Tai Chi Participation Shows More Positive Impact on Quality of Life than Gym Exercise and Book Clubs
June 27, 2013 -
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a traditional
Chinese medicine practice and martial art with bio-psychosocial aspects. A study
published by Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in its May
2013 issue aimed to examine the impact of participation in TCC on multiple
domains of Quality of Life (QoL) and to assess the involvement of the
psychological factors of self-efficacy, Locus of Control (LoC) and Hope in these
A total of 68 participants from the general community (13
males and 55 females) aged between 18 and 68 (M=43.55 years) and not currently
suffering from a mental or physical illness took part in the study.
It was found that TCC participants, as a group, scored
significantly better than those in sedentary (book club) and active (gym
exercise) control conditions on Psychological and Physical QoL, and that the
Physical QoL benefits of TCC continue to accrue with years of practice. The
three psychological factors were shown to variously mediate (self-efficacy) and
moderate (internal LoC and Hope) this latter relationship.
Whilst the results bear limitations (in particular small
sample sizes), it is hoped that these findings will encourage further research
into TCC, and consideration of TCC as part of the range of treatment options
available in community-based mental and physical health management.