According to the University of California the ancient Chinese discipline of Tai Chi can lift depression in older people.
Depression amongst older adults is a increasing problem, yet about half of all cases go undiagnosed and untreated.
US researchers measured the effectiveness of weekly tai chi classes along with standard depression treatment (including medication) for a group of depressed seniors. The tai chi group found greater improvement in their levels of depression along as well as reporting a better quality of life, more overall energy and increased memory and cognitive function.
“Depression can lead to serious consequences, including greater morbidity, disability, mortality and increased cost of care,” Helen Lavretsky, a UCLA professor-in-residence of psychiatry. “With tai chi, we may be able to treat these conditions without exposing them to additional medications.”
The results of the study appear in the current online edition of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Access the abstract by clicking this link.