Tai Chi Helps Vets Manage PTSD Symptoms


After participating in a Tai Chi program, offered through Boston University Medical Center, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported improved self-management of symptoms, including intrusive thoughts, poor concentration, and hyper-vigilance.

The lifetime risk of developing PTSD is 23.1 percent among veterans, and 8.7 percent in the general population. Symptoms tend to be chronic and are associated with a host of financial, physical, and psychological difficulties.

The ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi involves a series of slow and graceful movements performed in a mindful manner. Each movement flows smoothly into the next without pause, and can be modified to accommodate people with mobility issues. Though a gentle form of exercise, it increases flexibility, balance, muscle strength, and cultivates a habit of mental tranquility.

In the Boston program, 17 veterans enrolled in a four-session introductory Tai Chi training. Following the last session, nearly 94 percent were very or mostly satisfied with the experience, and all participants reported a willingness to enroll in future Tai Chi programs. The veterans also described feeling “very engaged” during the sessions, and discovered that Tai Chi helped with PTSD symptom management.

These findings, published in the journal BMJ Open, are the first to look at the feasibility, and qualitative outcomes of Tai Chi practice for veterans with PTSD.

“Our findings also indicate that Tai chi is a safe physical activity and suitable for individuals with varying physical capabilities. Given our positive findings, additional research is needed to empirically evaluate Tai Chi as a treatment for symptoms of PTSD,” said Barbara Niles, Ph.D., assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine, and research psychologist at the National Center for PTSD - Behavioral Science Division, VA Boston Healthcare System.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: UNE Photos

ocd self test
Do you or a loved one feel like you might have a problem with OCD? Take the Self Test now to get more information.

The information provided on brainphysics.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of brainphysics.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Click here to read our complete Terms of Use.

Susbscribe to our free newsletter for information & inspiration


BrainPhysics.com Social