Dr. B's Blog

Depression and physical activity

A while back, I bookmarked an interesting article (pdf link) that I've been meaning to write about. As I haven't had a chance to really digest the material and compose a longer entry, I thought I just get it up on the site for wider consumption. The gist of the research highlighted therein is that Tai Chi Chih seems to have a positive impact on geriatric depression. Given the relative reluctance some geriatric patients have to psychotherapy and the complicating factors of drug interactions, anything we can do to help that doesn't involve traditional medication management and/or psychotherapy is welcomed. The question remains what is the mechanism of change for this particular intervention. I suspect that it's a result of the increased ability to focus on an activity and the consequent ability to focus away from unwanted ruminations that helps, but that's just my slightly biased-towards-mindfulness explanation.