Credit: PIXTA / CC0 public domain

A small feasibility study suggests that tai chi may reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and improve sleep in people who have had a stroke. The study was presented today at EuroHeartCare—ACNAP Congress 2021, the online scientific conference of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Depression occurs in about one-third of stroke survivors and is associated with greater disability and mortality.Individuals after stroke depression Often also reports anxiety, stress, And lack of sleep.

Tai Chi focuses on relieving body tension, incorporating mindfulness and imagery into movement, increasing breathing awareness and efficiency, and promoting overall relaxation of the body and mind.

“Mental and physical interventions are commonly used among adults to reduce depressive symptoms,” said Dr. Ruth Taylor Pirie, a research author at the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA). “Tai Chi practice allows individuals to live in the present and calm their minds by setting aside unnecessary negative emotions such as depression.”

This study examined the feasibility of using tai chi in people who had previously had a stroke.A total of 11 stroke survivors reported Symptoms of depression I was registered for the study. They were on average 70 years old and 55% were male.

All stroke survivors participated in Tai Chi intervention Classes 3 times a week for a total of 8 weeks. The intervention was planned for 12 weeks but was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each class consisted of a 10-minute warm-up period, a 40-minute tai chi exercise, and a 10-minute cool-down period. Participants were gradually taught 24 basic movements (2 new movements on average per week) from Wu-style Taijiquan.

Measurements were taken at the beginning of the study and repeated after 8 weeks of intervention. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were assessed using a standardized questionnaire. Sleep was assessed at night using a 3-axis accelerometer that detects movement. Specifically, researchers looked at sleep efficiency (the percentage of time spent sleeping), awakening time after the first sleep, and total awakening time after bedtime.

Eight weeks after tai chi, researchers found that compared to baseline, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were significantly reduced, sleep efficiency was improved, arousal after falling asleep was reduced, and arousal. I observed that the time was shortened.

Dr. Taylor Pirie said: “At baseline, participants reported mild to moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Surprised that these self-reported symptoms and improvement during sleep were observed in just eight weeks. I was satisfied. .”

Researchers also took blood samples at baseline and at 8 weeks to measure markers of oxidative stress and inflammation previously associated with post-stroke depression. They found low activity of oxidative stress markers after the intervention, but none of the inflammatory markers were significantly changed.

Dr. Taylor-Piliae explains: Depressive symptoms It also improves biochemical markers associated with depression in stroke survivors. “

She concluded that: “The results of this feasibility study need to be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size and lack of controls. stroke.. We would like to conduct a randomized trial with a 12-week tai chi intervention in a larger group of patients. ”

Tai Chi lifts the spirit of people with heart disease

Provided by
European Society of Cardiology

Quote: Tai Chi is a stroke survivor (June 2021, June 2021) obtained from on June 18, 2021. 18th) Shows potential for relief of depression and anxiety

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