May 26, 2010 (New Orleans, Louisiana) - The practice of tai chi chuan for 6 weeks during a summer camp improved behavior control in adolescents with mental illness, according to a study presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2010 Annual Meeting.
"We found beneficial effects in controlling hyperactivity in the group as a whole, and adolescents with a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also showed improvements in cognitive skills, "said Peng Pang, MD, a resident in psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.
School age children / ADHD. Some studies suggest Tai Chi helps children with special needs, including those with ADHD, and to deal with anxiety and moods.
[Tai Chi and Yoga have common mind-body elements] A randomized control trial of yoga versus physical education by researchers at Harvard Medical School showed that high school students who practiced yoga had a better mood overall and felt less anxiety, while the typical gym class group showed a worsening of these symptoms over the course of the 10-week study. --- Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi. Page 274. Read more at Harvard Health Publications ...
Research at the University of Miami School of Medicine has shown that adolescents with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) displayed less anxiety, daydreaming behaviors, inappropriate emotions and hyperactivity, and greater improved conduct, after a five week, two day per week class. T'ai Chi meets many of the criteria for mood management techniques recommended for ADD (see the Treating Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD] section earlier in this chapter).
[Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T.M., & Thimas, E. (2001). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 5(2):120-3, 2001 Apr, 5(23 ref), 120-123.]
Treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
ADD is a growing problem not only with children, but adults as well. Tai Chi may is a wonderful adjunct therapy for treating ADD because it augments many of the mood management techniques recommended for ADD sufferers.
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Benefits from Tai Chi, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, April 2001
Thirteen adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) participated in Tai Chi classes twice a week for 5 weeks. Teachers rated the children's behaviour on the Conners Scale during the baseline period, after the 5 week Tai Chi session period and 2 weeks later. After the 10 Tai Chi sessions the adolescents displayed less anxiety, improved conduct, less daydreaming behaviours, less inappropriate emotions, and less hyperactivity. These improved scores persisted over the 2-week follow up (no Tai Chi period).
* NOTE: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day advises consulting your physician before beginning any new exercise, herbal, diet, or health program. The research listed here is meant to stimulate a discussion between you and your physician, health insurance carrier, etc., not as medical advise. Research and comments provided here are hoped to stimulate a more robust discussion of powerful natural mind/body health tools. Popular media, health media, and government must increase attention to stunning emerging research, including the UCLA study indicating Tai Chi participants enjoyed a 50% increase in immune system resistance to viral infection.
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Also, search the Qigong Institute's "Qigong and Energy Medicine Database," for research abstracts on Tai Chi & Qigong.
The Qigong and Energy Medicine Database™ is a compilation of references to a series of extensive clinical and experimental research on medical applications of Qigong carried out in China and beyond beginning about 1980. These studies as well as to reports in scientific journals, books, international conferences, and The National Library of Medicine and PubMed. The Qigong and Energy Medicine Database™ provides a record in English of the vast amount of clinical and experimental research on Qigong from China as well from other countries. Included are reports of therapies that have been tried and claimed to be effective. These reports can be used as a guide for improving health and for deciding what further research may be required to confirm promising applications of Qigong.
The Qigong & Energy Medicine Database™ contains references not only to Qigong but also to other energy-based research, therapies, clinical trials, and practices. While the emphasis is on scientific reports, reviews are provided in some cases. The Database contains abstracts (not full text). Abstracts range in length from a paragraph to several pages and may contain information on methodology, controlled experiments, results summarized in tables, and statistical analysis.
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Check with your child's therapist or physician before beginning Tai Chi. Also, find an effective, understanding
T'ai Chi instructor who has experience teaching children.
Drs. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D., experts on the management of ADD wrote, Exercise is positively one of the best treatments for ADD. It helps work off excess energy and aggression in a positive way, it allows for noise-reduction within the mind, it stimulates the hormonal and neurochemical systems in a most therapeutic way, and it soothes and calms the body.
The slow mindful movements of Tai Chi have much to offer people who suffer from ADD. The following table explains why T'ai Chi may be a perfect ADD therapy.
T'ai Chi and ADD
What Experts Suggest
What T'ai Chi Offers
Set aside time for recharging batteries, something calm and restful, like meditation.
T'ai Chi is a mini-vacation.
Daily exercise that is readily available and needs little preparation can help with the blahs that occur and with overall outlook.
Tai Chi is easy, requires no preparation, and is a daily mood elevator.
Observe mood swings; learn to accept them by realizing they will pass. Learn strategies that might help bad moods pass sooner.
T’ai Chi is a tool for self-observation of feelings and for letting those feelings go.
Use time-outs when you are upset or overstimulated; take a time-out; go away, calm down.
T'ai Chi can be performed in the bathroom at school or work, giving you a break from the stress.
Let go of the urgency to always finish things quickly by learning to enjoy the process.
Tai Chi's slow flowing routine is about letting go of outcome and learning to love the process.
ADD usually includes a tendency to overfocusor hyperfocus at times, to obsess or ruminate over some imagined problem without being able to let it go.
T'ai Chi teaches the practice of letting go on a mental, emotional, and physical level with each exhale.
Sage Sifu Says
T'ai Chi teachers should realize that
T'ai Chi for kids with ADD will not look
like Tai Chi for adults. It will be faster