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Tai Chi Improves Math Scores

10 Jul

Researchers from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine looked at the immediate effects of a 20-minute combination of Tai Chi and Yoga, on anxiety, EKG and EEG scores, and computational math ability.

Thirty-eight adults participated in a 20-min Tai chi/yoga class. The session was comprised of standing Tai chi movements, balancing poses and a short Tai chi form, along with ten min of standing, sitting and lying down yoga poses.

Pre- and post- intervention effects were assessed using the State Anxiety Inventory (STAI), EKG, EEG and math computations.

The investigators found that heartrate increased during the session, as would be expected for a moderate-intensity exercise. Changes from pre to post-session assessments suggested increased relaxation, including decreased anxiety and a trend for increased EEG theta brain wave activity.  Increased speed and accuracy on the math computations were also noted.
 
This pilot study concluded that this brief combination of Tai Chi and Yoga had positive benefits for the subjects; and that the increased relaxation it produced may have contributed to the ramped up speed and accuracy noted on the math computations, following the Tai chi/yoga class.

Citation:  Field T, Diego M, Hernandez-Reif M. Tai chi/yoga effects on anxiety, heartrate, EEG and math computations. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2010 Nov;16 (4): pages 235-8. Epub 2010 Jun 29. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award