A pilot study at Massachusetts General Hospital found the martial art form reduced symptoms of depression in Chinese Americans.
A separate study from UCLA concluded tai chi reduced the number of sleepless nights in breast cancer survivors.
Cure Today reports tai chi is just as effective in treating insomnia among breast cancer survivors as more traditional cognitive behavioral therapy.
“Breast cancer survivors often don’t just come to physicians with insomnia. They have insomnia, fatigue and depression,” UCLA lead researcher Michael Irwin, M.D., said. “And this intervention, tai chi, impacted all those outcomes in a similar way, with benefits that were as robust as the gold standard treatment for insomnia.”
The study was conducted among 90 patients over 4 years. The study is significant since cognitive behavioral therapy can be expensive and there is also a shortage of trained professionals in this field.
In the Massachusetts General Hospital study, the tai chi group had a significant reduction in depression symptoms than others not in the group.
“If these findings are confirmed in larger studies at other sites, that would indicate that tai chi could be a primary depression treatment for Chinese and Chinese American patients, who rarely take advantage of mental health services, and may also help address the shortage of mental health practitioners,” said Albert Yeung, MD, of the Harvard Medical School. “We also should investigate whether tai chi can have similar results for individuals from other racial and ethnic groups and determine which of the many components of tai chi might be responsible for these beneficial effects.”
You can read more about this study here.
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