Posts Tagged ‘immunity’

T’ai Chi and Your Immune System

Friday, February 21st, 2014

T’ai Chi and Your Immune System

T’ai Chi practitioners know that they experience better overall health, but what are the mechanisms involved?  Dr. Peter Wayne, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School is inclined to believe that movement, breathing, attention, visualization, and rich psychosocial interactions, make Tai Chi a powerful, multidimensional tool for improving  one’s health.*

T'ai Chi, Immunity, Immune system,shingles,T Cells,diabetes,qigong, tantric qigongAccording to a recently published article in Asian Fortune Magazine, T’ai Chi can be a powerful force for improving the functioning of your immune system.** Tai Chi can create more efficient, deeper breathing and better blood circulation, allowing antibodies and cellular components of the immune system to better reach marauding pathogens and neutralize them.

 Shingles  The University of California – Los Angeles conducted a research study that found that 25 weeks of consistent T’ai Chi practice improved immune response to the shingles virus compared to people who received shingles vaccinations but did not practice Tai Chi.  When Tai Chi practice was combined with vaccination, the seniors’ immune response was twice as high as vaccination alone.*** This level of immune response would be comparable to a person thirty years younger, thus T’ai Chi can lead to a kind of “re-youthing” effect.

Improving T Cell Function and WBC Counts  Chang Kung University in Taiwan found that the regular practice of Tai Chi Chuan enhances T cells function in the immune system. This is of particular importance to the T cell function of patients with type 2 diabetes.****  The Chinese Culture University in Taiwan found that Tai Chi Chuan helped increase circulating myeloid dendritic cells, whose main function is to process antigens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) and help the T cells of the immune system to recognize the invaders.  They kind of “out” the invaders so the T Cells can find and attack them. The researchers also noted that “white blood cell (WBC) count in the entire TCC group was greater than that of the controls.”*****

Preserving DNA Integrity A study at the University of Kebangsaan in Malaysia suggests that the regular practice of t’ai chi chuan can reduce damage to one’s DNA. 35 adults over the age of 45 who had practiced tai chi at least 7 years were compared to 35 individuals who did not practice T’ai Chi The individuals practicing T’ai chi had increased levels of normal DNA and lesser levels of damaged DNA compared to the control group who did not practice T’ai Chi.******

 The weak can overpower the strong; the flexible can overcome the rigid, the whole world can perceive this, but does not put it into practice. Tao Te ChingLao Tze

The consistent and steadfast practice of T’ai Chi Chuan promotes increased vitality, flexibility, improved mobility in the elderly and those recovering from illness or accidents, better emotional balance, and a greater sense of overall well-being. © 2014 Keith E. Hall and Inner-Tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

*Wayne, P The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind Harvard Health Publications and Shambhala; April 9, 2013

 **Can Tai Chi Boost Your Immune System?  Asian Fortune Magazine Dec. 23 2013

 ***Irwin, M.R., et al. Augmenting immune responses to varicella zoster virus in older adults: A randomized, controlled trial of Tai Chi. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2007), 55(4):511-517

 ****Yeh, et al, Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise improves T cell helper function of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with an increase in T-bet transcription factor and IL-12 production  Br J Sports Med 2009;43:845-850 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.043562

*****Chiang J, et al, Tai Chi Chuan increases circulating myeloid dendritic cells. Immunol Invest. 2010;39(8):863-73. doi: 10.3109/08820139.2010.503766. Epub 2010 Aug 18.

******Med J Malaysia. 2008 Oct;63(4):319-24.

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Qigong And Leukemia

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Qigong And Leukemia

Tantric Qigong has proven an effective treatment for inhibiting or destroying leukemia cells in mice and certain other types of human cancer cells. The studies here fall into two broad classes: in vitro and in vivo studies.

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Typically, the in-vitro studies involved randomly dividing the laboratory-prepared cancer cell cultures into different groups, with one group being treated with external Qigong, plus one or more control groups that did not receive any Qigong treatment. Sometimes, one group was treated by sham Qigong for the same amount of time as the group receiving authentic Qigong treatment. The types of cancer cells included human breast cancer cell lines, erythroleukemia (K562), promyelocytic leukemia, nasopharynglioma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (CNE-2), SGC-7901 gastric adenocarcinoma, the spleen cells of mice, lung tumor cell lines (LA-795), and more. Most of the studies demonstrated the inhibitory effect of Qigong on the growth of these cancer cells in comparison with the control groups and sham-treated groups.

