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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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Ancient Chinese Martial Art Tai Chi. Twitter
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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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Study: Depression Can Be Cut by Ketamine

Ketamine, the drug can be helpful to cut off depression and suicidality

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A man in depression. Pixabay

Recreational drug Ketamine is likely to have fast-acting benefits in treating symptoms of depression as well as reducing suicidal thoughts, say researchers, including one of an Indian-origin.

The findings of the trial, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed use of Ketamine, also licensed as an anaesthetic, through a nasal spray, led to significant improvements in depressive symptoms and reduction in suicidal thoughts in the first 24 hours.

A woman in depression.
A woman suffering from depression.

Esketamine could be an important treatment to bridge the gap as it can help in the rapid treatment compared to the delayed effects of most common antidepressants, which take four to six weeks to become fully effective, said Jaskaran B. Singh, from the Janssen Research & Development in San Diego, US.

The results support nasal spray esketamine as a possible effective rapid treatment for depressive symptoms in patients assessed to be at imminent risk for suicide, the researchers noted.

For the study, a small group of participants randomly assigned to one of two groups – either receiving esketamine or placebo twice a week for four weeks, and found a significant improvement in depression scores and decreased suicidal ideation in the esketamine group compared to the placebo group at four hours and at 24 hours.

Also Read: Depression Can Negatively Impact Heart Patients

However, at 25 days, the effects had levelled out.

While there esketamine dependence or misuse was not observed in the trial, the researchers suggested for effective controls on the distribution and use of ketamine.

They argued that steps to control the use of ketamine would not be aimed at preventing its use for beneficial purposes but would allow for treatment to “continue to be available to those with need, while the population that is at-risk for abuse is protected from an epidemic of misuse.”  IANS

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