UCLA Study Shows Tai Chi May Help Alleviate Tension Headaches

FINDINGS:         Researchers found that tai chi, a traditional Chinese low-impact mind-body exercise, provided significant health benefits for adults suffering from tension headaches. Compared with a control group, patients who participated in a 15-week tai chi program were not only helped with headache pain but also perceived improvement in other areas, reporting increased energy, emotional well-being and social functioning, and improved mental health. IMPACT:             According to researchers, tai chi's emphasis on relaxation, breathing and coordination may address stress, the underlying cause of the pain associated with tension headaches. The patients who participated in the tai chi program showed improvement on a quality-of-life-based measurement called SF-36 and also on a test called HIT-6, which is designed to capture the effect of headaches.                                     AUTHORS:          Ryan B. Abbott, M.T.O.M, L.Ac., of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, and Dr. Ka-Kit Hui, Wallis Annenberg Professor in Integrative East-West Medicine and director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, are available for interviews. JOURNAL:          The research appears in the March 2007 issue of the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM). FUNDING:          The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and various foundations. -UCLA- RC201