A Randomized Controlled Trial of Tai Chi for Tension Headaches

Published in: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, v. 4, no. 4, Mar. 2007, p. 107-113

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Ryan B. Abbott, Ka-Kit Hui, Ron D. Hays, Ming-Dong Li, Timothy Pan

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This study examined whether a traditional low-impact mind-body exercise, Tai Chi, affects health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and headache impact in an adult population suffering from tension-type headaches. Forty-seven participants were randomly assigned to either a 15 week intervention program of Tai Chi instruction or a wait-list control group. HRQOL (SF-36v2) and headache status (HIT-6trade mark) were obtained at baseline and at 5, 10 and 15 weeks post-baseline during the intervention period. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) improvements in favor of the intervention were present for the HIT score and the SF-36 pain, energy/fatigue, social functioning, emotional well-being and mental health summary scores. A 15 week intervention of Tai Chi practice was effective in reducing headache impact and also effective in improving perceptions of some aspects of physical and mental health.

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