Qigong for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of COVID-19 Infection in Older Adults

Author: Fan Feng 1, Sylvie Tuchman 2, John W Denninger 1, Gregory L Fricchione 1, Albert Yeung 1 2
1 Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.
2 Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.
Conference/Journal: Am J Geriatr Psychiatry
Date published: 2020 May 15
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2020.05.012. , Word Count: 153

PMID: 32425471 PMCID: PMC7227578 DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2020.05.012
The elderly are at high risk of contracting respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19 infection. The recent pandemic has the potential to cause significant physical and mental damage in older adults. Similarly to other mind-body exercises in Traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong features regulation of breath rhythm and pattern, body movement and posture, and meditation. Given these traits, Qigong has the potential to play a role in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Potential mechanisms of action include stress reduction, emotion regulation, strengthening of respiratory muscles, reduction of inflammation, and enhanced immune function. Three forms of Qigong; abdominal breathing, Ba Duan Jin and Liu Zi Jue, all of which are gentle, smooth, and simple for the elderly to practice, are recommended in this context.

Keywords: COVID-19; Qigong; older adults; respiratory infections.

© 2020 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.