For those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), breathing is often cumbersome and labor-intensive. Even the most menial of activities can become difficult, but a traditional Chinese breathing exercise could make breathing that much easier.
Practiced by over 100 million people in China, the traditional Chinese breathing exercise, known as liuzijue qigong (LQG), uses a meditative movement of patterned exercise to create a state of “zen”. Much like yoga, a group of meditative movements popular in the U.S., LQG is helping people to improve and stabilize their breathing.
In a recent study conducted in Beijing, China, researchers used “126 COPD patients, aged between 65 and 85 years old to undergo a 45-minute LQG program, 4 times a week, along with daily walking for 30 minutes for 6 months”. Another group of participants (the control group) were instructed to only walk daily for 30 minutes.
The researchers found that “the LQG group exhibited significant improvements in their lung function, general health, mental health, and quality of life at the end of 6 months, compared to the COPD patients in the control group at only walked for 30 minutes a day”. The findings suggest that this traditional form of meditation and exercise may be greatly beneficial in rehabilitating older COPD patients, and may be used as a favorable alternative to regular exercise routines.
For those in the U.S. unfamiliar with LQG, yoga can be a similar alternative, although the results of the study did not test the results yoga has on COPD patients. To read the full study and learn more about LQG exercises. click here.