Software and informatics

Relaxing with TAI CHI DVD: Helping to Relieve Stress in Patients

The technology

Tai chi is a fitness exercise that is described as “moving meditation”. It focuses on connecting the mind and body to facilitate health through breathing, relaxation and movement. Tai chi has been associated with a number of health benefits, including reduced stress, anxiety and depression, and enhanced mood, in both healthy people and in those with chronic conditions. A number of studies have shown that tai chi can help improve the well-being of chronically ill patients with HIV, cancer, chronic pain or depression.

This is a DVD of guided mediation and tai chi movements designed to teach patients how to manage their stress. In addition to step-by-step instruction on the movements, the meaning and philosophy associated with each movement is taught to further enhance stress management. An initial proof-of-concept study showed increased overall quality of life and emotional well-being in HIV patients.

Multiple versions are in development for other diseases, such as breast cancer and heart disease, which include alternative disease-specific movements. For example, the heart disease DVD will include movements that could potentially decrease the risk of the disease.