Massachusetts Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund recommends Tai Chi as a clinical and community intervention for falls prevention. Older adult falls continue to be a public health priority across the United States—Massachusetts (MA) being no exception. The MA Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) program within the MA Department of Public Health aims to reduce the physical and economic burdens of chronic health conditions by linking evidence-based clinical care with community intervention programs. The paper includes discussion of issues involved with making falls prevention methods available to large populations, such as creating clinical and community partnerships, patient referrals, and sustainable reimbursement mechanisms.
Brief Mental Training Reorganizes Large-Scale Brain Networks. Brief mental training alters the functional connectivity of large-scale brain networks at rest that may involve a portion of the neural circuitry supporting attention, cognitive and affective processing, awareness and sensory integration and reward processing.
Inclusion of Tai Chi on UNESCO World Heritage List Urged. The Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party (CPWDP) will propose the inclusion of Tai Chi on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List at the upcoming annual Two Sessions, in an effort to protect and promote the traditional sport. CPWDP is now calling for the establishment of a national Tai Chi center, as well as the introduction of martial arts to universities and medical research facilities. Authorities hope these changes can increase academic research on Tai Chi.
How the Body and Brain Achieve Carpal Tunnel Pain Relief via Acupuncture. "New research describes how acupuncture may achieve local pain-relieving effects in people with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) while also showing effects of the technique in the brain’s pain centers. The study, funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and conducted by a multicenter team of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, Logan University, the Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates/Atrium Health, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is the first sham-controlled neuroimaging acupuncture study for CTS. It was published in the journal Brain".
The case for Tai Chi in the repertoire of strategies to prevent falls among older people.Tai Chi may be as effective or more effective than other exercise-based strategies for preventing falls among older people who are not frail. Tai Chi may be as cost-effective or more cost-effective to deliver than other fall prevention strategies. Tai Chi may receive higher uptake and adherence rates than other exercise-based interventions to prevent falls. Tai Chi may be as effective or more effective in preventing falls among older people with dementia.
Qigong in Cancer Care: Theory, Evidence-Base, and Practice. Abstract: Background: The purpose of this discussion is to explore the theory, evidence base, and practice of Qigong for individuals with cancer. Questions addressed are: What is qigong? How does it work? What evidence exists supporting its practice in integrative oncology? What barriers to wide-spread programming access exist? Methods: Sources for this discussion include a review of scholarly texts, the Internet, PubMed, field observations, and expert opinion. Results: Qigong is a gentle, mind/body exercise integral within Chinese medicine. Theoretical foundations include Chinese medicine energy theory, psychoneuroimmunology, the relaxation response, the meditation effect, and epigenetics. Research supports positive effects on quality of life (QOL), fatigue, immune function and cortisol levels, and cognition for individuals with cancer. There is indirect, scientific evidence suggesting that qigong practice may positively influence cancer prevention and survival. No one Qigong exercise regimen has been established as superior. Effective protocols do have common elements: slow mindful exercise, easy to learn, breath regulation, meditation, emphasis on relaxation, and energy cultivation including mental intent and self-massage. Conclusions: Regular practice of Qigong exercise therapy has the potential to improve cancer-related QOL and is indirectly linked to cancer prevention and survival. Wide-spread access to quality Qigong in cancer care programming may be challenged by the availability of existing programming and work force capacity
Self-Healing Retreat for Cancer Patients. After three successful retreats in 2015 and 2016, the Center for Integrative Medicine at University of Maryland is offering another retreat for cancer patients and their families in April 23-29, 2017. Different from most existing cancer therapies, this mind-body program does not target at cancer or tumor itself, but focuses on improving the inner environment that cultivated cancer growth in the first place, and that will let relapse occur after removal of tumors. This Qigong self-healing retreat will help change the environment that produced cancer (such as perception of stress, emotional disturbance, relationship with others and nutrition), and offer real sense of recovery from cancer.
Symposium for Integrative Health Tai Chi Retreat. This symposium will be held on Sept 8 - 10, 2017 at Maris Stella Retreat Center, Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island, NJ. The organizers of this new event are looking for academic papers and practitioner presentations on a range of topics including leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, wellness, integrated healthcare and integrative health practices (including Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, Yoga, Pilates, Massage Therapy, Nutrition Therapy, Support Group Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Chiropractic, Reiki, Acupuncture, Alternative/Complementary Medicine). This event will be a mixture of academics, and workshops of all kinds. For the first time, the academic program will include a published conference proceedings. Call for Papers.
