[The physical activity and life healing in psychiatric patients: taijiguan as an example].

Author: Lin SS1, Sheu SJ2, Lee YC3, Chiang HH4.
Affiliation: 1Department of Nursing, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, ROC. 2School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, ROC. sj-sheu@hotmail.com. 3Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, ROC. 4School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, ROC.
Conference/Journal: Hu Li Za Zhi.
Date published: 2014 Aug
Other: Volume ID: 61 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 46-55 , Special Notes: [Article in Chinese] doi: 10.6224/JN.61.4.46 , Word Count: 298

Chronic psychiatric patients tend to have cognitive and functional impairments. Participation in physical activity has been shown to improve their health and independence. Regular practice of Taijiquan may help improve mood and life stresses, promoting physical and mental health.
This research explores the effect of a 13-week Taijiquan learning program on the daily life experience of chronic psychiatric patients. The process and the essential meaning of the entire learning experiences are presented.
Data were collected from a psychiatric daycare center at a Teaching Hospital in Taipei. The 6 patients who participated in this study included 3 with bipolar disorders and 3 with schizophrenia. Narrative inquiry and focus-group interviews were used for qualitative data collection and analysis.
The initial results of participant experiences were categorized into 3 themes: 1. Learning kung fu in the Taijiquan; 2. Releasing binding through the practice of Taijiquan; and 3. Pursuit of excellence through the learning of Taijiquan. The views of illness, body, and interpersonal interaction as well as the three stages of dilemma, transcendence / acclimation, and acquaintance for the psychiatric patients and their Taijiquan's learning world were described and the potential therapeutic effects on the body and daily life of these patients were explored.
Learning Taijiquan is highly challenging for the novice, especially those with chronic psychiatric illnesses. However, after familiarization with the postural actions and key concepts of this exercise, Taijiquan facilitated body relaxation, heightened perception, and postural balance. Consequently, this exercise stabilized the mood, disease status, and capacity for handling interpersonal relationships of participants and consequently may enhance their long-term life quality and disease recovery status. Results of this study recommend strongly that Taijiquan be included as a therapeutic activity for psychiatric patients to improve their health, healing, and recovery.
Taijiquan; chronic psychiatric patients; focus group; narrative analysis

PMID: 25116314