Subjective experiences of older adults practicing taiji and qigong.

Author: Yang Y, Decelle S, Reed M, Rosengren K, Schlagal R, Greene J.
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Aging Res.
Date published: 2011
Other: Volume ID: 2011 , Pages: 650210 , Word Count: 137

This article presents a qualitative study following a 6-month Taiji (T'ai Chi)/Qigong (Ch'i Kung) intervention for older adults. The researchers conducted in-depth interviews of eight selected participants who elected to continue practicing Taiji after the intervention ended, in order to explore their subjective experiences of Taiji's effects and their motivations for continuing to practice. We created a Layers Model to capture the significance and meaning of the multidimensionality of their reported experiences. Participants not only reported simple benefits along five dimensions of experience (physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual) but also described complex multidimensional experiences. Overall findings indicate that participants derived a very wide variety of perceived benefits, the most meaningful being a felt sense of body-mind-spirit integration. Our results support the important role of qualitative studies in researching the effects of Taiji and Qigong.

PMID: 21773028