coPD / LUNG DISEASE and Tai Chi & qigong

COPD: Tai chi a 'viable alternative' to standard treatment
A new study published in the journal Chest has revealed that the ancient martial art is just as effective as pulmonary rehabilitation for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The therapeutic effects of qigong in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the stable stage: a meta-analysis
In this meta-analysis of RCTs between ten included studies, we found that Qigong can improve COPD patients in lung function, exercise capacity and quality of life who were in the stable stage.
-- BMC - Complimentary Medicine and Therapies

Practicing Tai Chi helps improve respiratory function in patients with COPD
Tai Chi offers a low-cost, easily accessible alternative to pulmonary rehabilitation, study finds
Currently, pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is used where available to improve exercise capacity and quality of life, but the treatment requires access to trained staff and specialized facilities. A new study looked at Tai Chi as a lower cost, more easily accessed treatment option. Investigators found that this slow, methodical form of exercise is equivalent to PR for improving respiratory function in patients with COPD.

Therapeutic Effects of Qigong in Patients with COPD: A Randomized Controlled Trial
This study solidifies the concept that both HQG [Health Qigong] and PR [Puliminary Rehabilitation] produce positive effects on subjective symptoms and functions among COPD patients, and also provided evidence that HQG can induce additional effects compared to conventional PR.
-- Science Direct
(Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy)

Effects of the tai chi qigong programme on functional capacity, and lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients: A ramdomised controlled trial
In conclusion, this study demonstrated that combined center and home-based TCQ training improves functional capacity, dyspnea score, the quality of life of individuals with mild to moderate COPD. Furthermore, TCQ is safe and feasible for mild to moderate COPD patients to practice at home.

For people with chronic lung problems, such as COPD and pulmonary fibrosis, practicing Tai Chi has been shown to improve
the six-minute walking test, improve overall quality of life and decrease feelings of breathlessness.

Tai Chi Exercise for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Pilot Study
The patients were willing to be randomized. Among 4 of the 5 patients in the intervention group, adherence to the study protocol was excellent. The cohort’s baseline mean ± SD age, percent-of-predicted FEV1, and ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity were 66 ± 6 y, 50 ± 12%, and 0.63 ± 0.14, respectively. At 12 weeks there was significant improvement in Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire score among the tai chi participants (1.4 ± 1.1), compared to the usual-care group (−0.1 ± 0.4) (P = .03). There were nonsignificant trends toward improvement in 6-min walk distance (55 ± 47 vs –13 ± 64 m, P = .09), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (−9.0 ± 9.1 vs −2.8 ± 4.3, P = .20), and University of California, San Diego Shortness of Breath score (−7.8 ± 3.5 vs −1.2 ± 11, P = .40). There were no significant changes in either group’s peak oxygen uptake.
-- NIH (National Institutes of Health)

Tai chi: Promising for COPD

Studies suggest that tai chi can help people with COPD boost their ability to walk and do other types of exercise, as well as improve their quality of life. The benefits are thought to arise from the combination of movement, breathing, and relaxation.

Tai Chi Treats Lung Disease COPD - Says Australia Lung Foundation.
Evidence-Based Tai Chi Treatment
Australian Aging Agenda, 8/16/2012

A new study from the University of Sydney, hailed as one of the most comprehensive and conclusive studies of its kind, suggests that Sun-style of Tai Chi is not only a valid but an incredibly effective form of exercise therapy for people with COPD, which improves a person's capacity to improve exercise capacity and quality of life.

Recently published in the European Respiratory Journal, the research has also found that the more gentle brand of Tai Chi may be as beneficial as the traditional exercise of standard pulmonary rehabilitation. . . .

According to Australian Lung Foundation figures, the treatment could help an overwhelming percentage of people with COPD, as only about one per cent of the population with the disease currently have access to pulmonary rehabilitation.
-- Australian Aging Agenda, August 16, 2012
-- Shanghai Daily, 8/15/2012

Harvard Health Publication on Tai Chi for COPD
COPD. Conventional pulmonary rehab. programs focus on aerobic exercise and strength training to improve exercise capacity, quality of life, and symptoms in patients with COPD. Tai Chi extends the breathing techniques taught in pulmonary rehab. by integrating novel elements, such as progressive relaxation, imagery/visualization, mindfulness of breathing and overall body sensations, postural training, and coordinated patterns of breathing and movement. These additional therapeutic elements make Tai Chi an effective adjunct to conventional rehabilitation.

Studies: A Harvard study showed that after 12 weeks the Tai Chi group felt significant improvement in chronic respiratory symptoms compared to the usual COPD care group. The Tai Chi group also had slight improvements in their six-minute walking distance, depression, and shortness of breath. Harvard is following up with a larger NIH funded study to compare a Tai Chi group to other meditative techniques, as well as to a non-exercise education program.

