A COMMUNITY PROJECT
ON OLDER ADULTS
A series of studies have examined if the memory and health decline associated with aging can be improved with the Chanwuyi Lifestyle Medicine Program.
In a pilot study, 44 community-dwelling older adults were recruited to learn the CLMP for one month and (Chan et al., 2014). Results showed that older adults with a more severe level of memory problem showed a 50% improvement on both verbal and visual memory
Besides, the elderly also showed improved physical health after one month (Yu et al., 2014). Participants showed increased walking speed (as a physical fitness indicator), and improved systolic blood pressure for high blood pressure. They also reported a significant reduction in perceived stress and sleep disturbance.
Overall, their self-received health has improved as reflected by the self-rated scale; that is, the percentage of participants who rated their health as very good has increased from 14% at the baseline to 43% after the program.
RANDOMIZED CONTROL STUDY:
CHANWUYI LIFESTYLE MEDICINE VS. MEMORY TRAINING
In a follow-up randomized control trial study, we compared CML Program's effect with a memory training program. While constant with the previous research, elderly who have received the CML showed improvement in memory and those received memory training; however, older adults in the CML group showed significantly better psychological and physical health than those who received memory training (Chan et al., 2017). The CML groups reported better overall psychological health, overall physical health, sleep quality, muscle flexibility, gastrointestinal function, and respiratory function. The effect remained after 18 months follow-up assessment (Chan et al., 2018).
Older Adults in the Chanwuyi Lifestyle Medicine group reported the continuous application of the intervention in their daily life; 100% of the older adults still practice Nei Gong, and 91% even modified their diets after 18 months.
Those in the Chanwuyi Lifestyle Medicine group reported more remarkable overall physical health improvement than the memory training group.
Yu, R., Woo, J., Chan, A. S., & Sze, S. L. (2014). A Chinese Chan-based mind-body intervention improves psychological well-being and physical health of community-dwelling elderly: A pilot study. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 9, 727-736.
Chan, A. S., Sze, S. L., Woo, J., & Yu, R. H. (2014). A Chinese Chan-based lifestyle intervention improves memory of older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, 50, doi:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00050.
Chan, A. S., Cheung, W. K., Yeung, M. K., Woo, J., Kwok, T., Shum, D. H., Yu, R., & Cheung, M. C. (2017). A Chinese Chan-based mind-body intervention improves memory of older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9,1-10 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00190.
Chan, A.S., Cheung, W.K., Yeung, M. & Lee, TL (2018). Sustained Effects of Memory and Lifestyle Interventions on Memory Functioning of Older Adults: An 18-Month Follow Up Study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 10, doi:10.3389/fnagi.2018.00240