Medical Yoga Therapy. Abstract: Medical yoga is defined as the use of yoga practices for the prevention and treatment of medical conditions. Beyond the physical elements of yoga, which are important and effective for strengthening the body, medical yoga also incorporates appropriate breathing techniques, mindfulness, and meditation in order to achieve the maximum benefits. Multiple studies have shown that yoga can positively impact the body in many ways, including helping to regulate blood glucose levels, improve musculoskeletal ailments and keeping the cardiovascular system in tune. It also has been shown to have important psychological benefits, as the practice of yoga can help to increase mental energy and positive feelings, and decrease negative feelings of aggressiveness, depression and anxiety.
Stop Back Pain Without Drugs. New guidelines recommend exercise, massage and other nondrug therapies before resorting to painkillers.Non-drug treatments, like exercise, massage, spinal manipulation, and acupuncture, were all recommended in the 2007 guidelines. Tai chi and mindfulness-based stress reduction are new additions.
World's first Chinese Medical Qigong Museum to open in Xuzhou in mid-March, 2017. Anyone wishing to go to the opening of the museum with a group are invited to contact Effie Chow (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be going for 7 to 10 days arriving in Xuzhou on March 23. Dr. Wang Yan is spearheading the effort to establish the museum. He writes: "In China, six cities have proposed to establish “Chinese Medical Qigong Museum” for me as follows: Xu Zhou ,where I grew up; Shanghai, the world intangible cultural heritage inheritance base; Mount Huang in Anhui Province; Mount Xian Yu; Mount Wu Yi in Fujian Province and Lake Wolong near Nanjing. I have now started to set up the museum in Xuzhou that was a grant from the government. It is a very beautiful traditional building located at the shore of Lake Pan On. "
The role of touch in acupuncture treatment. "Achieving the appropriate de qi sensation appears to be fundamental to the therapeutic outcome following acupuncture treatment. In the affective dimension, the acupuncture procedure typically includes gentle manual touch stimulation, which induces feelings of calm and well-being, perhaps by activating C tactile fibres. Because acupuncture is a 'therapist intensive' and complex intervention, it is necessary to understand the role of social touch between the practitioner and patient. Both sensory-discriminative and affective-social touch aspects play an important role in the therapeutic effect of acupuncture treatment in clinical practice."
National Qigong Association Qi Talks with Solala Towler Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:30pm Eastern - Practicing the Tao Te Ching: 81 Steps on the Way. Solala Towler is past president and founding board member of the NQA and has practiced the Taoist arts for over 25 years. He is author of Tales From the Tao, The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy, and more. He has been editor of The Empty Vessel: The Journal of Taoist Philosophy and Practice since 1993 and teaches qigong, sacred Taoist gongfu tea ceremony, and sound healing at conferences and workshops around the country. He also leads tours to China to study in the sacred Taoist mountains of Wudang. For more information on Solala’s programs visit www.abodetao.com. Most people think of the Tao Te Ching as a book of philosophy or a treatise on leadership. Yet there is a little known treasure hidden deep within the familiar passages of Lao Tzu’s work: step-by-step practical guidance for the spiritual journey. In this new work from Solala Towler, he pairs a practice to each of the 81 chapters of Lao Tzu’s work, thereby allowing the reader/student to grasp each chapter, not with their mind, but with their chi body. In this talk, we will be focusing on how the Tao Te Ching can be used as a manual for self-cultivation.
Breathing as a Fundamental Rhythm of Brain Function. Ongoing cortical activity is driven by proprioceptive and interoceptive inputs. In addition, it is partially intrinsically generated in which case it may be related to mental processes. Here we argue that respiration, via multiple sensory pathways, contributes a rhythmic component to the ongoing cortical activity. We suggest that this rhythmic activity modulates the temporal organization of cortical neurodynamics, thereby linking higher cortical functions to the process of breathing.
Qigong helps non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. The findings of this study indicate that the 21-day Chan- Chuang qigong can reduce fatigue intensity and fatigue interference, and improved white blood cell counts, haemoglobin levels, sleep quality, and quality of life for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had undergone the first course of chemotherapy.
The potential yield of Tai Chi in cancer survivorship. Tai Chi is an understudied but promising tool to increase light physical activity levels with additive meditative benefits in cancer survivors and thus improving survival outcomes (e.g., reduction in cancer recurrence, improved psychosocial health and cognitive function). The mechanisms of such impact and the potential of scaled-up Tai Chi implementation in cancer survivors are largely unknown. Given the likelihood for high acceptability of Tai Chi among this particularly vulnerable population, with their distinctive challenges and the potential positive impact on survival, research is urgently needed to uncover and understand mechanistic pathways for Tai Chi to improve cancer survival and to ultimately become part of routine care.
Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey. This survey includes Qigong and Tai Chi. Reported yoga practice prevalence nearly doubled from 6.0% in 2002 to 11.0% in 2012; meditation rates increased from 8.0% in 2002 to 9.9% in 2007. Mindfulness practice was significantly lower among farm workers and blue-collar workers than among white-collar workers. According to the survey, the rates of engagement in the "lesser-known practices of tai chi and qigong" did not substantially change from 2002 to 2012.
