Tai Chi: Body & mind medicine program for Australian nurses’ mental wellbeing

Credit: ECU Holistic Health Research Clinic

Australian nurses have experienced higher anxiety levels during the COVID-19 pandemic than before.

This may have affected their long-term mental health and intention to stay in the profession, resulting in a workforce shortage that impacts the health system and community. Management is urgently required to improve nurses’ wellbeing.

Tai Chi is a moderate exercise known as a moving meditation. Tai Chi is commonly used to manage mental health. Studies have documented that Tai Chi showed promise to mental wellbeing.

The ongoing Tai Chi: Body & mind medicine research program is approved by the ECU’s Human Research Ethics Committee (No. 2021-03042-WANG). This is an ongoing 12-week training program that runs three times a week. Each session lasts 45 minutes. Participants are required to commit themselves to at least two sessions per week for 12 weeks (24 sessions in total). They will receive a certificate confirming their training. Currently, we are running for ECU gym members; nurses who are ECU gym members can contact Dr Wang for more details. There is also a possibility of running the program specifically for nurses in WA.

Essentially, we use Tai Chi as a safe, sustainable non-pharmacological approach to managing chronic disease and mental wellbeing.

With a focus on integrating holistic health concepts, Dr Wang’s research interest is in holistic health-related clinical trials using non-pharmacological therapies (eg. Tai Chi, acupuncture, laser therapy, cupping) to improve health outcomes, especially chronic pain and mental health. There is also an opportunity for nurses to research these areas (c.wang@ecu.edu.au).



Carol Chunfeng Wang PhD, RN, RAc is a Lecturer, Researcher, Holistic Practitioner in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.

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