There’s a large and growing body of research showing the benefits of tai chi and/or qigong. In most cases it simply backs up the experience of the many practitioners who find it benefits them, improving both general health and specific problems.
So we might ask why we should get excited about research at all. Well one of several reasons, and perhaps the most important, is that in Britain at least, research is the main thing that decides whether something is adopted or promoted by the National Health Service.
So a new study published in the British Medical Journal showing that tai chi (and presumably qigong) is more helpful for fibromyalgia than aerobic exercise (currently the standard treatment/advice) is important.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic and complex condition with little effective treatment. It causes widespread pain as well as fatigue, sleeping problems and memory/concentration problems.
At the moment, sufferers are advised to walk, cycle, lift weights, swim etc. but the findings of the new study suggest, according to its authors, that “it may be time to rethink what type of exercise is most effective for patients. Tai chi mind-body treatment results in similar or greater improvement in symptoms than aerobic exercise, the current most commonly prescribed non-drug treatment,”