Chinese Exercises, Breathing Patterns Aid COPD Patients

DECEMBER 13, 2015
Rachel Lutz
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients may benefit from the traditional Chinese exercises known as liuzijue qigong (LQG), according to findings published by the American Geriatrics Society for their 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting.
 
Researchers from the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication and the Beijing Sport University subjected participants aged between 65 and 85 years to either the LQG group or a control group in order to investigate the effectiveness of a six month LQG program on physical and psychosocial function in COPD patients.
 
Across seven hospital respiratory care centers in Beijing, 63 patients were enrolled in the LQG group and 63 were in the control group. The LQG activities included four 45 minute sessions each week and daily walking for 30 minutes over a six month time frame. The control subjects only had daily 30 minute walking sessions. The authors collected data from the participants at baseline, after six weeks, and at the conclusion of the study surrounding functional capacity and quality of life measurements.
 
LQG consists of traditional Chinese breathing and meditative movement patterned exercises and are practiced by more than 100 million people in China, the authors added.
 
LQG group participants demonstrated observed improvements in their lung function, overall health, mental health, and quality of life after six months in the program, the researchers found. Specifically, the patients had greater improvements in the six minute walking test, specific airway conductance, monitored functional task evaluation, Medical Outcomes Study 36 item Short Form Health Survey (in measures of both mental and overall health), Chronic Respiratory questionnaire (in dyspnea, emotion, and mastery) at six months follow up compared to the patients not enrolled in the program.
 
“LQG promoted functional capacity and quality of life in older adults with COPD at six months,” the authors wrote. “[It] is a good alternative home exercise program for older adults in the rehabilitation of COPD.”
 
 

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