Teaching tai chi with mindfulness-based stress reduction to middle school children in the inner city: a review of the literature and approaches.

Author: Wall RB.
Affiliation: MGH Institute of Health Professions, and Uphams Corner Health Center, Boston, Mass., USA.
Conference/Journal: Med Sport Sci.
Date published: 2008
Other: Volume ID: 52 , Pages: 166-72 , Word Count: 172

Tai Chi (TC) is the focus of a growing body of literature both qualitative and empirical. Yet there is a paucity of literature on teaching TC to either adolescents or children ages 10-13 presumably because of the level of attention and concentration TC requires. In the pediatric setting, TC appears best combined with other practice activities like mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) that complement the practice of TC, sustain interest and synergistically enhance the benefits TC has been shown to produce in older populations. The literature on the effects of (MBSR) practices with children and teens are also limited. However, the corpus of TC studies suggests significant benefits could be transgenerational if presented in novel ways and taught in developmentally appropriate approaches to children. This chapter explores combining MBSR exercises with TC as one practice that can potentially accomplish this synergy. The chapter includes recommendations for a course design based on two projects created by the author integrating TC and MBSR for ages 11-14 in the inner city of Boston, Mass., USA.
PMID: 18487896