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Tai Chi and Qigong Help Behavioral Disorders in Children

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February 25, 2019 - Child development and wellness are strictly dependent on several factors among them physical activity, a proper nutrition and, of critical importance, a healthy mind. Psychopathologies like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) have a direct negative impact on social, academic or occupational functioning of the affected children. If left untreated, these pathologies may progress to adulthood, thus requiring research strategies on conventional and nonconventional modalities of treatment.

In a pilot study by University of Porto in Portugal conducted during the academic year 2015/2016, a combination of exercises of Tai Chi and Qigong were taught to four selected children, three males and one female, aged between 6 and 10, suffering from those behavioral disorders.

The main goal was to understand if it is possible to achieve any kind of improvement in their condition, by evaluating the scores of the Achenbach Teacher's Report Form (TRF) in the beginning and ending of the experimental period. Results showed very interesting improvements in symptoms of CD, ODD and ADHD-HI (hyperactive-impulsive), while ADHD-PI (predominantly inattentive) showed only minor improvements.

The overall symptom improvement was 43% across pathologies, which demonstrates that Tai Chi and Qigong may be a promising treatment of symptoms for children with behavioral disorders. More research is needed with controlled experimental designs and statistically representative samples to fully comprehend the versatility of these modalities.

These findings are published in the January 2019 issue of Journal of Bodywork and movement therapies .




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