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Qigong Practice Aids People With Knee Arthritis

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Dec 18, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

The quality of the teaching influences how effectively qigong practice helps people with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology (2008; doi 10.1007/s10067-008-09).

Researchers from four U.S. medical institutions studied the effectiveness of qigong therapy for reducing pain and improving function in patients with knee arthritis. The investigators randomly assigned 112 adults to either qigong therapy or a sham treatment. Two different teachers taught the genuine qigong therapy, leading five to six sessions over 3 weeks. The teacher instructing the sham practice offered the same number of sessions.

The researchers found that while all participants in the true qigong groups experienced significant benefits, one of these groups reported greater reduction in pain and more functional improvement than the other group. The scientists noted that the effectiveness of the individual teacher influenced the quality of the participants’ experience.

Editor’s Note: For more on qigong exercises, see this issue’s Inner IDEA column, “Eight Mindful Movements of Qigong” by Larry Cammarata, PhD.

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at