Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Clinicians have a challenge of discovering and implementing new ways to address their patients' health concerns. Some healthcare needs are not completely managed with pharmacotherapy and invasive procedures alone. Military veterans compose a special group due to multiple needs related to physical and emotional symptoms resulting from exposure to trauma. This project explored the benefits of a Tai Chi recreational therapy program. The goal of this trial was to examine gentle movement routines of Tai Chi for emotional benefits for veterans. The literature review provided insight from current evidence into the probable outcome of including alternative medicine options into regular practice for veterans coping with mental health illness. Veterans can find Tai Chi effective for self-management of anxiety, simple strength building and positive social interactions. With better management of mood symptoms from the practice of Tai Chi, pharmacotherapy use may be reduced. The Kirkpatrick model was used to evaluate the effectiveness of training. Although a small sample (n = 9), the results from patients via open ended questionnaire about their Tai Chi experience confirmed its benefit for better management of anxiety symptoms, as well as increased stamina and reduced back pain. Tai Chi has the potential to offer an independent method for managing various symptoms. Complementary alternative medicine such as Tai Chi should be seriously encouraged for self-management of various emotional and physical symptoms. Tai Chi practice incorporated into treatment plans contribute to social change by reducing medicinal use, symptoms exacerbation and financial cost for treating symptoms.