Subjective Experiences of Older Adults Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong
July 28, 2011
Dr. Yang Yang, a prominent international
Tai Chi expert, led a research group at Department of Kinesiology and Community
Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in a qualitative study
following a 6-month Tai
Chi/Qigong intervention for older adults.
The researchers conducted in-depth interviews
of eight selected participants who elected to continue practicing Tai Chi after the intervention
ended, in order to explore their subjective experiences of Taiji's
effects and their motivations for continuing to practice. They created a Layers
Model to capture the significance and meaning of the multidimensionality of
their reported experiences. Participants not only reported simple benefits along
five dimensions of experience (physical, mental, emotional, social and
spiritual) but also described complex multidimensional experiences.
Overall findings indicate that participants
derived a very wide variety of perceived benefits, the most meaningful being a
felt sense of body-mind-spirit integration. Their results support the important
role of qualitative studies in researching the effects of
Tai Chi and Qigong.
This study will be published by
Journal of Aging Research.