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Therapeutic Benefits of Mindfulness Practices for Mood Disorders

Wednesday, August 16th 2023 10:00am 3 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Mindfulness practices have gained significant attention in recent years as effective therapeutic interventions for mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. These practices, including Tai Chi, yoga, Qigong, meditation, and mindfulness training, have been extensively studied and have shown promising results in improving mental well-being. This article explores the therapeutic actions of these mindfulness practices and highlights their benefits in alleviating mood disorders, drawing upon evidence from peer-reviewed journals.

Therapeutic actions of mindfulness practices

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a mind-body practice that combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and focused attention. Studies have shown that regular Tai Chi practice can significantly reduce depressive symptoms and improve overall mood. A randomized controlled trial by Wang et al. (2018) demonstrated that Tai Chi was as effective as traditional exercise in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms among individuals with major depressive disorder.


Yoga involves physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote physical and mental well-being. It has been found to have positive effects on mood disorders. A systematic review by Cramer et al. (2019) analyzed multiple studies and found that yoga interventions were associated with significant reductions in depressive symptoms. Yoga’s emphasis on breath control and body awareness may contribute to its therapeutic benefits.


Qigong is a mind-body practice originating from traditional Chinese medicine that combines gentle movements, deep breathing, and meditation. Research has shown that Qigong practice can improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. A meta-analysis by Guo et al. (2020) reviewed 25 studies and reported that Qigong interventions were associated with significant reductions in depressive symptoms.


Meditation involves focusing attention and eliminating the stream of thoughts to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calm. Numerous studies have indicated that meditation can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. A meta-analysis by Goyal et al. (2014) examined 47 trials and found that mindfulness meditation programs were associated with significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms.

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