This is a clinical study that explores the effects of Tai Chi or Wellness Education on the gut bacteria of patients with Osteoarthritis. Our intervention is aimed at decreasing pain and improving quality of life for osteoarthritis patients.
To measure bacterial changes, participants stool samples will be collected and analyzed.These results will help determine mechanisms between bacteria, pain and behavioral pathways as well as progress future research to the potential disease-modifying role of mind-body approaches.
1. Physically able to participate in Tai Chi and Wellness Education programs according to their primary care physician.
2. Has access to a home computer or device that will allow telehealth delivery of the intervention
3. Age 55 and older
1. Have been diagnosed with dementia, neurological disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, liver disease, or other serious medical conditions limiting ability to participate in the programs.
2. Have a history of Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, history of gastrointestinal cancer or surgical resection, or acute, severe gastrointestinal symptoms requiring medical attention.
3. Antibiotic use in the past month.
Participants randomized to either Tai Chi or Wellness Education classes will attend 2 virtual sessions per week on Tues/Thurs, over a 3 month period. They will be asked to complete a set of online questionaires, and provide a stool sample at both baseline (0 weeks) and at the end of the intervention (12 weeks). At 6 months, participants will recieve a phone call for a breif follow up.
Participants will also be instructed to maintain their normal medications and lifestyle throughout the duration of this study.