Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Outcomes: “Practicing tai chi may help to improve balance and stability in older people and in those with Parkinson’s disease, reduce back pain and pain from knee osteoarthritis, and improve quality of life in people with heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Tai chi and qi gong may ease fibromyalgia pain and promote general quality of life. Qi gong may reduce chronic neck pain, but study results are mixed. Tai chi also may improve reasoning ability in older people.”
Evidence Map of Tai Chi
Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US)
Outcomes: “Tai Chi has been investigated as a treatment for a number of clinical indications and outcomes. The systematic review identified 107 Tai Chi systematic studies. Statistically significant effects pooled across existing studies were reported for hypertension, falls outside of institutions, cognitive performance, osteoarthritis, COPD, pain, balance confidence, depression, and muscle strength. However, review authors cautioned that firm conclusions cannot be drawn due to methodological limitations in the original studies and/or an insufficient number of existing research studies.”
A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi,
The Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi
Arizona State University College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, University of North Carolina
Outcomes: Study Inclusion Criteria — RCTs reporting on the results of Qigong or Tai Chi interventions and published in peer reviewed journals published from 1993–2007. Research has demonstrated consistent, significant results for a number of health benefits in RCTs, evidencing progress toward recognizing the similarity and equivalence of Qigong and Tai Chi. Seventy-seven articles met the inclusion criteria. The 9 outcome category groupings that emerged were: bone density (n=4), cardiopulmonary effects (n=19), physical function (n=16), falls and related risk factors (n=23), Quality of Life (n=17), self-efficacy (n=8), patient reported outcomes (n=13), psychological symptoms (n=27), and immune function (n=6).
The effect of Tai Chi on four chronic conditions—cancer, osteoarthritis, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analyses, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Canada
Outcomes: “Meta-analyses showed that Tai Chi improved or showed a tendency to improve physical performance outcomes, including 6-min walking distance (6MWD) and knee extensor strength, in most or all four chronic conditions. Tai Chi also improved disease-specific symptoms of pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis OA. The results demonstrated a favorable effect or tendency of Tai Chi to improve physical performance and showed that this type of exercise could be performed by individuals with different chronic conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure (HF) and osteoarthritis (OA)”.
The health benefits of tai chi , Harvard Medical School
Outcomes: “A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age,” says Peter M. Wayne, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program at Harvard Medical School’s Osher Research Center. An adjunct therapy is one that’s used together with primary medical treatments, either to address a disease itself or its primary symptoms, or, more generally, to improve a patient’s functioning and quality of life. “
Tai Chi on psychological well-being: systematic review and meta-analysis,
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2893078/,
Outcomes: In conclusion, the results of these studies suggest that Tai Chi may be associated with improvements in psychological well-being including reduced stress, anxiety, depression and mood disturbance, and increased self-esteem. High-quality, rigorous, prospective, well-controlled randomized trials with appropriate comparison groups and validated outcome measures are needed to further understand the effects of Tai Chi as an intervention for specific psychological conditions in different populations. Knowledge about the physiological and psychological effects of Tai Chi exercise may lead to new complementary and alternative medical approaches to promote health, treat chronic medical conditions, better inform clinical decisions and further explicate the mechanisms of successful mind-body medicine.
, Research Charts – Effect of Tai Chi on human health and well-being
, Research Charts – Effect of Qigong on human health and well-being