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October 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 8)

Not just complementary, tai chi treats depression all by itself
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Not just complementary, tai chi treats depression all by itself image

Tai chi, the slow-motion Chinese exercise, has often been used as a complement to drugs for treating depression—but a new study has discovered it can dramatically improve the problem without the drugs.

Performing the exercises twice a week for 12 weeks can 'significantly reduce' the symptoms of even major depression, researchers have found.

The researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital, had experts teach tai chi movements and breathing to 25 people who had been diagnosed with major to moderate depression and who weren't taking any medication for the problem. Another group of 25 were on a 'wait list' and were used as a measure of the improvements in the exercise group.

By the end of the 12 weeks, the tai chi group reported 'significant improvements' in their depression and anxiety compared to those who didn't use the exercise.

It's a credible alternative to drugs and other therapies, say the researchers.


References

(Source: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2017; 78: e522)

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