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What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the bronchial tubes which causes sporadic attacks of shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, resulting in a feeling of suffocation. It is a common disease and may occur in childhood or in adult life, Allergy to pollen, mould spores, dust) feathers, animals and certain foods may be a contributing cause of asthma. Attacks may be triggered by exposure to sudden changes in temperature or humidity (or both), exertion, emotional stress, strong odours or smoke.

How can Tai Chi/Qigong help?

Tai Chi/Qigong is eminently suitable and beneficial for asthma sufferers. As well as being non-exertive their practice teaches correct breathing and posture, which can help eliminate or decrease the severity of attacks. Benefits of Tai Chi for Asthmatics


By learning to utilise the lung diaphragm and breathing abdominally, shallow breathing can be turned into deeper breathing, which means that more oxygen is inhaled. This also allows the body to maintain the correct balance between inhalation and exhalation, which alleviates the distress caused to the body by irregular and inefficient breathing techniques.


Correct posture (or body alignment) opens up, in particular, the upper body, alleviating pressure on the lungs and other organs, allowing them to take up their required space within the body and function at their optimum.


Sustained stress is not good for anyone but it has an even more detrimental effect on asthmatics, with breathing being one of the first functions to be affected. Abdominal breathing, as well as helping to increase lung function, induces both physical and mental relaxation. Reduced anxiety also helps prevent or decrease severity of attacks.



Other Benefits

The benefits that derive from Tai Chi/Qigong being a wholistic exercise (working on the mind, body, energy and emotions) should not be overlooked. Various postural, breathing and meditative techniques within the movements can help counter depression and increase the feeling of well-being and vitality. While the performance of Tai Chi/Qigong helps to heal and maintain the body, it is not simply a ‘medicine’ but an interesting and enjoyable activity in itself.

© AATCQ – for more information see Grandmaster Khor’s Books


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