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Tai Chi - Stress Reduction Research

Dean Ornish | Jon Kabat-Zinn | Roland McCarty
Anxiety | Tai Chi | Immune Function | Breast/Prostate Cancer | Popular Articles

Below are a list of a few of the most influential research studies linking stress reduction with health benefits, as well as a few popular articles.

Tai Chi

Many studies have documented the use of Tai Chi Chuan as beneficial practice for various medical conditions. Here are a few.

Tai chi improves balance and motor control in Parkinson’s disease
Study done in February 2012
Tai chi training appears to reduce balance impairments in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease, with additional benefits of improved functional capacity and reduced falls.


Study: Tai Chi is Heart Healthy, ABC News, April 26, 2011

The latest evidence looking into the health benefits of Tai Chi comes from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who followed a group of heart failure patients as they took a twice weekly Tai Chi class for three months. At the end of the study, the Tai Chi practitioners felt better, were more confident about their ability to perform everyday tasks and led far more active lifestyles than a similar group who attended twice-weekly health education classes.


A Downside to Tai Chi? None That I See

New York Times, September 28th, 2010


The Effects of Aerobic Exercise and T'ai Chi on Blood Pressure: Results of a Randomized Trial.

Young D. R., Appel L.J., Jee S.H., Miller E.R. III. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 1999; 47:277-284.

A study design to investigate the effect of intense Tai Chi in reducing falls among older adults transitioning to frailty.

Wolf S.L., Sattin R.W., O'Grady, M., Freret N., Ricci R., Greenspan A.I., Xu, T.S., Kutner M.: Controlled Clinical Trials, 22(6): 689-704, 2001.

Effects of Tai Chi exercise on balance, functional mobility, and fear of falling among older women.

Taggart HM. Appl Nurs Res. 2002 Nov;15(4):235-42. Abstract.

Tai Chi Chuan practice as a tool for rehabilitation of severe head trauma: 3 case reports.

Shapira MY, Chelouche M, Yanai R, Kaner C, Szold A. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Sep;82(9):1283-5. Abstract.

Effects of T'ai Chi training on function and quality of life indicators in older adults with osteoarthritis.

Hartman C.A., Manos T.M., Winter C., Hartman D.M., Li B., Smith J.C. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 48(12):1553-9, 2000 Dec.

Dean Ornish

Dean Ornish's pioneering research helped bring stress reduction techniques into mainstream heart disease research.

Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease?

Ornish, D., Brown, S. E., Sherwitz, L. W., Billings, J. H., Armstrong, W. T., Ports, T. A., McLanahan, S. M., Kirkeeide, R. L., Brand, R. J., and Gould, K. L., The Lancet, 1990; 336:129-133. Abstract.

Changes in myocardial perfusion abnormalities by positron emission tomography after long-term, intense risk factor modification

K. L. Gould; D. Ornish; L. Scherwitz; S. Brown; R. P. Edens; M. J. Hess; N. Mullani; L. Bolomey; F. Dobbs; W. T. Armstrong; et al. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 1995; 274: 894-901. Abstract.


Jon Kabat-Zinn / Chronic Pain

Jon Kabat-Zinn and his associates study the use of mindfulness meditation to self-regulate chronic pain.

An out-patient program in Behavioral Medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results.

Kabat-Zinn, J. Gen. Hosp. Psychiatry (1982) 4:33-47. Abstract.

The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L. and Burney, R. J. Behav. Med. (1985) 8:163-190. Abstract.

Four year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain: Treatment outcomes and compliance.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., Burney, R. and Sellers, W. Clin.J.Pain (1986) 2:159-173. Abstract.


Roland McCarty / HeartMath

The effects of emotions on short-term power spectrum analysis of heart rate variability

Rollin McCarty MS, Mike Atkinson, William A. Tiller PhD, Glen Rein PhD and Alan D Watkins MBBS, The American Journal of Cardiology, Vo. 76, No. 14, Nov. 15, 1995, pp. 1089-1093.

Cardiac coherence: A new, noninvasive measure of autonomic nervous system order

William A. Tiller, Ph.D., Rollin McCraty, MA, and Mike Atkinson, Alternative Therapises, Vo. 2, No. 1, Jan. 1996, pp. 52-65.



Kabat-Zinn / Anxiety

Compliance with an outpatient stress reduction program: rates and predictors of completion.

Kabat-Zinn, J. and Chapman-Waldrop, A. J. Behav. Med. (1988) 11:333-352. Abstract.

Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders

Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A.O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L.G., Fletcher, K., Pbert, L., Linderking, W., Santorelli, S.F.  . Am. J Psychiatry (1992) 149:936-943.

Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Miller, J., Fletcher, K. and Kabat-Zinn, J. Gen. Hosp. Psychiatry (1995) 17:192-200.

Meditation and Immune Function

Very recent research by Richard Davidson and others at the University of Wisconson-Madison which is documenting the effects of meditation on brain function.

Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation.

Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., et al. (2003). Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570. (Click for entire article in PDF format)

Meditation and Breast / Prostate Cancer

Meditation, Melatonin and Breast/Prostate Cancer: Hypothesis and Preliminary Data

A.O. Massion, J. Teas, J.R. Hebert, M.D. Wertheimer, and J. Kabat-Zinn. Medical Hypotheses, 1995, 44, 39-46.

Popular Articles

The Science of Meditation.

Time Magazine, August 4, 2003. pp. 48-56.

Meditation produces positive changes in the brain.

Lisa Brunette. Brain and Emotions Research. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Feb. 6, 2003.


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