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Tai chi and other exercise may combat depression in seniors

Seniors may be able to find lasting relief from depression through the low-impact Chinese martial art of tai chi, AARP reports. According to a study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Pyschiatry, patients who regularly performed tai chi while also taking a prescription antidepressant were more likely to recover from their condition than those who simply attended health lectures while taking the drug.

While the benefits to mobility and balance from tai chi have long been known, this discovery is "very promising" to psychologists who specialize in mental health. One such clinical psychologist, Patricia Marino, told the news source that most seniors in the tai chi class did not see their depression return after the 10-week session was over, whereas many do after treatment is discontinued.

The New York Times reported that the slow movement, breathing and meditation that make up the ancient exercise may also offer benefits for people who suffer from arthritis and fibromyalgia. Elderly caregivers may be able to see positive results by signing a senior up for a tai chi class, which the AARP says is the best way to learn.