Another branch of the Chinese Medical Model, Qigong and Tai Chi represent both the physical therapy and exercise therapy aspects of the medicine. Interestingly, the base principles and theory governing both Qigong and Tai Chi match precisely the theory and principles of acupuncture and herbal medicine; they are, interwoven. Thus, patients engaged in multiple modalities usually enjoy better outcomes. Just as in western medicine where the integration of of a surgery, pharmaceuticals, counseling, nutrition, and physical therapy are considered standard, so too Chinese Medicine views the integration of multiple modalities as a pathway to health and wellness.
A key thought in Traditional Chinese Medicine however is the notion that many different types of treatments can alleviate suffering on their own. Separate from the aid of other modalities. Which should allow patient and practitioner together to select from an abundance of treatment strategies to select or integrate those which will yield the best outcome for the patient. It is the idea of working as a team between patient, practitioner and the modalities themselves.
Qigong and Tai Chi are extremely effective, safe, and fun to practice and can have surprising benefits. For instance, a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal for Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (here) found that Qigong was an effective exercise strategy for managing hypertension and that while it was as effective as other forms of aerobic exercise it certainly reduces elevated blood pressures and continued practice yields increased results. Furthermore, Qigong and Tai Chi are safe and incur very little risk of injury during practice.
Qigong and Tai Chi have powerful effects on other ailments that you may not have even considered, for example, diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, PTSD and pain patients have all enjoyed the benefit of symptom reduction and better management of their conditions through regular practice. In fact, a meta-analysis analyzing effects to a total of 755 test subjects and published in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders (here) found that "Motor symptoms were assessed with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III in 13 studies including 11 RCTs. Lower scores reflect less severe motor symptoms. Meta-analysis of the 11 RCTs employing a fixed effect model indicated an overall small effect size (Hedges’s g=−0.444, 95% CI −0.606 to −0.282, p< .001) supporting that TCQ significantly improved motor function relative to all control groups." Meaning that Tai Chi and Qigong (cited in text of the article as "TCQ") provided significant relief of symptoms of impaired movement in Parkinson's patients. But that's not all, the same study found that there were significant improvements in balance, timed up and go (TUG) test, Quality of Life (QOL) and perhaps most importantly "significantly reduced fall episodes compared to control group." This is all derived from the consistent practice of an ancient but simple, fun and community building exercise now available in the Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo area.
The body of scientific evidence surrounding the practices of Chinese Medicine is booming. For examples of research on the efficacy of Qigong and Tai Chi follow the hyperlinks for PTSD, Diabetes, Pain.