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This is the first case-control study to show that regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise may help retard bone loss in the weight-bearing bones of postmenopausal women.

Tai Chi is a promising intervention for maintaining postmenopausal women's bone mineral density. No significant adverse effects of practicing Tai Chi were reported, and research also indicates that Tai Chi may improve other risk factors associated with low bone mineral density. Therefore, more research needs to be conducted.- Medscape Today, from WebMD, 10/26/2010

A randomized, prospective study of the effects of Tai Chi Chun exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first prospective and randomized study to show that a programmed TCC exercise intervention is beneficial for retarding bone loss in weight-bearing bones in early postmenopausal women. Long-term follow-up is needed to substantiate the role of TCC exercise in the prevention of osteoporosis and its related fracture.

Low bone density. A review of six controlled studies by Dr. Wayne and other Harvard researchers indicates that tai chi may be a safe and effective way to maintain bone density in postmenopausal women. A controlled study of tai chi in women with osteopenia (diminished bone density not as severe as osteoporosis) is under way at the Osher Research Center and Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Bone strength & density. The most rigorous support for the positive effects of Tai chi on BMD (bone marrow density) comes from randomized trials. One trial observed that BMD at the lumbar spine significantly increased following 01 months of Tai Chi, while in sedentary controls, the BMD decreased. ... A second randomized trial observed that for older women (but not men), 12 months of Tai Chi resulted in maintenance of total hip BMD levels when compared to non-exercise controls, who lost bone in their hips ... the beneficial effects of Tai Chi were equivalent to 12 months of resistance training.
Read more at Harvard Health Publications ...

Depression Linked to Bone Loss
See "Anxiety" page of Tai Chi Medical Research Library on how Tai Chi can lower depression.

MENOPAUSAL THERAPY. The QiGong Institute reviewed voluminous studies done worldwide and concluded that QiGong and drug therapy is superior to drug therapy alone, including in the case of menopausal treatments. This mechanism of enhanced drug delivery suggests that QiGong could make possible smaller doses of drugs, which would cause less adverse side effects. For example, QiGong is reported to restore estradiol levels in hypertensive, menopausal women, leading to the possibility that estrogen replacement therapy might not be necessary or might be used at reduced levels.


Consumer Reports on Health's January 2013 edition, reported on a study finding that women who practiced deep breathing techniques that were slower than average breathing, suffered fewer hot flashes and the ones they had were less intense, as compared to a control group not using the deep breathing techniques. Comment: Qigong breathing, which is often used in both Tai Chi and Qigong exercises, involves placing the tip of the tongue lighly on the roof of the mouth and engaging in full diaphramatic breaths, filling the bottom of the lungs first, and then all the way up to the top of the lungs, before a complete exhale then empties from the top all the way down as the abdominal wall draws in gently. These longer, slower, more gradual breaths have a soothing and centering quality. (See below video tutorial on Qigong breathing, an excerpt from The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong, 4th edition).

VIDEO: Qigong Breathing Tutorial

Hot Flashes.

Harvard Health Publication wrote: Hot flashes probably begin in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls body temperature. For reasons that remain elusive, the thermostat in a midlife woman’s body is suddenly reset at a temperature lower than normal. The hot flash is the body’s way of cooling itself, like the way a refrigerator kicks on when you open the door on a hot day ... Some women find deep-breathing exercises helpful. Research suggests that a technique called paced respiration can cut in half the frequency of hot flashes. To perform paced respiration, take slow, deep, full breaths — expanding and contracting the abdomen gently while inhaling and exhaling — at a rate of about six to eight breaths per minute. One of the best ways to learn paced respiration is by taking a yoga class. Practice this technique twice a day for 15 minutes. You can also use paced respiration whenever you feel a hot flash coming on. Stress-relief techniques and biofeedback may also be of some benefit.

Tai Chi and Post Menopausal Women

The US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health published a study on, that found that Tai Chi training improved body composition, muscle strength, functional capacities, and general health perception in postmenopausal women, and this last improvement was more pronounced in tipe 1 dynapenic individuals.

Improvement in sex hormone levels

One consequence of aging is that the levels of sex hormones change in unfavorable directions. For example, female sex hormone (estrogen) levels tend to increase in men and decrease in women. Three studies indicate that qigong exercise can reverse this trend. The effect of qigong exercise on plasma sex hormone levels was determine for hypertensive men and women. The sex hormones levels were measured before and after qigong practice for one year.

Seventy male patients with essential hypertension (ages 40 to 69; disease stage II) were divided into two groups. For the qigong group (n=42), which practice qigong for one year, the estradiol level (E2) decreased from 70.1 to 47.7 pg/ml, a decrease of 32% (p<0.01), while no significant changes occurred in the control group (n=20). The testosterone levels (T) of both groups decreased about 7%. The value of E2 for the qigong group (47.7 pg/ml) approached that of healthy men (42.2±5.8 pg/ml) of the same age but without hypertension or cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, or endocrine diseases (p<0.05).

For women (ages 51 to 67, the number in the group is not available), the aging process was associated with failure of ovarian function manifested by decreased E2 and increased T levels. Qigong practiced one year resulted in an increase of E2 from 40.9±.3.5 to 51.6±3.5 pg/ml, a value about equal to that of normal menopausal controls without hypertension or cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, or endocrine diseases. The value of T was also increased by qigong from 25.5±2.2 to 37.2±2.2 ng/dl.

The favorable changes in estradiol levels, E2, brought about by qigong are summarized in Fig. 3 for both men and women.

-- Qigong Institute

Read entire article.

VIDEO - How Tai Chi and Chi Kung Help Heal or Prevent Illness

* NOTE: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day advises consulting your physician before beginning any new exercise, herbal, diet, or health program. The research listed here is meant to stimulate a discussion between you and your physician, health insurance carrier, etc., not as medical advise. Research and comments provided here are hoped to stimulate a more robust discussion of powerful natural mind/body health tools.
Check for World Tai Chi & Qigong Day articles on various health conditions and Tai Chi & Qigong (Chi Kung) Therapy, that you may publish on your publication or website, by clicking here.

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Popular media, health media, and government must increase attention to stunning emerging research, including the UCLA study indicating Tai Chi participants enjoyed a 50% increase in immune system resistance to viral infection.

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Best-selling Tai Chi author, and 2009 Inductee to the Internal Arts Hall of Fame, Bill Douglas, has been a Tai Chi source for The New York Times; Reader's Digest; The Wall Street Journal; and media worldwide, and is the Official Tai Chi Expert for famed naturopath, Dr. Andrew Weil's websites. Bill was commissioned by Prevention Magazine, to create their Tai Chi Tutorial.

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