Tai chi can help reduce stress and improve sleep
A new study finds that getting a better night’s sleep and reducing stress can help improve overall health, as well as reduce inflammation within the body.
Specifically, researchers concluded that undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy or practicing tai chi as treatment for insomnia can reduce symptoms and inflammation levels. These results held true throughout the study’s 16 month follow-up period.
Inflammation is part of the immune system’s response to something harmful affecting the body. This can include sleep disorders such as insomnia, which is sometimes caused by high levels of stress, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
“The inability to sleep peacefully throughout the night may have a negative impact on your health,” says Dr. Raina Gupta, neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Insomnia may be a risk factor or a symptom of serious health issues like depression, heart disease or stroke.”
Dr. Gupta says that people respond to different types of treatments in various ways.
“Cognitive behavioral therapy is a good option for many people and taking part in activities that will reduce stress such as tai chi outside of a doctor’s office could help tremendously,” she says.
Dr. Gupta advises people to remember to take care of their mind as well as their body. To help minimize stress, she recommends:
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