Tai Chi Now Integrated into Medical Schools

Tai Chi has found its way into the curriculum of nearly all universities in China.

In the U.S., Tai Chi is beginning to make its way into colleges, medical schools, and nursing schools as part of the trend toward more mind-body training.

Dozens of academic health centers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as many others around the world, are now offering Tai Chi in their integrative medicine clinics.

Some students are coming to medical programs already interested in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and want to integrate Tai Chi into their future medical practices.

A new generation of doctors and nurses will have the knowledge of how and when to prescribe Tai Chi to improve the health of their patients.

More than 50 large, academic medical centers now have some program in integrative medicine.

For example, at integrative medical clinics with most hospitals affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, patients can get mind-body therapies, acupuncture, and lifestyle coaching.

At the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital Osher Clinic for Complementary and Integrative Therapies, Tai Chi is often prescribed after patients have resolved an acute episode of back pain to stabilize the back, address any underlying imbalances, and prevent a recurrence.

Tai Chi is also commonly recommended to heart disease patients as a way to get moderate exercise and reduce stress.

Perhaps most importantly, Tai Chi skills are now widely being taught in public and private schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, and senior centers.

Preventing the effects of stress through Tai Chi may have a huge impact on reducing the already high costs of health care in the future.

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