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Optimizing the Health Benefits from Tai Chi and Qigong
January 19, 2016 -
What can you do to optimize the health benefits from Tai Chi and Qigong? Researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University conducted a study to explore the potential influence of curriculum, frequency of practice, and dietary quality on the health of experienced Tai Chi and Qigong practitioners.

They collected the responses from a volunteer sample of Tai Chi practitioners from across the United States using an online survey. The instrument was designed to collect data on health-related quality of life, diet, and Tai Chi practice regimens. Those included in the analysis were people who had practiced Tai Chi or Qigong for at least 4 years and aged between 24 and 83. Relationships among self-reported health, diet, experience, practice frequency, and curricular complexity were analyzed.

Practitioners' health status did not show the typical negative association with age and was positively associated with complex curricula, practice, and high-quality diets. Significant interaction effects were seen between (1) curricular complexity and additional practice and (2) curricular complexity and diet.

So the researchers concluded that Tai Chi or Qigong program designers, teachers and practitioners should consider the potential influence of curricula, out-of-class practice, and healthy diets for optimizing health-related gains and minimizing age-related losses in Tai Chi and Qigong programs.

Their findings were published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.


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