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Tai Chi for Tension Headaches

Tai Chi for Tension Headaches


Ryan B. Abbott,1 Ka-Kit Hui,corresponding author1 Ron D. Hays,2 Ming-Dong Li,1 and Timothy Pan1

1Center for East West Medicine, Department of Medicine and, 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 and RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA 90407, USA

corresponding authorCorresponding author.

For reprints and all correspondence: Ka-Kit Hui, UCLA, 2428 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 208, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA. Tel: +1-310-828-9358; Fax: +1-310-829-9318;


Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 March; 4(1): 107–113.


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.


Conclusion: 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.



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