A team in the US has recently reported that T’ai Chi and Yoga are effective practices for helping pregnant women with depression. The study of 92 women found that a combination of T’ai Chi and Yoga reduced depression, anxiety and sleep problems, compared with a ‘waiting list’ control group.
The 9 months of pregnancy obviously place a great demand on the woman, both physically and also mentally and emotionally. For this reason, Chinese medicine places great importance in strengthening the woman before and during pregnancy (and in restoration following childbirth) and all the branches of Chinese medicine are useful for support at these times.
Prenatal Depression is seen as part of a holistic ‘overview’ of body and mind – for instance the woman may have a ‘deficiency pattern’ characterised by depression, weakness, and tiredness, or maybe a pattern involving ‘fire’ which would have depression, anxiety, heat and redness.
T’ai Chi and Yoga work on calming the mind and stretching, moving, and relaxing the body. Although they are gentle practices, they can have a profound effect on regulating our energy and balancing mind and body. For mental and emotional conditions they can create a feeling of space and quietness – helping you to step out of the everyday concerns and connect with an inner peace and calmness.