To evaluate the sustaining effects of Tai chi Qigong in improving the physiological health for COPD patients at sixth month.

A randomized controlled trial. Subjects were in three randomly assigned groups: Tai chi Qigong group, exercise group, and control group.

The 206 subjects were recruited from five general outpatient clinics.

Tai chi Qigong group completed a 3-month Tai chi Qigong program. Exercise group practiced breathing and walking as an exercise. Control group received usual care.

Primary outcomes included six-minute walking distance and lung functions. Secondary outcomes were dyspnea and fatigue levels, number of exacerbations and hospital admissions.

Tai chi Qigong group showed a steady improvement in exercise capacity (P<.001) from baseline to the sixth month. The mean walking distance increased from 298 to 349 meters (+17%). No significant changes were noted in the other two groups. Tai chi Qigong group also showed improvement in lung functions (P<.001). Mean forced expiratory volume in 1s increased from .89 to .99l (+11%). No significant change was noted in the exercise group. Deterioration was found in the control group, with mean volume decreased from .89 to .84l (-5.67%). Significant decreased in the number of exacerbations was observed in the Tai chi Qigong group. No changes in dyspnea and fatigue levels were noted among the three groups.

Tai chi Qigong has sustaining effects in improving the physiological health and is a useful and appropriate exercise for COPD patients.


Study conducted by:
Aileen W. K. Chan, Albert Lee, Diana T. F. Lee, Lorna K. P. Suen, Wilson W. S. Tam, S. Y. Chair, Peter Griffiths
Complement Ther Med. 2013 Dec; 21(6): 585–594. Published online 2013 Oct 8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.09.008

Full article can be found here:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Chan+AW%2C+et+al.+Complement+Ther+Med.+2013%3B6%3A585-94