Posts Tagged ‘Baduanjin’

Qigong, Osteoporosis and Bone Density

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Qigong, Osteoporosis and Bone Density

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In an study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion and the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was undertaken to determine the health benefits of Qigong, including various T’ai Chi forms.  T’ai Chi is a more recent moving form of the ancient practice of  Qigong.  This article deals specifically with results pertaining to osteoporosis and the ability to recover bone density.

The usual recommendations for increasing bone formation and strength are resistance and weight bearing exercise. Although Qigong does not usually involve significant resistance in the muscular sense, and only nominal weight bearing, four separate studies revealed positive effects on bone wellness.  This was particularly noticeable in post menopausal women. Bone loss was slowed and fractures were less common. One study showed improved bio-markers for bone health.  More specifically, bone density actually increased in women.  Additionally, H H Chen showed that a 12 week program of training in The 8 Treasures (Baduanjin qigong) showed significant improvements in bone mass compared to a control group.

This results may seem counter-intuitive for practitioners steeped in the western allopathic model. How can bone mass increase with no resistance training and only minimal weight bearing? This one of the very many mysteries to the western mindset of these ancient Taoist practices. It may very well be possible that these outcomes are related to the stimulation of the endocrine system via the channeling of vital energy (qi, chi) through the chakras, which have partial control over the functioning of the endocrine glands. We study this in some depth in our advanced levels of Tantric Qigong training. (c) 2013 Keith E. Hall and  All rights reserved.

Jahnke, et al. A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. Am J Health Promot. 2010 JUL-AUG; 24(6): e1–e25.
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health PMC3085832.
Chen HH, et al. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(5):741-7.   PMID: 17080541

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