8 Treasures Tantric Qigong for Self Mastery, Eight section brocade, 8 twists of silk, Eight pieces of brocade, Ba Duan Jin, Rockville, Olney, Gaithersburg, Sandy Spring, Aspen Hill, Wheaton, Maryland A team of researchers led by Zonglian Hu at the Cancer Research Center of Nan-Jing Yang-Gong 81 Hospital in China incubated fresh HL-60 cells in short-term suspension cultures in the presence of external Qigong. The results indicated that terminal granulocytic differentiation of only promyelocytic leukemia cells is induced by qigong therapy, and this effect did not appear in the control group. This means that the Qigong treatment disrupted the leukemia cells, causing their death.*

In vivo studies include a study by Feng, et al, who investigated the inhibitory effects of Qigong on leukemia L1210 cells and sarcoma cells in mice.  Feng Lida and her colleagues at the China Immunology Research Center were the first to conduct studies on the effects of emitted Chi by Qigong on human carcinoma cells. They used various techniques for tissue culture, cytogenetics, and electron microscopy to study the effect of External Qigong on the Hale cells and the SGC-7901 line of human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. They repeated the Hale cells experiment 20 times under the identical conditions (treatment sample exposed to External Qigong for 20 minutes), and found that the survival rate of the Hale cells in the Qigong group was an average 69.3% to that of control group, that is, 30.7% of the cells were killed in the 20 minutes of exposure to external Qi. The electron microscope showed that degeneration and swelling took place in some of the cells exposed to emitted Chi.

The experiment with human gastric adenocarcinoma cells was repeated 41 times under the same condition (1 hour exposure to Emitted Qi by Qigong), in which the average survival rate of the cancer cells was 74.9% of that in the control, that is to say, the average destruction rate was 25.1%. The total abnormality rate of the chromosomes in the Qigong group (5.39%) was significantly higher than that of the control group (1.40%) ).

In other words, approximately 25-31% of the cancer cells in this study were killed outright by Qigong. In addition, Qigong disrupted the genetic code of the cancer cells at a rate almost 4 times of that of the control group.**  © 2010 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

References

*Hu, Zonglian; Chen, Huiying; Jiang, Shufang. Cancer Research Center, Nan-Jing Yang-Gong 81 Hospital, China. Observation of Chinese qigong (Lu Ho Kuen outer qi) on inducing terminal granulocytic differentiation of the human promyelocytic leukemia cell line, HL-60. 2nd Int. Conf on Qigong. Xian, China. 95E; 1989.

**Feng Lida, Effect of emitted qi on the L 1210 cells of leukemia in mice. Proceedings, First World Conference for Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong, Beijing, China. 1988: 4-5.

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Qigong and Immunity

Monday, November 9th, 2009

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Qigong and Immunity

These days our immune systems are coming under increasing and unremitting stress. Fortunately, there has been tremendous anecdotal evidence over millennia of the ability of Tantric  Qigong and T’ai Chi practitioners to enhance their immune system functions. No one really knows exactly how this occurs, at least in term of the prevailing Western medical paradigm. However, in recent years there have been an increasing number of medical studies endeavoring to measure and delineate this immune enhancing effect.

Protective Energy and General Immunity
Qigong is thought to have a protective and immune enhancing effect on an energetic level. This protective or Guardian Chi energy extends outside the body and forms a shield, deflecting environmental and negative emotional energies from other people. The strength of this Guardian Qi establishes a defensive perimeter that helps one resist the invasive nature of detrimental energies that can cause disease.

