About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4 (2007), Issue 1, Pages 107-113
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nel050
Original Article

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Tai Chi for Tension Headaches

1Center for East West Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA 90407, USA
4UCLA, 2428 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 208, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA

Received 15 November 2005; Accepted 19 June 2006

Copyright © 2007 Ryan B. Abbott et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study examined whether a traditional low-impact mind–body exercise, Tai Chi, affects health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and headache impact in an adult population suffering from tension-type headaches. Forty-seven participants were randomly assigned to either a 15 week intervention program of Tai Chi instruction or a wait-list control group. HRQOL (SF-36v2) and headache status (HIT-6™) were obtained at baseline and at 5, 10 and 15 weeks post-baseline during the intervention period. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) improvements in favor of the intervention were present for the HIT score and the SF-36 pain, energy/fatigue, social functioning, emotional well-being and mental health summary scores. A 15 week intervention of Tai Chi practice was effective in reducing headache impact and also effective in improving perceptions of some aspects of physical and mental health.