Benefits of Tai Chi

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

JUNE 28, 2017

I know very little about Tai Chi, but, after reading this article from, I am a little better informed. I know that many cancer support organizations offer this ancient Chinese exercise, and I know that it is said to be a unique form of gentle exercise, focus, and meditation.

This article reports a study from The Journal of Clinical Oncology that found Tai Chi to be as effective as CBT in reducing insomnia in women who had been treated for breast cancer. I recognize that those are not exactly earth-shattering results, but most similar findings turn out to be equally useful for people who have had other cancers and, perhaps, for other issues.

Here is the start and a link to read more:

Tai Chi Helps Ease Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors

Occasionally having trouble sleeping is normal for most people. Everyday stress, heartburn, or too much caffeine or alcohol all can make it hard to fall asleep.
Insomnia is different. If you frequently can't fall asleep, can't stay asleep, or don't get enough sleep to be rested, you may have insomnia. Insomnia can affect your mood and energy levels, cause fatigue, and make it hard to think and concentrate.
The stress of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as some of the treatments themselves, and certain pain medicines can cause insomnia.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, a specific type of talk therapy where you talk with a counselor in a structured way, is considered the best treatment for insomnia.
A study has found that tai chi, an exercise that combines slow movements with meditation and breathing techniques, is just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy in easing insomnia in women who have been treated for breast cancer.

Read more:

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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