Below are a list of a few of the most influential research studies
linking stress reduction with health benefits, as well as a few
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):
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,
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)
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
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)
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
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
A.O. Massion, J. Teas, J.R. Hebert, M.D. Wertheimer, and J. Kabat-Zinn.
Medical Hypotheses, 1995, 44, 39-46.
Time Magazine, August 4, 2003. pp. 48-56.
Lisa Brunette. Brain and Emotions Research. University of
Wisconsin-Madison. Feb. 6, 2003.