Efficacy of yoga, tai chi and qi gong on the main symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A systematic review

Respir Med Res. 2019 May;75:13-25. doi: 10.1016/j.resmer.2019.04.002. Epub 2019 Apr 16.


Introduction: The aim of this systematic review was to summarize the effects of yoga, qi gong or tai chi in COPD patients.

Methods: Studies evaluating effects of the selected complementary therapies on lung function, dyspnea, quality of life or functional exercise capacity in COPD patients were identified and reviewed from three databases.

Results: Eighteen studies were included. Six studies evaluated the effects of yoga and the others focused on tai chi or qi gong separately or combined. The duration of the programs ranged from 6 weeks to 6 months and the frequency from 2 to 7 times a week. Each session reached 30 to 90 minutes. Benefits were observed on lung function and functional exercise capacity but benefit was clearly stated neither on quality of life nor on dyspnea.

Conclusion: This systematic review highlights the potential of these therapies as complementary therapeutic approach in COPD patients.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Qigong*
  • Quality of Life
  • Tai Ji*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*