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The Question: I read that tai chi can help adults sleep. Would it have the same effect on children?

Answer: Tai chi, the ancient Chinese martial art, has now been predominantly adapted as a health practice in the United States. Some studies have found modest quality-of-life benefits, including improved sleep, for adults with cancer, arthritis, and depression, but there have been no studies pub-lished that demonstrate any benefits for children. That said, since tai chi is a physical activity that promotes a calm and centered mind (like yoga), it might be helpful as an alternative for children suffering from sleep issues related to anxiety. Ask your pediatrician if she can recommend a class in your area.

Lawrence D. Rosen, M.D., a member of KIWI’s editorial advisory board, is the founder of The Whole Child Center in Oradell, New Jersey, and the coauthor of Treatment Alternatives for Children.

Have a question for Dr. Rosen? 
E-mail him at [email protected]

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