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Tai Chi Found to Be Beneficial for Veterans With PTSD

Chinese exercise regimen helps veterans cope with distressing symptoms of PTSD

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The practice of Tai Chi shows promise in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in BMJ Open.

Barbara Niles, Ph.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a study of 17 U.S. veterans. Participants were involved in four 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 percent 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 (e.g., reducing physiological arousal, improving comorbid conditions, increasing positive associations with warrior identity) to be examined in future rigorous trials,” the authors write.

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