Tai chi practice may help veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder to manage symptoms like instrusive thoughts, concentration difficulties and psychological arousal. Boston University Medical Center researchers conducted a small pilot study with 17 veterans with PTSD to evaluate whether tai chi would be a feasible and beneficial activity.
According to study participants, tai chi practice lessened several symptoms of PTSD, and the activity received a high-satisfaction rating. This was after four sessions—the first lasting 90 minutes, the others each 60 minutes long. One veteran commented, "I think it's given me hope, does that make sense? I've done a lot of things and this is just an additional tool in my toolbox. It's very helpful. . . I think all veterans, suffering from PTSD or not, could use [it]."
Study authors recommended further research, since tai chi is safe and appropriate for people with different ability levels, and because veterans were both very satisfied with their experience and willing to do more sessions.
The study appeared in the journal BMJ Open (2016; doi: 10.1136/bmjo prn-2016-012464) and is open source.