In a study published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Dr. Steven K.H. Aung states that in the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), disease is triggered by: “…external pathogenic factors in conjunction with…anger, sadness and anxiety, TCM has developed various proactive measures for…immune-enhancement…Certainly, Qi Gong…is a key protective…seeking to build up and enhance the protective energy and immunity of both patients and practitioners.¹

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Cellular Immune Effects
On a cellular level, qigong practice tends to balance the quality, quality, and phagocytic activity of key immune system components such as neutrophils and Natural Killer cells

In a study by Quan-Zhen Li et al, the life span of neutrophils (white blood cells) increased in Qigong practitioners, while the cells responsible for inflammation decreased. The ability of the white cells to “eat” pathogens (neutrophilic phagocytosis) was significantly increased in Qigong adepts. The authors conclude that Qigong practice regulates immunity and this may be occurring at a genetic level.²

Higuchi Yuzo of the Tokyo Institute of Technology notes that “…Effective results have been achieved in regular qigong sessions…after a 40-minute session…a marked increase in the level of NK (Natural Killer) cell activity was detected…These results suggest that by conducting qigong practice, immunity and adjustment functions are enhanced.”³

Reduced Tumor Growth and Cancer Survival Rates

Several studies have examined the effect of qigong practice on cancer survival rates, decreases in tumor size, reduced side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, improved immune function, and quality of life.

A review of 50+ studies of Qigong cancer therapy in China showed that the Qigong groups displayed more improvement or had a better survival rate than those who did not practice Qigong. In vivo studies found that groups using Qigong as a treatment modality have significantly reduced tumor growth or longer survival.4

A clinical study of Qigong as a therapeutic aid for patients diagnosed with advanced cancer showed improvements 4 – 9 times greater than the control group in strength, appetite, and other markers. The phagocytic rate, a measure of the immune function, improved in the Qigong group but decreased in the control group.5

Dr. Wang and colleagues advise cancer patients to practice qigong exercises while receiving treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. They found that that the general health of the group practicing Qigong improved. The general health of the control group deteriorated and had a concomitant decline in white blood cell count.

It is great to have these clinical studies validate the healing power of Qigong. This is especially valuable for academicians, policy makers, and the general population of people who have yet to practice Qigong. For those of us who partake regularly of the joy and healing power of Tantric Qigong, the results are self-evident. © 2009 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com.  All rights reserved.

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T’ai Chi and Your Immune System

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¹A Practitioner’s View Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Build Up the Immune System Steven K.H. Aung. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Sept./Oct. 1996, 2(5): 288-292.

²Genomic Profiling of Neutrophil Transcripts in Asian Qigong Practitioners: A Pilot Study in Gene Regulation by Mind–Body Interaction, Ping Li, Gabriela E. Garcia, Richard J. Johnson, Lili Feng. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2005, 11(1): 29-39.

³Immune Responses During Zhang Method Qigong. Higuchi Yuzo, et al J Int Soc Life Inf Sci, Vol.20; No.2; (JA)451-452,450,(EN)449-450(2002)

4Kevin Chen, PhD, MPH, Raphael Yeung, BA Exploratory Studies of Qigong Therapy for Cancer in China
Integrative Cancer Therapies, Vol. 1, No. 4, 345-370 (2002)

5Sun Q, Zhao L. Clinical observations of qigong as a therapeutic aid for advanced cancer patients. Proceedings First World Conf Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong, China. 1988:97-98

6Wang S, Wang B, Shao M, Li Z. Clinical study of the routine treatment of cancer coordinated by qigong. 2nd World Conf for Acad Exch of Medical Qigong. Beijing, China 1993:129

Qigong, Immunity, and Influenza

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

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Qigong, Immunity, and Influenza

With debate raging over the efficacy and side effects of the H1N1 flu vaccine, which contains mercury (as thimerosal) and may contain other raise and lower Both Hands, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyomingadjuvants, perhaps it is appropriate to consider carefully some natural alternatives to increase one’s immune response.

It is well known to practitioners of T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong that these arts demonstrably improve one’s overall health and vitality in a gentle, non-stressful manner. The relevant question here is, does the practice of these ancient Qi generating exercises convey additional immunity to protect oneself specifically from influenza infections?

In one study, conducted by Dr. Yang, et al and published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine (35(4):597-607), researchers found that Qigong and T’ai Chi can definitely enhance immune response. A group of 50 adults was divided into two groups. One practiced qigong, meditation, and T’ai Chi forms, while the control group did no exercise. The Qigong – T’ai Chi group attended three one-hour Qigong and meditation classes each week.

