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Tai chi and qi gong
(say "chee goong") are traditional Chinese movement exercises. They are based
on two ideas:
Tai chi is a series of movements done either very slowly
or quickly to help move the body's chi. People use tai chi as a way to combine
meditation and movement and to improve and maintain health.
gong involves different movements that may be done in different orders. Some
common qi gong movements include raising and lowering the arms, moving the head
from side to side, and gently rubbing the ears, feet, and hands.
use tai chi and qi gong to improve posture, balance, coordination, endurance,
and flexibility and to maintain good health and quality of life. One study
found that tai chi boosts
immunity and resistance to the
shingles virus in older adults.1
As with any
physical activity, people who perform tai chi or qi gong may experience muscle
strains or sprains. Gentle stretching before a tai chi or qi gong session can
prevent most injuries.
In most cases, you can safely use tai chi
or qi gong alongside conventional medical treatments.
your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking
about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical
treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and
rely only on an alternative therapy.
CitationsIrwin MR, et al. (2007). Augmenting immune responses
to varicella zoster virus in older adults: A randomized, controlled trial of
tai chi. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,
55(4): 511–517.Other Works ConsultedCassidy CM (2002). Other treatment modalities: Diet,
body work, and qi gong. In M Micozzi, ed., Contemporary Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, pp. 104–120. Philadelphia: Churchill
June 29, 2011
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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