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Tai Chi, Qigong and Other Mind-Body CAM Interventions Useful for Clinical Health Psychology
September 28, 2012 -
This study, conducted by University of Connecticut, is published in the August 2012 issue of Journal of Clinical Psychology.

OBJECTIVE: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly used for treating myriad health conditions and for maintaining general health. The present article provides an overview of current CAM use with a specific focus on mind-body CAM and its efficacy in treating health conditions.

METHOD: Characteristics of CAM users are presented, and then evidence regarding the efficacy of mind-body treatments (biofeedback, meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, hypnosis, yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong) is reviewed.

RESULTS: Demographics associated with CAM use are fairly well-established, but less is known about their psychological characteristics. Although the efficacy of mind-body CAM modalities for health conditions is receiving a great deal of research attention, studies have thus far produced a weak base of evidence. Methodological limitations of current research are reviewed. Suggestions are made for future research that will provide more conclusive knowledge regarding efficacy and, ultimately, effectiveness of mind-body CAM. Considerations for clinical applications, including training and competence, ethics, treatment tailoring, prevention efforts, and diversity, conclude the article.

CONCLUSIONS: Integration of CAM modalities into clinical health psychology can be useful for researchers taking a broader perspective on stress and coping processes, illness behaviors, and culture; for practitioners seeking to incorporate CAM perspectives into their work; and for policy makers in directing healthcare resources wisely.




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