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October 2015 - Update on Research: Evidence for the Physiological and Psychological Benefits of Qi-Practices

October 2015 | Program Host: Vicki Dello Joio

Dr. Larkey will review some of the latest research on how Meditative Movement, specifically Qigong and Tai Chi, benefits those who practice regularly. The last 10 years has seen an explosion in published studies providing evidence for benefits ranging from improvements in cognitive function to overcoming fibromyalgia. The research is leaning more now to reveal understandings of the mechanisms of why and how these practices "work," including impacts on the neuroendocrine systems, inflammation, and immune function.

Dr. Linda Larkey is a Sr. Trainer in Qigong and Tai Chi, and certified to teach Tai Chi Easy Community Practice Leaders through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi. Additionally, she is a certified HeartMath System, Resilience Advantage trainer, applying these health and performance building skills to organizational culture change and Resilient Leader training.She has been funded as Principal Investigator in over a dozen research grants (totaling over $8 million) from numerous local and national agencies, including four large, multi-year research grants from the National Institutes of Health. Currently a full professor at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University and a Research Affiliate of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Larkey's primary research interests are testing theory-based methods of communicating health messages to underserved/low-income populations, using "storytelling" methods to promote cancer screening and primary prevention behaviors; community-based participatory research practices; and examining mind-body methods of alleviating persistent symptoms, such as fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, in cancer survivors.Dr. Larkey has been engaged at the state and national levels in challenging and changing health policy through coalition building. She is applying her long-time personal interest and training in integrative medicine to research Meditative Movement as a category of mind-body exercise. In particular, she has launched studies to examine quality of life, cardiovascular health, weight loss, and psychoneuroimmunological effects of Qigong and Tai Chi among older adults and cancer survivors.