Health + Behavior

UCLA Study Shows Tai Chi May Help Alleviate Tension Headaches



Researchersfound that tai chi, a traditional Chinese low-impact mind-body exercise,provided significant health benefits for adults suffering from tensionheadaches. Compared with a control group, patients who participated in a15-week tai chi program were not only helped with headache pain but alsoperceived improvement in other areas, reporting increased energy, emotionalwell-being and social functioning, and improved mental health.


According toresearchers, tai chi's emphasis on relaxation, breathing and coordination mayaddress stress, the underlying cause of the pain associated with tensionheadaches. The patients who participated in the tai chi program showedimprovement on a quality-of-life-based measurement called SF-36 and also on atest called HIT-6, which is designed to capture the effect of headaches.


RyanB. Abbott, M.T.O.M, L.Ac., of the UCLACenter for East-West Medicine, and Dr.Ka-Kit Hui, Wallis Annenberg Professor in Integrative East-West Medicine and directorof the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, areavailable for interviews.


The researchappears in the March 2007 issue of the journal Evidence-based Complementary andAlternative Medicine (eCAM).


The study wasfunded in part by the National Institutes of Health and various foundations.



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