Tai Chi Improves Lung Function in COPD Practitioners
By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Internal Arts and Research
Researchers from the School of Nursing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong recently conducted a study looking at the beneficial effects of Tai Chi for lung problems. The study recruited 206 subjects with COPD and divided them into 3 groups - a Tai Chi group, a breathing exercise and walking group, and a control. The study was conducted over 3 months with baseline, 6 week, and 3 month data markers.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a very common lung disease often associated with smoking but there are other causes. COPD makes breathing very difficult and limits mobility and lifestyle and can lead to more serious complications. This study used various lung function measures, results from a 6 minute walk test and COPD exacerbation rate tests to analyze results.
Researchers found significant improvement in the tai chi group in all measures - with no significant changes in the exercise group and worsening symptoms in the control group.
This study is interesting because the Tai Chi group outperformed even the exercise/breathing group. It is easy to associate Tai Chi with any form of exercise, yoga, etc. and to think they will all have similar benefits. The sheer number of studies showing positive effects of Tai Chi, including this one however, likely make this assumption incorrect.