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Tai Chi, Qigong offer physical and mental health benefits

07-09-2010 09:22 BJT

LOS ANGELES, July 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. researchers have found that Tai Chi and Qigong exercises offer a significant physical and mental health benefits.

Researchers at Arizona State University College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation reviewed 77 randomized controlled trials about Tai Chi or Qigong that were published between 1993 and 2007 and included a total of 6,410 participants.

Participants perform tai chi, a traditional form of Chinese martial arts in Beijing on August 8, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
Participants perform tai chi, a traditional form of Chinese martial 
arts in Beijing on August 8, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The review provides a "stronger evidence base" that Tai Chi and Qigong offer benefits in terms of bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, physical function, balance, quality of life, fall prevention and mental health, the researchers said in a news release published by HealthDay News on Thursday.

"We see (these findings) as moving the understanding of the potential of Qigong and Tai Chi forward, with an emphasis on combining the evidence across these practices," review co-author Linda Larkey said. "Tai Chi and Qigong have many health benefits and therefore should be considered a high priority when one is selecting an exercise to practice," said Shin Lin, a professor at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, said in the news release.

Lin, who was not involved in the review, explained that Qigong is a "very general term to describe exercises that will enhance qi flow or balance." The term Qigong combines "qi" for energy and "gong" for work or exercise. Tai Chi is a more specific form of exercise that focuses on a series of 24 to 108 movements.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua