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.
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.
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.
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.
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