Although the benefits of exercise on the health of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), also known as emphysema, have been widely reported, the effect of Tai Chi  prior to this study had not been  thoroughly evaluated in patients with COPD. Forty patients with COPD were randomized into either a control group or Tai Chi intervention group.

Participants in the control group received only routine care, while participants in the Tai Chi group received routine care and completed a six-month Tai Chi exercise program.

Lung function parameters, blood gas parameters, 6-min walking distance (6MWD), and diaphragm strength parameters.

This study reported a randomized controlled trial, which investigated the effects of Tai Chi on lung function, exercise capacity, and diaphragm strength in patients with COPD.  The study found Tai Chi enhances lung function, exercise capacity, and diaphragm strength.  The researchers recommended that because this is preliminary research data, a larger trial is needed for more detailed results.


Lung function parameters and diaphragm strength parameters were found to be significantly increased in participants who successfully completed the six-month Tai Chi program compared to participants in the control group who only received routine care,

These parameters were also found to be significantly increased in participants who completed the Tai Chi exercise program compared to the baseline

In contrast, no significant differences in PaO2 and PaCO2 were observed in participants before or after completing a Tai Chi program or between Tai Chi group and control group (p>0.05).


Heart, Lung, and Circulation, 03/31/2014 Clinical Article