Tai Chi and Qigong Viable for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
April 27, 2013 - Mind-body
practices are increasingly used to provide stress reduction for posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD). Mind-body practice encompasses activities with the
intent to use the mind to impact physical functioning and improve health.
Five researchers at University of New
Mexico conducted a literature review using PubMed, PsycINFO, and Published
International Literature on Traumatic Stress to identify the effects of
mind-body intervention modalities, such as yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong,
mindfulness-based stress reduction, meditation, and deep breathing, as
interventions for PTSD.
The literature search identified 92
articles, only 16 of which were suitable for inclusion in this review. The
researchers reviewed only original, full text articles that met the inclusion
criteria. Most of the studies have small sample size, but findings from the 16
publications reviewed here suggest that mind-body practices are associated with
positive impacts on PTSD symptoms.
Mind-body practices incorporate
numerous therapeutic effects on stress responses, including reductions in
anxiety, depression, and anger, and increases in pain tolerance, self-esteem,
energy levels, ability to relax, and ability to cope with stressful situations.
In general, mind-body practices were found to be a viable intervention to
improve the constellation of PTSD symptoms such as intrusive memories,
avoidance, and increased emotional arousal.
Mind-body practices are increasingly
used in the treatment of PTSD and are associated with positive impacts on
stress-induced illnesses such as depression and PTSD in most existing studies.
Knowledge about the diverse modalities of mind-body practices may provide
clinicians and patients with the opportunity to explore an individualized and
effective treatment plan enhanced by mind-body interventions as part of ongoing
This study is published in the April
2013 issue of Journal of Investigative Medicine.