The Potential Benefits of Tai Chi on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a globally common chronic disease that is incapacitating the patients gradually. Patients with COPD often have problems of continuing dyspnea and intolerance of physical activities (Yeh et al., 2014).

Physical training may be helpful for improving the conditions. However, mind-body interventions such as the practice of Tai Chi may also be beneficial for relieving symptoms and promoting the quality-of-life (QOL) for the COPD patients (Yeh et al., 2014).

The practice of Tai Chi is beneficial in many different ways as it is not only a physical training, but also a breathing exercise. As a physical training, it may benefit skeletal muscles, as well as the mechanics and dynamics of the heart and the lung (Yeh et al., 2014). In addition, it is also an exercise for promoting mindfulness and stress reduction. It may improve psychosocial conditions such as the mood and self-efficacy of the patients.

These fundamental elements in both of the mind and the body are well integrated into just one exercise of Tai Chi. Such integration makes it very beneficial for the self-management of a complex disease like COPD. However, clinical evidences and more scientific studies are necessary to confirm the effectiveness of Tai Chi among COPD patients and to understand the mechanisms.


Yeh GY, Wayne PM, Litrownik D, Roberts DH, Davis RB, Moy ML. Tai chi mind-body exercise in patients with COPD: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Aug 28;15:337. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-337.

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