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Tai Chi and Qigong for Treating Mixed Anxiety and Depression in school-age children

May 27, 2021 - The dual mood disorder, such as anxiety and depression, have a negative impact on life, especially when co-occurring, and the clinical implications include a higher risk of suicide and psychiatric hospitalization, elevated disability, decreased compliance with medical treatment, and considerably increased usage of medical services. Thus, research in conventional and nonconventional modalities is necessary to address this issue.

The main objective of a study by University of Porto, Portugal, was to understand if Tai Chi and Qigong could be effective as a mindfulness cognitive-behavioral based therapeutic tool with body movement, for the treatment of children suffering from mixed anxiety and depression.

In this small study, six selected children, four males and two females aged between 7 and 11 years old, were taught a set of exercises of Tai Chi and Qigong. To obtain the results, the Achenbach Teacher's Report Form (TRF) was applied at the beginning of the experimental period, as well as at the ending of the experimental period. The resulting scores were analyzed to observe the difference between both moments of evaluation.

Results, published by Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, showed some improvements in symptoms, with an average improvement of 46%. Tai Chi and Qigong seem to be a promising complementary therapeutic tool in cognitive-behavioral approaches for children who suffer from the dual mood disorder, as well as prevention and control for children who may not display symptoms at a clinical level. However, further research is needed in order to understand the full potential of these therapeutic exercises.




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