Evidence on Tai Chi for Mental Health


A recent systematic review (Wang et al, 2010) identified 17 randomized control trials conducted around the world on the effect of Tai Chi on mental and psychological health and well-being. It has concluded that Tai Chi is ffective in reducing stress, anxiety and depression, and improving mental health and well-being. 11 out of the 17 randomized control trials were based on Yang Style Tai Chi, which is the style used for the Tai Chi for Mental Health and Cognitive Improvement Program. The Tai Chi for Mental Health and Cognitive Improvement Program is based on the following compelling research evidence. 

Brown DR, Wang Y, Ward A, Ebbeling CB, Fortlage L, Puleo E, Benson H, Rippe JM: Chronic psychological effects of exercise and exercise pluscognitive strategies. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995, 27:765-775. 

Chou KL, Lee PW, Yu EC, Macfarlane D, Cheng YH, Chan SS, Chi I: Effect of Tai Chi on depressive symptoms amongst Chinese older patients with depressive disorders: a randomized clinical trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 2004, 19:1105-1107. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Dechamps A, Lafont L, Bourdel-Marchasson I: Effects of Tai Chi exercises on self-efficacy and psychological health. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act 2007, 4:25-32 [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Fransen M, Nairn L, Winstanley J, Lam P, Edmonds J: Physical activity for osteoarthritis management: a randomized controlled clinical trial evaluating hydrotherapy or Tai Chi classes. Arthritis Rheum 2007, 57:407-414. 

Galantino ML, Shepard K, Krafft L, Laperriere A, Ducette J, Sorbello A Barnish M, Condoluci D, Farrar JT: The effect of group aerobic exercise and t'ai chi on functional outcomes and quality of life for persons living with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. J Altern Complement Med 2005, 11:1085-1092

Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Oxman MN: Augmenting immune responses to varicella zoster virus in older adults: a randomized, controlled trial of Tai Chi. J Am Geriatr Soc 2007, 55:511-517. 

Jin P: Efficacy of Tai Chi, brisk walking, meditation, and reading in reducing mental and emotional stress. J Psychosom Res 1992, 36:361-370. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Kutner NG, Barnhart H, Wolf SL, McNeely E, Xu T: Self-report benefits of Tai Chi practice by older adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 1997, 52B:P242-246. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Li F, Duncan TE, Duncan SC, McAuley E, Chaumeton NR, Harmer P: Enhancing the psychological well-being of elderly individuals throughTai Chi exercise: A latent growth curve analysis. Struct Equ Model 2001, 8:53-83.

McCain NL, Gray DP, Elswick RK, Robins JW, Tuck I, Walter JM, Rausch SM, Ketchum JM: A randomized clinical trial of alternative stress. management interventions in persons with HIV infection. J Consult Clin Psychol 2008, 76:431-441.

Mustian KM, Katula JA, Gill DL, Roscoe JA, Lang D, Murphy K: Tai Chi Chuan, health-related quality of life and self-esteem: a randomized trial with breast cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer 2004, 12:871-876. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Sattin RW, Easley KA, Wolf SL, Chen Y, Kutner MH: Reduction in fear of falling through intense tai chi exercise training in older, transitionally frail adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 2005, 53:1168-1178. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Sun WY, Dosch M, Gilmore GD, Pemberton W, Scarseth T: Effects of Tai Chi Chuan Program on Hmong American Older Adults. Educ Gerontol1996, 22:161-167 

Tsai JC, Wang WH, Chan P, Lin LJ, Wang CH, Tomlinson B, Hsieh MH, Yang HY, Liu JC: The beneficial effects of Tai Chi Chuan on blood pressureand lipid profile and anxiety status in a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med 2003, 9:747-754. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Wang L, Wang S: Effect of shadowboxing on the psychological factors in middle and aged people. Chin J Clin Rehabil 2004, 8:1128-1129. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Wang C: Tai Chi improves pain and functional status in adults with rheumatoid arthritis: results of a pilot single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Med Sport Sci 2008, 52:218-229. [Yang Style Tai Chi]

Wang C, Schmid CH, Kalish R, Yinh J, Goldenberg DL, Rones R, McAlindon T: Tai Chi is effective in treating fibromyalgia: a randomized controlledtrial. Arthritis Rheum 2009, 60:S526 [Yang Style Tai Chi]

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