A systematic review was conducted of randomised controlled trials for complementary medicine, such as yoga, mindfulness, and tai chi in patients suffering from musculoskeletal or mental health disorders. The articles were sorted based on quality of evidence, sample size, and scoring >50% on the Assessing and Methodology Scale.
It was found that for low back pain, moderate to high quality evidence was present for yoga (four studies supported this), acupuncture (six studies supported this) and tai chi (one study). Of these high quality studies, other complementary treatments were included, such as spinal manipulation and mobilisation, as well as osteopathy.
For mental health, the areas were broken down into: depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, stress and distress disorders. For depression, mindfulness/ medication (two high quality studies), tai chi (one study, in an older population) and relaxation (one study) supported complementary treatment.
For anxiety, meditation (three studies) and yoga (three studies) were supported by evidence. In sleep disorders, three studies investigated meditative input; this was found to have a strong outcome when compared to traditional interventions. For stress and distress disorders, one high-quality study linked to meditation was found.