Functional Genomic and Neurological Correlates of Mind-Body Therapies. Mind-body practices elicit changes in sympathetic nervous system activation of gene transcription factors involved in immune function and inflammation and create persistent changes in neural function and morphology associated with these practices. Mind-body therapies are immunomodulatory, with effects on leukocyte transcription and function related to inflammatory and innate immune responses, and neuromodulatory, with effects on brain function and morphology relevant for attention, learning, and emotion regulation.
Interoception, Contemplative Practice, and Health. Interoception is a fundamental component of Qigong practice. Well-being is deeply rooted in the body, a continuous flow of feelings denoting comfort or distress. Interoception, the representation of the body's internal state, is a growing target of scientific research, buoyed by a growing respect for contemplative traditions relating interoceptive awareness to the cultivation of well-being. An emerging interoception literature cuts across studies of neurophysiology, somatic anthropology, contemplative practice, and mind-body medicine.
Healing Sound: Stimulation of Protein Expression Through the Harmonic Resonance of Frequency-Specific Music. Exposure to 'music' that was designed through assigning a musical note for every single one of the twenty unique amino acids, produced both an analytical and a visible shift in protein synthesis, making it as potential tool for reducing procedural time uptake. This research provides some insight into how the various types of healing sound Qigong might work.
The Neural Mechanisms of Meditative Practices: Novel Approaches for Healthy Aging. The authors conclude that mind-body practices can target different brain systems that are involved in the regulation of attention, emotional control, mood, and executive cognition that can be used to treat or prevent mood and cognitive disorders of aging, such as depression and caregiver stress, or serve as "brain fitness" exercise. Benefits may include improving brain functional connectivity in brain systems that generally degenerate with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other aging-related diseases.
Human Energy Field: A Concept Analysis. The Human Energy Field (HEF) is defined as a luminous field of energy that comprises a person, extends beyond the physical body, and is in a continuous mutual process with the environmental energy field. It is a vital energy that is a continuous whole and is recognized by its unique pattern; it is dynamic, creative, nonlinear, unpredictable, and flows in lower and higher frequencies. The balanced HEF is characterized by flow, rhythm, symmetry, and gentle vibration.
Yogic Breathing Helps Fight Major Depression, Penn Study Shows. Controlled Breathing Practices Show Promise in Patients Who Don’t Fully Respond to Antidepressants. The Ujjayi breathing of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is essentially the same as Qigong deep diaphragmatic breathing. Ujjayi or “Victorious Breath” involves experiencing the conscious sensation of the breath touching the throat. This slow breath technique (2–4 breaths per minute) increases airway resistance during inspiration and expiration and controls airflow so that each phase of the breath cycle can be prolonged to an exact count. The subjective experience is physical and mental calmness with alertness (Sudarshan kriya yoga: Breathing for health).
Acupuncture (PDQ®): Health Professional Version. This PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the use of acupuncture in the treatment of people with cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions. This summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
MEDITATION KEEPS EMOTIONAL BRAIN IN CHECK. “Our findings not only demonstrate that meditation improves emotional health, but that people can acquire these benefits regardless of their ‘natural’ ability to be mindful,” said Yanli Lin, an MSU graduate student and lead investigator of the study. “It just takes some practice.”
Systems Biology Research Study Reveals Benefits of Vacation and Meditation. "It's intuitive that taking a vacation reduces biological processes related to stress, but it was still impressive to see the large changes in gene expression from being away from the busy pace of life, in a relaxing environment, in such a short period of time...Based on our results, the benefit we experience from meditation isn't strictly psychological; there is a clear and quantifiable change in how our bodies function," said Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Meditation is one of the ways to engage in restorative activities that may provide relief for our immune systems, easing the day-to-day stress of a body constantly trying to protect itself. The prediction is that this would then lead to healthier aging."
Qi Talks. Bernard Shannon. Topic: Teaching through Direct Experience: Making the Intangible Tangible. Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:30pm Eastern. Bernard Shannon is an internationally recognized teacher of Medical Qigong therapy, Daoist cultivation, alchemical and mystical practices, and martial concepts. Executive Director of the International College of Medical Qigong and Abbot of the Temple of Peace and Virtue, he served for seven years, as the Executive Director of the International Institute of Medical Qigong, as master instructor and curriculum developer. He is also licensed as a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as of Medical Qigong through the People's Republic of China. He is the Vice Chairman and Executive Director of the World Academic Society of Medical Qigong (China) and served as Chairman of the Board with the National Qigong Association (USA).