New Study: Tai Chi and Qigong Beneficial for Health, Wellness and Reducing Healthcare Costs
July 19, 2010 - Tai Chi and Qigong exercise routines offer a number of significant physical and mental health benefits,
published by the American Journal of Health Promotion - AJHP. This finding has significant implication for people's health and wellness and for reducing healthcare costs.
In this comprehensive study, researchers reviewed 77 randomized controlled trials about Tai Chi or Qigong that
were published between 1993 and 2007 and included a total of 6,410 participants. The authors said their review
provides a "stronger evidence base" that Tai Chi and Qigong offer benefits in terms of bone health, cardio-respiratory
fitness, physical function, balance, quality of life, fall prevention and mental health.
In the exclusive interview by ATCQA with the researchers, co-author Dr. Linda Larkey of Arizona State University College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation told ATCQA: "although there have been some reviews on specific effects of tai chi and qigong separately, no one has combined the evidence base in this way across practices and across types of outcomes."
Dr. Roger Jahnke
Dr. Roger Jahnke, the first author of this study, director of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC), and also ATCQA advisor and nationally renowned Tai Chi and Qigong expert,
further explained the significance of this comprehensive study: "the across-the-board health benefits suggest that Tai Chi and Qigong can be
implemented not only therapeutically for individual health conditions but also
for holistic approaches for wellness, health promotion, disease prevention."
"In the diagnostic paradigm, populations must be segmented by disease and risk, whereas in the wellness paradigm,
whole un-segmented populations can be addressed", says Dr. Jahnke.
Dr. Jahnke believes that this helps to eliminate one of the most extreme problems in American healthcare - the rising healthcare costs:
"when one patient is seen by one doctor, the cost per person is high. When many people are supported by one Tai Chi and Qigong Teacher,
the cost per person is low. All citizens have the common capacity to prevent any number of diseases by taking care of themselves.
Teaching a room full of people to take care of themselves is very different from treating a single person who has lost his/her health."
The authors recommended that, with the magnitude of the research demonstrating the relevance of Qigong and Tai Chi, future research should investigate more of the component aspects of these mind-body and meditative movement practices such as the amount of time required to gain benefit, the frequency of practice, the mix of the key components (movement, breath, meditation), the depth of the mind focus, etc.
The review appears in the July/August 2010 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
For more information, please visit the website of The Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi at http://IIQTC.org
or The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine