessen werden können. Einige asiatische Kampfkunstarten, wie z. B. Kung Fu, arbeiten mit repetitiv durchgeführten antinozizeptiven Übungen zur verminderten Schmerzwahrnehmung. Diese Übungen können ein Modell bilden, um eine exogen erworbene Hypalgesie zu untersuchen. Diese Arbeit stellt die Frage, ob das Trainieren von Analgesie zu veränderten peripheren und trigeminalen Schmerzschwellen und damit zu einer Veränderung von Schmerzreizschwellen führt.

In die experimentelle Untersuchung wurden 30 gesunde Probanden eingeschlossen. Diese wurden in 2 Gruppen unterteilt: die 15 Probanden hatten ein 14-tägiges Abhärtungstraining zu absolvieren, die 15 Kontrollpersonen nicht. Zu Anfang (U1) und nach Ablauf (U2) des Abhärtungstrainings wurden die Personen untersucht. Es wurden die Sensibilitäts- und Schmerzreizschwellen am M. tibialis anterior und am M. masseter gemessen. Beide Schwellen waren sowohl bei den Probanden als auch bei den Kontrollen am M. masseter signifikant niedriger.

Wir fanden einen Trend, dass die Probanden eine im Zeitverlauf durchschnittlich höhere Schmerzreizschwelle als die Kontrollen hatten. Dies könnte bedeuten, dass die Probanden aus der Kung-Fu-Trainingsgruppe besser adaptieren.

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