Research: GRYFFIN and CHEN,

Listed in Issue 236

Abstract

GRYFFIN and CHEN, (1)Department of Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida, Gainesville,  FL 32611, USA. pgryffin@hhp.ufl.edu identified the underlying mechanisms affecting smoking cessation among smokers taking T’ai Chi classes.

Background

The objective of this study was to identify underlying mechanisms affecting smoking cessation among smokers taking T’ai Chi classes. Smokers from T’ai Chi classes had attributed T’ai Chi practice as the primary reason for quitting smoking.

Methodology

Two (2) students from the community college population who had taken a t'ai chi class completed an open-ended questionnaire, to identify possible variables involved in motivations for smoking cessation. An Internet search identified a third student from a university program who had posted observations of how T’ai Chi affected her efforts at smoking cessation. The three written responses were evaluated for correlating comments, to identify possible theoretical aspects of why T'ai Chi would impact smoking cessation. All three identified increased awareness of smoking habits due to T'ai Chi as the primary reason for quitting smoking. A review of literature was conducted to clarify the role of enhanced awareness as a mediator in modifying destructive behaviour and addiction. Results from an unpublished study of a T'ai Chi smoking cessation program were utilized as supporting data.

Results

Two (2) primary areas of behaviour modification focusing on the role of enhanced self-awareness are identified from the review of literature: Mindfulness Meditation (MM), and traditional Zen practice. Zen and MM are identified as readily adaptable to using T'ai Chi as a form of moving meditation for dealing with addiction.

Conclusion

T'ai Chi, as a more dynamic form of meditation, can be an effective method for enhancing mindfulness and awareness for breaking cycles of addiction and habit. Possible effects on physical cravings were also identified. As a novel and unusual form of mind/body exercise, T'ai Chi may be a particularly appealing adjunct to smoking cessation programs, particularly in light of the many ancillary health benefits of T'ai Chi.

References

Gryffin PA(1) and Chen WC. Implications of t'ai chi for smoking cessation. J Altern Complement Med. 19(2):141-5. Feb 2013. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0094. Epub Jul 9 2012.

Comment

The above review of the literature clarifies how T’ai Chi can be used as a moving meditation for enhancing mindfulness and awareness for breaking cycles of addiction and habit, including smoking cessation

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