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Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Kathryn A. Newell, Rise Cherin, Martin J. Lee, Abby C. King and William L. Haskell


To compare the effects of Tai Chi (TC, n = 37) and Western exercise (WE, n = 39) with an attention-control group (C, n = 56) on physical and cognitive functioning in healthy adults age 69 ± 5.8 yr, in a 2-phase randomized trial.


TC and WE involved combined class and home-based protocols. Physical functioning included balance, strength, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory endurance. Cognitive functioning included semantic fluency and digit-span tests. Data were analyzed using intention-to-treat analysis.


At 6 mo, WE had greater improvements in upper body flexibility (F = 4.67, p = .01) than TC and C. TC had greater improvements in balance (F = 3.36, p = .04) and a cognitive-function measure (F = 7.75, p < .001) than WE and C. The differential cognitive-function improvements observed in TC were maintained through 12 mo.


The TC and WE interventions resulted in differential improvements in physical functioning among generally healthy older adults. TC led to improvement in an indicator of cognitive functioning that was maintained through 12 mo.

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Wolf E. Mehling

It has been suggested that improvement in bodily awareness is a key mechanism of action for many movement therapies ( Mehling et al., 2011 ). Examples of these mind–body therapies include mindful movement, integrative exercise, movement-education approaches named after or by founding teachers (e

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Daniela G.L. Terson de Paleville and Jason C. Immekus

.1080/00094056.2017.1300488 10.1080/00094056.2017.1300488 20. Barranco-Ruiz Y , Etxabe B , Ramírez-Vélez R , Villa-González E . Interventions based on mind-body therapies for the improvement of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in youth: a systematic review . Medicina . 2019 ; 55 ( 7 ): 325 . doi

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Melissa E. Hay and Denise M. Connelly

, & Chiao, 2005 ). There also appears to be a growing interest and research-based support for “mind-body therapies” (p. 360), such as tai chi and yoga, for older adults with chronic pain, which claim to integrate multiple factors impacting health ( Morone & Greco, 2007 ). However, this is the first study to