Tai Chi therapy against depression encouraging: Australian scientist

Australian scientist Liu Xin, who designed a Tai Chi exercise program to fight depression, diabetes and obesity said Wednesday that an initial trial of the program is encouraging.

Hailing the program as a breakthrough in the fight against depression, diabetes and obesity, the University of Queensland scientist said 50 volunteers took part in the three-month trial of the SMILE exercise regime. The proportion of participants with clinical levels of depression dropped from 60 percent to 20 percent. Participants also saw significant reductions in their body mass index and waist circumference. “Without involvement of any dietary intervention and high intensity training, it was very encouraging to see such impressive results over a short period of time,” Liu said. In addition to the improvements in depression and obesity, participants also said they slept better, had more energy, higher self-esteem and improved confidence. With one in five Australians experiencing depression at some stage of their lives, Liu said the program has great potential to ease suffering.

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