Tai chi may help relieve depression and anxiety in stroke survivors
Taylor-Piliae et al. focused on 11 stroke survivors who reported experiencing symptoms associated with depression. Their average age was 70 and 55% were men.
All study participants attended three tai chi classes per week for eight weeks. Each class included a 10-minute warm-up, 40 minutes of tai chi, and an additional 10 minutes to cool down. Participants learned about two new tai chi movements per week.
Overall, the authors observed, participants reported significant reductions in their symptoms after completing the eight-week course. Sleep patterns have also improved.
“Initially, participants reported mild to moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress,” Taylor-Piliae added. “I was surprised and pleased with the improvements we have seen in these self-reported symptoms and in sleep with just an eight week intervention.”
Blood tests also showed that there was lower activity of oxidative stress markers after patients completed the tai chi class. The markers of inflammation in the blood, meanwhile, showed no signs of changing.
The researchers noted that their study had a small sample size, adding that a randomized trial with “a larger group of patients” is already underway.