Through examining the traditions and practices of a wide variety of cultures and ways of life, today’s psychotherapists and researchers are incorporating a number of helpful artifacts from around the world and throughout time into the treatment of modern clients. Many professionals have expressed interest in Tai Chi, a form of martial arts that incorporates low-impact exercise with precise, relaxing movements that build strength and aim to focus attention. Practiced by many in Asia and gaining popularity in the West, Tai Chi has been the subject of a recent study performed at Tufts Medical Center as researchers attempt to discover the psychological impact of the activity on participants.
The study, which based its evidence on the review of previous experimental studies performed on Tai Chi, found that engaging in Tai Chi exercises was associated with lower rates of depression, anxiety, stress, and mood disturbance, and also correlated with enhanced feelings of self-esteem. The finding suggest that through participating in these simple exercises, clients may be able to notice a significant benefit to their psychological well-being, one which may have a broad and long-term effect.
The length of this effect, along with many other considerations, are cause for further research, notes the principal author of the current study. Though many academic investigations of Tai Chi have been performed, the need for high-quality trials involving large and diverse participant groups with meaningful controls was highlighted by the study, which found that such quality was ultimately lacking in currently available literature. Through following the lines of inquiry set forth by past studies, researchers may be able to uncover the specific benefits of the practice –benefits which may bring great relief to therapy clients and anyone in need of a boost.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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