(HealthDay News) — A water-based Ai Chi program is associated with improvements in quality of life for women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), according to a study published online July 26 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Sagrario Pérez de la Cruz, Ph.D., from the University of Almería in Spain, and Johan Lambeck, P.T., from the University of Leuven in Belgium, examined the effects of a program of water-based Ai Chi on health-related quality of life in a sample of 20 female subjects diagnosed with FMS. The visual analogue scale and Short-Form-36 physical and mental health summary scores were assessed at baseline and upon completion of 10 treatment sessions.

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The researchers observed significant improvements in practically all the variables under study after 10 treatment sessions (P < 0.05). Significant differences were seen in pain perception, vitality, mental health, and perceived overall improvement in quality of life.

“A water-based Ai Chi program may contribute to the improvement of mental and physical health and the quality of life in women with FMS,” the authors write.

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