The NQA Research and Education Committee is happy to provide this handout for qigong instructors to use in support of qigong programs.
Respected Medical Organizations Endorse Qigong
Why Practice Qigong
● Qigong is a form of disease prevention, as it stimulates the relaxation response to promote healing and strengthens the immune system. It maximizes the body’s ability to heal itself.
● Research by respected Medical Organizations has helped to merge conventional medicine with this ancient healing modality to improve the quality of health and life.
● Qigong can be a practice of convenience as one can perform the healing movements anywhere and anytime.
Many respected medical organizations endorse Qigong. Qigong is recommended by:
● Harvard Medical School May 2009 Women’s Health Newsletter says, “Tai Chi is medication in motion” and cites 10 research studies to back their claims. Their 2013 Guide to Tai Chi book summarizes all the research they have done confirming many of qigong’s historical medical claims.
● Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic physicians recommend Qigong for their patients in their newsletters (2008-09).
● National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends Tai Chi to older adults for the benefits found in treating osteoarthritis.
● U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living says, “A number of Tai Chi-based programs have met varying degrees of criteria for inclusion in the Administration on Aging's list of effective evidence-based interventions for improving health and well-being or reducing disease, disability, and/or injury among older adults; and being ready for translation, implementation, and/or broad dissemination by community-based organizations using appropriately credentialed practitioners.”
● National Cancer Institute April 8, 2013 Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine says, “Division of cancer prevention examines Qigong as a way to address the considerable distress and impaired quality of life in rectal cancer patients.”
● The Veterans Administration evidence map cites positive research for Qigong for hypertension, falls outside of institutions, cognitive performance, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pain, balance confidence, depression, and muscle strength.
Qigong is recommended for Older Adults and Seniors
The gentle movements of qigong have proven to be a pioneer in preventing falls in the elderly, reducing the amount of yearly deaths. It is also easy on the joints yet improves flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength, so it is considered a perfect exercise for seniors and older adults.
Recommended for Older Adults and Seniors by:
● National Council on Aging (NCOA)
● American Arthritis Association
● US Administration on Aging
● CDC recommends Qigong for fall prevention
● US Surgeon General recommends Qigong in their report on bone health and osteoporosis
● National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends Tai Chi for osteoarthritis
● Dr. Oz says, if you “want to live to 100 and be healthy, do Qigong.”
Qigong has the ability to improve quality of life
● Qigong has been shown to improve health-related quality of life in adults with a wide variety of medical conditions.
● Qigong for Cancer Patients: Qigong has profound beneficial effects to improve cancer- related quality of life. Benefits confirmed in recent research include improved Quality of Life (QOL), immune function, mood and fatigue parameters, reduced inflammation, and potential for improving survival in cancer patients.
Qigong is recommended for children with special needs
● Research at the Western Oregon University shows that: Qigong can be beneficial for children with Autism and Disabilities. It can also benefit their parents and caregivers.
American College of Sports Medicine Endorses Qigong and Tai Chi
● “Multifaceted physical activities such as tai ji (tai chi), qigong, and yoga involve varying combinations of neuromotor exercise, resistance exercise, and flexibility exercise. Neuromotor exercise training is beneficial as part of a comprehensive exercise program for older persons, especially to improve balance, agility, muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls. Neuromotor exercise training is beneficial as part of a comprehensive exercise program for older persons, especially to improve balance, agility, muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.”
Spotlight on Tai Chi by the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH August 2015) says:
● “Scientific research on the health benefits of tai chi is ongoing, but several prior studies have focused on benefits in older adults, including Tai Chi’s potential for preventing falls, and improving cardiovascular fitness, symptoms of pain associated with rheumatologic diseases (e.g., fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis), and overall well-being. A 2007 study on the immune response to varicella-zoster virus suggested that Tai Chi may enhance the immune system and improve overall well-being in older adults. Tai Chi has also been studied for improving functional capacity in breast cancer patients and the quality of life in people with HIV infection.”
Sources: (for the specific recommendations)
● The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind (Harvard Health Publications) – April 9, 2013 by Peter Wayne
● Klein PJ, Schneider R, Rhoads CJ. Qigong in cancer care: a systematic review and construct analysis of effective Qigong therapy. Support Care Cancer. 2016 July. PMID: 27044279.
● Qigong Institute www.QigongInstitute.org
● National Qigong Association www.NQA.org
Courtesy of the NQA Research and Education Committee. Revised 7/2016.