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Feeling Low? Practicing Ancient Chinese Martial Art Tai Chi will reduce Depression

Tai Chi, which has been used for more than 1,000 years, combines deep breathing and slow and gentle movements

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New York, May 28, 2017: Practicing Tai Chi — a form of ancient Chinese martial art — for 12-weeks may significantly reduce symptoms of depression such as the persistent feeling of sadness or loss, a study showed.

Tai Chi, which has been used for more than 1,000 years, combines deep breathing and slow and gentle movements.

It is generally suitable for people of any level of physical fitness.

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“While some previous studies have suggested that tai chi may be useful in treating anxiety and depression, most have used it as a supplement to treatment for others medical conditions, rather than patients with depression,” said Albert Yeung from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Tai Chi can be particularly effective for patients who avoid conventional psychiatric treatment, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the team recruited 50 participants through advertisements offering tai chi for stress reduction.

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Of these 17 were in the tai chi group, 14 in the education group that included discussions on stress, mental health and depression and 19 in the a passive control, wait-list group.

The 12-week assessments showed that the tai chi group had significantly greater improvement in depression symptoms than did members of either control group.

Earlier this year, China nominated Tai Chi, for inclusion in the Unesco List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Previous studies have found that Tai Chi could better help patients suffering from five painful conditions — back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine. (IANS)

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Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression

The researchers are now working to identify specific populations of bacteria involved in these processes and the molecules that the bacteria produce

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Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression
Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression. Pixabay

Gut bacteria plays a key role in infusing negative feelings in the brains of obese people, causing depression and anxiety, researchers say.

The findings showed that mice on a high-fat diet showed significantly more signs of anxiety, depression and obsessive behaviour than animals on standard diets.

In mice with high-fat diets, two areas of the brain, the hypothalamus, which helps to control whole body metabolism, and the nucleus accumbens, important in mood and behaviour, becomes insulin resistant.

“Your diet isn’t always necessarily just making your blood sugar higher or lower; it’s also changing a lot of signals coming from gut microbes and these signals make it all the way to the brain,” said C. Ronald Kahn, from the Joslin Diabetes Centre in the US.

“But all of these behaviours are reversed or improved when antibiotics that will change the gut microbiome were given with the high fat diet,” Kahn added.

Gut Bacteria.
Gut Bacteria. Pixabay

In the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the team identified the effect of the microbiome by transferring gut bacteria from experimental mice to germ-free mice which did not have any bacteria of their own.

The animals which received bacteria from mice on a high-fat diet began to show increased levels of activity associated with anxiety and obsessive behaviour.

However, those who got microbes from mice on a high-fat diet plus antibiotics did not, even though they did not receive the antibiotics themselves.

Also Read: Depression, Anxiety May Lead to Teeth Loss

The researchers are now working to identify specific populations of bacteria involved in these processes and the molecules that the bacteria produce.

“If we could modify those bacteria, either by putting in more beneficial bacteria or reducing the number of harmful bacteria, that might be a way to see improved behaviour,” Kahn noted. (IANS)