Tai Chi eases insomnia in breast cancer survivors

I have friends who swear by the benefits of Tai Chi – an ancient form of Chinese exercise that help improve balance control, fitness, and flexibility.

Tai Chi began centuries ago as a martial art for self-defense, but it has evolved into a graceful exercise that combines gentle, fluid movements with deep breathing and mindful meditation that can alleviate pain, boost cognitive function, and lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Personally, I’m more of a yoga man, but as far as I’m concerned any form exercise is beneficial to your health and most certainly helps to keep the ageing process at bay. However, since today is the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to dedicate this post to all the ladies out there who are battling or recovering from breast cancer.

It’s a well-known fact that women struggle with insomnia more often than men. And the reasons for this ranges from hormonal problems to depression. But if there is one group of women who really struggle to get a good night’s rest, then it is those who are battling breast cancer.

Insomnia is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment and it is estimated that nearly 30 per cent of those surviving the disease have persistent trouble sleeping.

Fortunately, a new study has found that you can combat insomnia naturally with Tai Chi.

Researchers randomly divided 90 breast cancer survivors who had trouble sleeping three or more times per week into two groups: Half participated in weekly Tai Chi classes, while the other half received weekly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions over a three-month period.

The participants were evaluated for one year after the treatments wrapped up and by the end of the study, Tai Chi proved just as effective as CBT in reducing insomnia.

In both groups, nearly half of the participants were still sleeping better a year after taking Tai Chior receiving CBT.

Those are very positive results, especially since this trial did not include the use of any sleeping aids. And it only goes to show that Tai Chi not only gets insomnia under control, but also that its effects are long-lasting.

In addition, the women who practiced Tai Chi also felt less depressed… and less fatigued.

To a healthier and happier life,

Thomas Smith