First Faculty Advisor
Tai Chi; mental health disorder; alternative treatments
This study attempted to explore the relationship between tai chi practice and anxiety in the elderly population. The mental health disorder that I looked at was anxiety, as the elderly often experience anxiety related to contributing factors such as mental and physical decline. Anxiety among the elderly is a great concern as there is an increase in the world’s population of individuals aged 65 years or older. This will directly impact health care prices as more resources will have to be distributed to this age population. One solution to this problem is tai chi. Tai chi is a cost-effective way that one can manage their anxiety and simultaneously promotes physical and mental health. To collect data, I distributed a survey to local tai chi studios in Rhode Island where individuals answered questions related to their general mental and physical health and their engagement in tai chi. My study aims to see if those who are regularly practicing tai chi are receiving the same benefits as those who practice tai chi to reduce their anxiety. I hypothesized that the longer an individual practices tai chi, the more likely they are to report excellent physical and mental health. I also hypothesized that the more amount of time an individual practices tai chi, the more likely they are to score minimal anxiety. The results from the data showed that the longer one practices tai chi, the more likely they are to report excellent overall physical and mental health and minimal anxiety. Although more research is required to fully understand the relationship between tai chi and anxiety, this is potentially a promising treatment and a way to manage anxiety.