A larger Hong Kong study found a Tai Chi Qigong group improved key measures of respiratory function and participated in higher levels of activity when compared to a walking plus breathing exercise or usual care group. The Tai Chi group also reported greater improvements in respiratory health-related quality of life.

Research shows that Tai Chi-like exercises, including Qigong, may help sustain the gains COPD patients make after completing pulmonary rehabilitation, which often is lost after about six months. (Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, pages 176 to 178.)
Read more at Harvard Health Publications ...


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Study of the effect of yoga training on diffusion capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients: A controlled trial
The controlled breathing in yoga can ease anxiety, achieve relaxation, and provide more oxygen to the blood stream. The exercises help open blocked airways caused by bronchitis or emphysema, which are linked to COPD, and improve the function of air circulation. Simple yoga moves can even aid those with advanced COPD.
-- NIH (National Institutes of Health)

Researchers study yoga as a form of pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD
Scientists in India have studied the effects of yoga as a form of pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ...
The participants were split into two groups – the first group was taught yoga exercises, while the other group was put through a structured pulmonary rehabilitation programme ...
the two groups experienced similar improvements to their lung function and exercise stamina after completing their respective courses. Based on these findings, the researchers believe that yoga could be used to help manage COPD.

Mindfulness for COPD
Mindfulness-based therapy, yoga and relaxation were all included in the international GOLD COPD 2019 and 2020 clinical guidelines. Mindfulness has been used to reduce anxiety and depression, improve physical outcomes such as lung function, shortness of breath, and fatigue in those with COPD and psychological problems.

* NOTE: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day advises consulting your physician before beginning any new exercise, herbal, diet, or health program. The research listed here is meant to stimulate a discussion between you and your physician, health insurance carrier, etc., not as medical advise. Research and comments provided here are hoped to stimulate a more robust discussion of powerful natural mind/body health tools. Popular media, health media, and government must increase attention to stunning emerging research, including the UCLA study indicating Tai Chi participants enjoyed a 50% increase in immune system resistance to viral infection.



To learn more about tai chi & qigong medical research, see the below book,
"the complete idiot's guide to tai chi & qigong,", and also
"Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi," and
"The way of qigong: the art and science of chinese energy healing."


Click to purchase this acclaimed best-selling Tai Chi book, with nearly 150 web-video support videos for the detailed text/illustration instruction as a "gift of health" for loved ones.

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"Visionary! If you only buy one book on T'ai Chi, then this is the book. This book is all you ever needed to know to change your life. I have taught T'ai Chi for several decades myself, yet I have now read Bill's book from cover to cover seven times, and still get something new from it each time."
Dr. Michael Steward Sr., D.MA, Ph.D., MA, Senior Coach for Team USA, Inductee of the World Sports Medicine and World Martial Arts Hall of Fame

"Sometimes Chinese culture can be difficult to explain. Sifu Bill Douglas successfully uses American culture to explain the art of T'ai Chi Chuan. He simplifies difficult concepts, making them easier to understand. This book takes the best parts of T'ai Chi and makes them understandable [to Westerners] without requiring a grounding in Chinese culture and history."
– Sifu Yijiao Hong, USA All-Tai Chi Grand Champion and USA Team member; Certified International Coach and Judge, International Wushu Federation

"Douglas has achieved for QiGong what Apple did for the computer. He's brought it to the people … great place to start for beginners. … Teachers may also find this an excellent manual 'on how to explain these concepts to the general public…'"
– R. Poccia, stress management instructor, Beyond Anonymous, San Francisco

"The Tao of Tai Chi: The Making of a New Science" (now available in both English and Spanish))
Tao of Tai Chi: The Making of a New Science



Harvard's Dr. Peter Wayne discusses Tai Chi, Qigong and Bio-Energy with Neuro-biologist, Dr. Richard Hammerschlag,


World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's series of Official ONLINE SUMMITS, have brought some of the top minds in Tai Chi, Qigong, and cutting edge scientists researching Mind-Body practices. World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's global health education work was recognized on page 25 of "The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi" ...

A reflection of how successful the invasion has been is World Tai Chi Day, organized by Bill Douglas. One of the purposes of this day is ‘to bring together people across racial, economic, religious, and geo-political boundaries, to join together for the purpose of health and healing, providing an example to the world.' Millions of people around the world – 65 nations participated in 2011 – gather one day each year to celebrate the health and healing benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong.
— The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi (page 25)

Harvard Medical School Researchers Launch 'Tai Chi as Therapy' Lecture to Commemorate World Tai Chi Day


The new Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi is a powerful reference book for all tai chi and qigong advocates, teachers, etc. The Harvard Guide cites's work in expanding global awareness of tai chi and qigong!

Our efforts have exposed over ONE BILLION potential viewers/readers of mass media to Tai Chi and Qigong and its myriad health benefits, via our annual WTCQD worldwide events.