The present study examined the effects of a 12-week Tai Chi (TC) training regimen on heart rate variability (HRV), symptomatology, muscle fitness and body composition in women with fibromyalgia. Participants were randomly assigned to either a TC training group (n = 18) or a control group (n = 19). HRV, symptomatology, muscle fitness and body composition were measured before and after 12 weeks. There were significant decreases (p < 0.05) in sympathovagal balance (LnLF/LnHF), sympathetic tone (LnLF, nLF), pain, and fatigue, and significant increases (p < 0.05) in parasympathetic tone (LnHF, nHF), strength and flexibility following TC compared with no changes after control. The changes in LnLF and LnLF/LnHF were correlated with changes in pain. There were no significant changes in HR, sleep quality and body composition after TC or control. TC may be an effective therapeutic intervention for improving sympathovagal balance, pain, fatigue, strength and flexibility in women with fibromyalgia.
- Sympathovagal balance