T'ai Chi and Qigong for Health: Patterns of Use in the United States

Osher Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 1.52). 09/2009; 15(9):969-73. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2009.0174
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Little is known in the United States about those who practice t'ai chi and qigong, two mind-body techniques that originated in Asia.
The objective of this study is to characterize use of t'ai chi and qigong for health with regard to sociodemographics, health status, medical conditions, perceptions of helpfulness, and disclosure of use to medical professionals.
We analyzed associations of t'ai chi and qigong use for health using cross-sectional data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Alternative Medicine Supplement (n = 31,044). The 2002 NHIS estimated the number of t'ai chi and qigong users for health to be 2.5 and 0.5 million persons, respectively. We collapsed t'ai chi and qigong use into a single category (TCQ) for analysis, representing 2.8 million individuals.
We found that neither age nor sex was associated with TCQ use. TCQ users were more likely than nonusers to be Asian than white (odds ratio [OR] 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30-3.15), college educated (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.97-3.03), and less likely to live in the Midwest (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.42-0.96) or the southern United States (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.36-0.72) than the West. TCQ use was associated independently with higher reports of musculoskeletal conditions (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.11-1.83), severe sprains (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.14-2.40), and asthma (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.08-2.10). Half of TCQ users also used yoga for health in the last 12 months. Most TCQ users reported their practice to be important to maintain health, but only a quarter of users disclosed their practice to a medical professional.
In the United States, TCQ is practiced for health by a diverse population, and users report benefits for maintaining health. Further research is needed to establish efficacy and safety for target populations, including those with musculoskeletal and pulmonary disease, as well as for preventive health.

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Available from: Russell S Phillips, Aug 21, 2015
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    • "Tai Chi has been growing in popularity as an exercise regimen in western countries in the last decade [2] [3] as it requires no exercise equipment and is not restricted by training venue. Benefits of Tai Chi training were shown in the healthy, elderly population [4] [5] [6] and also in people with chronic health conditions such as chronic heart failure and cardiovascular diseases [7] [8] [9], Parkinson's disease [10] and osteoarthritis [11] [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Short-form Sun-style Tai Chi (SSTC) is an effective form of exercise training for people with COPD. However, the experiences and perceptions of people with COPD about SSTC are unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences and perceptions of STSS training by people with COPD.
    European Journal of Integrative Medicine 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.eujim.2014.11.005 · 0.65 Impact Factor
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    • "Qigong aims to increase the energy flow, the so-called qi, through the body [11]. Qigong is well accepted in western societies; for example, in the US estimated 500,000 individuals used Qigong for coping with diseases such as musculoskeletal conditions, severe sprains, and asthma [12], or even with cancer [13]. Qigong has proved to be effective for physical conditions and for psychological well-being [10], which could make it a valuable treatment option for fibromyalgia patients, who suffer from physical and psychological complaints. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. The fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition with only few evidence-based complementary and alternative therapies available. This paper presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of Qigong for fibromyalgia syndrome. Methods. The PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cambase databases were screened in December 2012 to identify randomized controlled trials comparing Qigong to control interventions. Major outcome measures were pain and quality of life; and secondary outcomes included sleep quality, fatigue, depression, and safety. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results. Seven trials were located with a total of 395 FMS patients. Analyses revealed low quality evidence for short-term improvement of pain, quality of life, and sleep quality and very low quality evidence for improvement of fatigue after Qigong for FMS, when compared to usual care. No evidence was found for superiority of Qigong compared to active treatments. No serious adverse events were reported. Discussion. This systematic review found that Qigong may be a useful approach for FMS patients. According to the quality of evidence, only a weak recommendation for Qigong can be made at this point. Further high quality RCTs are required for the conclusive judgment of its long-term effects.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2013; 2013:635182. DOI:10.1155/2013/635182 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Qigong is closely related to TC and is also a historical derivative of Chinese healing practices. Like TC, it is believed to manipulate Qi (vital energy) through mind-body exercises [31]. Generally speaking, Qigong is a meditative form of exercise that, like TC, requires coordinated, gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation for physical, mental, and/or spiritual cultivation [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: As a popular exercise form, Tai Chi (TC) has been investigated to determine its contributions to an active and healthy lifestyle. There are an increasing number of researchers who focus on exploring the potential physiological and psychological benefits of TC but only a few systematic reviews of these benefits to a variety of populations. The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively evaluate the reported psychological benefits associated with practicing TC. Although many investigators have reported possible psychological benefits of TC for children, young adults, older healthy adults, and for a variety of patient populations, many of the reports suffer one or more methodological flaws. These flaws include inadequate study design, including lack of control groups, small sample sizes, unsophisticated statistical techniques, or publication without rigorous peer review. After reviewing the results of the existing literature regarding the potential psychological benefits of TC, we recommend that future investigations be conducted with additional adherence to the traditional scientific process.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2012; 2012(1741-427X):678107. DOI:10.1155/2012/678107 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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