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Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong: Physical and Mental Practice for Functional Mobility

Gallagher, Bill MS, PT, CMT, CYT

Article

Evidence mounts that Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan, T'ai Ch'i Ch'uan) and Qigong (Chi Gung, Chi Gong, Chi Kung), a system of physical and mental practice, is a preventative and restorative therapy for elders seeking to reverse or prevent frailty by preventing falls, improving balance, strengthening, enhancing cardiorespiratory fitness, treating arthritis, and eliciting a relaxation response. Knowledge of Chinese internal martial arts, together with clinical biomechanics and psychophysiology, suggests that Tai Chi and Qigong should also benefit some elders who have incontinence or low back pain. The combination of direct and indirect evidence can serve as a springboard for further evaluation of this system by researchers and clinicians.

From the East West Rehabilitation Institute, New York, NY.

Corresponding author: Bill Gallagher, MS, PT, CMT, CYT, East West Rehabilitation Institute, 360 Cabrini Blvd, Suite 3B, New York, NY 10040 (e-mail: billgpt@bellatlantic.net).

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.