Poi & Health Articles

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What Poi Can Do For Your Health

“Most kiwis know that poi is a Māori tradition. You may have seen dazzling displays in kapa haka, or even done poi yourself in primary school. But did you know there are many different styles of poi practiced all over the world? And, that twirling poi can improve your health? A recent study conducted at the University of Auckland was the first to scientifically evaluate the health benefits of poi.”

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Poi Health Benefits Equal Tai Chi Study

“Puti Mackey, 80, has used the poi in kapa haka performances since 1958. Ms Mackey has arthritis and is waiting for a hip replacement, but that has not stopped her from performing. She said the combination of using poi and swinging it to the rhythm of waiata kept her, and her friends, healthy.”

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Effects of Poi on Physical and Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults

This study investigated the effects of poi, compared with Tai Chi, on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults. Immediately postintervention, both groups improved postural stability, upper limb strength, and simple attention. Tai Chi also improved systolic blood pressure.

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My Experience with Poi and Parkinson’s in a Geriatric Hospital

“Especially in Parkinson’s patients, it is sometimes unbelievable to observe how their stiffness dissolves during play, how their focus is directed towards the poi and how accompanying symptoms – such as trembling in the hands or restlessness in the legs – steadily decrease or simply fade away.”

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The Exercise Every Over-60 Should Be Doing

“If you are from New Zealand or have spent any time there you may be familiar with Māori poi dance. Kate Riegle van West, a PhD student from the USA, has been studying international poi and its cognitive effects on the over 60s at the University of Auckland.”

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Focus, Fun and a Good Laugh: Poi in a Residential Care Home

“The improvements seen are incredible. I have witnessed residents with minimum concentration skills be really focused. Residents who find it difficult to follow instructions, follow sets of instructions. They can follow rhythms and timings.”

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An interview with Rose Poi

Care worker Anja and handicraft extraordinaire Rosie sat down for a chat about Rosie’s life, her Parkinson’s diagnosis, and how Rose Poi is helping an entire hospital in Germany spin their health around.​

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Poi from a Tai Chi Perspective

Tai Chi instructor Bruno explains what Tai Chi and Qi Gong are, and reflects on his experience learning poi and some of the differences and similarities between the two activities.

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