Here is an exercise-based healing secret from the annals of Chinese medicine that could help fight chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD, as it’s known, is an extremely serious and eventually fatal condition of the lungs. But researchers have found that tai chi might counteract its negative effects.
So here we have an ancient Chinese art that blends exercise and meditation. And we have a modern-day respiratory killer that blends emphysema and bronchitis. Researchers believe tai chi could be an effective exercise for COPD patients. It could improve a person’s ability to exercise and restore better quality of life.
PLUS: Fighting COPD Naturally
It is a well-known fact that moderate exercise could help COPD patients improve their exercise tolerance, symptoms of breathlessness, and overall quality of life. This new health breakthrough study wanted to see if tai chi itself could be of value here. Specifically, they used “sun-style” tai chi, which has been shown to help with arthritis. Its easier movements mean that people of any age can try it.
The study was out of the University of Sydney, and included 42 people with COPD. Half the group attended tai chi lessons twice a week, and performed it at home. The other half followed their usual medical management, without exercise.
Compared to the latter, those on the tai chi program ended up being able to walk significantly longer in the walking test. Plus, better scores on the questionnaires mean a better quality of life. And the tai chi was shown to be of moderate level, so that the COPD patients could do it.
COPD is a health issue on the rise. As people grow older, it becomes more of a risk — mostly to people who have smoked for a number of years. Next to lung cancer, COPD is the worst thing that can afflict the respiratory system.
The researchers believe this is “compelling evidence” that tai chi could be effective for these patients and could be a great alternative to regular exercise if it proves too difficult.