Veterans with PTSD May Benefit from Tai Chi

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The Chinese exercise regimen may help veterans cope with distressing symptoms of PTSD.
The Chinese exercise regimen may help veterans cope with distressing symptoms of PTSD.

HealthDay News -- According to a study published in BMJ Open, the practice of Tai Chi shows promise in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans.

Barbara Niles, PhD, of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a study of 17 US veterans. 

Participants were involved in 4 introductory sessions of Tai Chi, the Chinese exercise regimen that involves slow, fluid movements.

The team found that the program helped ease the veterans' PTSD symptoms, enabling them to better manage intrusive thoughts, concentration difficulties and physiological arousal. 

Participants reported feeling very engaged during the sessions, and 93.8% said they were very or mostly satisfied with the program. All of the veterans involved in the program said they would recommend Tai Chi to a friend.

"This study provides preliminary indications that veterans with PTSD symptoms are interested in Tai Chi and suggests possible mechanisms of change -- by reducing physiological arousal, improving comorbid conditions and increasing positive associations with warrior identity -- to be examined in future rigorous trials," the authors write.

Reference

Niles BL, et al. "Feasibility, Qualitative Findings And Satisfaction Of A Brief Tai Chi Mind–Body Programme For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms". BMJ Open. 2016. 6(11): e012464. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012464. [Epub ahead of print]

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