All of the participants in the study got vaccinated for the flu at the beginning of the study and had blood titres performed periodically during the succeeding months. Results showed that the group practicing Qigong and T’ai Chi had significantly higher antibody responses to the influenza virus than the control group. In the Qigong – T’ai Chi group, results showed a 173%, 130% and 109% increase in antibodies to the flu at 3, 6, and 20 weeks while the control group showed only a 10% –  58% increase in influenza immunity.

From the Abstract of the American Journal of Chinese Medicine:
“… This study was intended to examine whether 5 months of moderate Taiji and Qigong (TQ) practice could improve the immune response to influenza vaccine in older adults… Baseline pre-vaccine blood samples were collected. All subjects then received the 2003–2004 influenza vaccine during the first week of the intervention. Post-vaccine blood samples were collected 3, 6 and 20 weeks post-intervention for analysis of anti-influenza hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers. We found a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the magnitude and duration of the antibody response to influenza vaccine in TQ participants when compared to CON. The vaccination resulted in a 173, 130, and 109% increase in HI titer at 3, 6, and 20 weeks post-vaccine, respectively, in the TQ group compared to 58, 54, and 10% in CON. There was a significant between group difference at 3 and 20 weeks post-vaccine and at 20 weeks the TQ group had significantly higher titers compared to the pre-vaccine time point, whereas the CON group did not. A higher percentage of TQ subjects also responded to the influenza A strains with a protective (> 40HI) antibody response (37% TQ vs. 20% CON for the H1N1 strain and 56% TQ vs. 45% CON for the H3N2 strain…”¹

What does this mean?

After 20 weeks, the practitioners of Qigong had an average of over 10 times the immune response to the flu than the control group (who were vaccinated, but did not practice Qigong). Additional immunity specific to Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu was detected in the Qigong group.

More ways to reduce the risk of contracting the flu:

–Wash your hands frequently

–Eliminate or reduce white sugar in your diet. Excessive sugar consumption can have a debilitating effect on the immune system.  See some other dietary guidelines for increasing immune function.

–Take a high quality source of omega 3 fats which help strengthen cell membranes, improving resistance to infection.

–Optimize your vitamin D levels. An optimal level of vitamin D can help you fight infections of all kinds.

–Get plenty of sleep.

–Manage your stress. When you are stressed your body does not have the reserve of Chi necessary to fight off viral infections.  See more about programs for stress management here © 2009 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

¹Effects of a Taiji and Qigong intervention on the antibody response to influenza vaccine in older adults. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(4):597-607

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Winterize Yourself

Qigong and Immunity

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Nutrition to Increase Your Immunity

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Nutrition to Increase Your Immune Response

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Garlic
Fresh garlic contains allicin, a sulfur-bearing substance that acts as a natural antibiotic in addition to being a potent antioxidant. You can use garlic in cooked vegetables, sauces, soups, and stews. The trick is not to cook the garlic, which lessens its potency. Cook your food and then add one or more crushed fresh garlic cloves for maximum effect. Use fresh garlic earlier during the day rather than late at night as some people report that fresh garlic can irritate their stomach, so be careful.

Yogurt
Yogurt and yogurt products that contain live active cultures can be a powerful intestinal probiotic. It reduces the ability of those pesky pathogens to colonize your intestinal tract. Lactobacilli can increase T cell production and protect against intestinal flu, yeast, and other nasty infections. If you are taking a lot of garlic, you should alternate your doses with plenty of viable lactobacilli.

Elderberry
Elderberries and their extracts are anti-inflammatory and may prevent the flu virus from replicating.

Nuts
Certain nuts and seeds contain generous amounts of zinc, an antioxidant known to increase T-cells. Almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sesame, chickpeas, all contain good amounts of zinc as do baked beans, cheddar cheese, and yeast. Zinc is also found in many over-the-counter cold remedies.

According to NIH, “Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes and it plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence and is required for proper sense of taste and smell. A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.”

Mushrooms
Certain mushrooms may have an immune boosting effect. They include shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms. Make them into a good homemade soup.

Beets
Fresh, raw beet juice is said to be able to inactivate the flu virus

Flax seed
Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which help strengthen cell membranes, improving resistance to infection.

Tea
All Tea is rich in antioxidants to protect cells. A Japanese study reports that tea acts as a vaccination against flu when used as a mouthwash. According to the UK Tea Council, green suppresses the growth of influenza cells and may actually kill the influenza virus.

