This meta-analysis and systematic review evaluated 14 studies which examined the effects of Tai Chi Chuan on negative emotions in both younger adults and older adults.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 8% of the population is affected by depression and/or anxiety, and it is one of the leading causes of mortality and disability across the lifespan.
Tai Chi Chuan is an evidence based prevention strategy that may offer both physical and psychological benefit, is low cost, and is non-pharmacological- therefore no medication side-effects.
Study intervention periods lasted from 12 weeks to 18 months, and included 1285 participants (Tai Chi 645, Control 640).
Not only did the authors find that Tai Chi Chuan could decrease depression and anxiety in those affected, but they also found a strong likelihood that the practice of Tai Chi Chuan could prevent depression and anxiety of seemingly healthy individuals.
The authors attributed this significant effect to the meditative components of practice. The authors concluded that Tai Chi Chuan could be considered a worthy complementary non-pharmacological resource for depression and anxiety, which has great implications for the prevention of emotional disorders and mental health promotion.
More large scale trials would be needed to further support this claim.
The Effect of Tai Chi Chuan on Negative Emotions in Non-Clinical Populations: AMeta-Analysis and Systematic Review.
Zhang S, Zou L, Chen LZ, Yao Y, Loprinzi PD, Siu PM, Wei GX.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Aug 21;16(17).
Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) as a typical mind-body practice has been investigated for its preventive role on negative emotions and has demonstrated its efficacy in healthy populations. However, the results are not consistent. We performed a meta-analysis and systematically evaluated the effect of TCC on selected negative emotions (i.e., anxiety and depression).
Fourteen experimental studies from three English-and two Chinese-language databases were evaluated.
The results showed that the positive effects of TCC on negative emotions were moderately to largely significant. In addition, although TCC significantly improved negative emotions in both the young adults and the older adults, old adults benefited more from TCC than young adults.
These findings suggest that TCC is a worthy complementary non-pharmacological resource towards depression and anxiety and, thus, has great implications for the public health domain.