Carrots
Carrots contain high amounts of Beta-Carotene, a nutrient vital to the integrity of the mucosa of the respiratory system. Healthy mucous membranes are better able to repel invading bacteria and viruses. Any orange or yellow vegetable such as  squash, pumpkins, etc. will contain good amounts.

Low Fat Protein
Protein is necessary for tissue growth and repair. Inadequate amounts of protein have been found to degrade the immune system and impair T-cells. Low fat diets increase immune response partly by reducing the lipid content of the blood, thus improving the ease of blood circulation and the motility of cellular components of the immune system. Low-fat cheese or cottage cheese, yogurt, and tofu are good sources.

Broccoli
Broccoli, like garlic contains compounds that may have an antimicrobial effect. Broccoli contains quercetin, a potent anti viral compound. According to a study published by The American Physiological Society, mice given quercetin were less likely to contract the flu.

Citrus Fruits
Citrus contains excellent levels of natural Vitamin C, which cannot be stored by our bodies. Vitamin C increases neutrophilic (white blood cell) motility thus increasing immune response. Citrus also contains anti-inflammatory bioflavanoids that can strengthen delicate capillaries and may have antiviral properties. Other foods containing good amounts of vitamin C include tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, pomegranates, artichokes, and strawberries.

A Word About Exercise
Stressful exercise can put a severe strain on the body’s immune system. Aggressive exercise has been shown to increase the susceptibility of mice to infection. We recommend T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong as exercises that increase vitality and resistance to disease.  For those of you taking the Tantric Qigong courses, Raise And Lower Each Hand Alternately is the best. © 2009 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

See also: Winterize Yourself

Qigong and Immunity

T’ai Chi and Your Immune System

Qigong, Immunity, and Influenza

T’ai Chi Instruction

The Benefits of Tantric Qigong

Qigong, T’ai Chi, and Menopause

T’ai Chi and Longevity

Qigong For Addiction

Tantric Qigong as Mindfulness Meditation

T’ai Chi, Tantric Qigong, Meditation, and Insomnia

T’ai Chi and Mental and Physical Health

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Part 2: Winterize Yourself!

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Taoist & Yogic Practices.

Tantric Qigong
Tantric qigong (chi kung)  can be so ideal in the winter. Even though the earth is cold and hibernating, one can draw on the Earth’s deep Yin while willfully stimulating the Heavenly Yang.  Tantric Qigong includes gentle movement, conscious breathing, and stretching. It takes only 10 minutes and can be practiced either indoors, or outside in the natural light for additional benefit. In the winter, Tantric qigong helps you to fire up your Heavenly Chi while drawing on the deep stability and steadfastness of the Earth’s Yin.

Here are some tips for practicing  Tantric Qigong in wintertime:

–Increase the number of repetitions of the 8 Treasures.
–Focus on directing the chi inward. Pay particular attention to Chakras 2, 3a, 3c, 4 and 6.
–Do “Raise and Lower Hands Alternately” to stimulate and balance the immune system while drawing in and balancing the Heavenly and Earthly Qi.

Tantric Qigong: Raise Hands alternately

Tantric Qigong: Raise Hands alternately

Here are some additional exercises from the Advanced Tantric Qigong curriculum that may be helpful. Some of these 8 Treasures Tantric qigong forms balance yin and yang, some permeate the body with energy, some balance the pineal gland. If you’ve taken the courses, you know which does what.

–Golden Serpent (Tantric Qigong Level 2)
–Heavenly Chakra Qi Gong (Tantric Qigong Level 3)
–Transmuting Breath (Tantric Qigong Level 4, part 1)
–Transmuting Breath 2 (Tantric Qigong Level 4, part 2)
–Heart Breath 3 (Tantric Qigong Level 5, part 3)
–Tumo meditation (Tantric Qigong Level 5, part 4) © 2006 Keith E. Hall. All rights reserved. Part 3: Some simple suggestions

See also: Winter Meditation for Collecting Life Force

Qigong and Immunity

Qigong, Immunity, and Influenza

T’ai Chi and Physical and Mental Health

Presencing

See how the change of the seasons affects your Qi and Life Force:Tantric Taoist Sexology & The Seasons.

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