Recent Research


  1. Klein PJ, Schneider R, Rhoads CJ. Qigong in cancer care: a systematic review and construct analysis of effective Qigong therapy. Support Care Cancer. 2016 Jul;24(7):3209-22. doi: 10.1007/s00520-016-3201-7. Epub 2016 Apr 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 27044279.
  2. Zeng Y, Luo T, Xie H, Huang M, Cheng AS (2014) Health benefits of qigong or tai chi for cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analyses. Complement Ther Med 22(1):173-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.11.010. Epub 2013 Dec 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 24559833.
  3. Campo RA, Light KC, O’Conner K, et al (2015) Blood pressure, salivary cortisol, and inflammatory cytokine outcomes in senior female cancer survivors enrolled in a tai chi chih randomized controlled trial. J Cancer Surviv 9(1):115-25. doi: 10.1007/s11764-014-0395-x. Epub 2014 Aug 28 PubMed PMID: 25164513; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4344390. Free PMC Article
  4. Campo RA, Agarwal N, LaStayo PC, O’Connor K, Pappas L, Boucher KM, Gardner J, Smith S, Light KC, Kinney AY. (2014) Levels of fatigue and distress in senior prostate cancer survivors enrolled in a 12-week randomized controlled trial of Qigong. J Cancer Surviv. 2014 Mar;8(1):60-9. doi: 10.1007/s11764-013-0315-5. Epub 2013 Oct 30. PubMed PMID: 24170679; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3945387. Free PMC Article
  5. Chen Z, Meng Z, Milbury K, Bei W, Zhang Y, Thornton B, Liao Z, Wei Q, Chen J, Guo X, Liu L, McQuade J, Kirschbaum C, Cohen L (2013) Qigong improves quality of like in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer: results of a randomized clinical trial. Cancer 119(9):1690-8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27904. Epub 2013 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 23355182; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3852682 Free PMC Article
  6. Irwin, Olmstead, Breen et al (2014) Tai chi, cellular inflammation, and transcriptome dynamics in breast cancer survivors with insomnia: a randomized controlled trial. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2014(50):295-301.doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgu028. PUBMED PMID: 25749595; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4411534. Free PMC Article
  7. Lam, SWY (2004) A randomized, controlled trial of Guolin qigong in patients receiving transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, Master dissertation Hong Kong, China, The University of Hong Kong
  8. Larkey LK, Roe DJ, Weihs KL, Jahnke R, Lopez AM, Rogers CE, Oh B, Guillen-Rodriguez J (2015) Randomized Controlled Trial of Qigong/Tai Chi Easy on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 49(2):165-176. PubMed PMID: 25124456; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4329282 Free PMC Article
  9. Loh SY, Lee SY, Murray L (2014) The Kuala Lumpur Qigong trial for women in cancer survivorship phase-efficacy of a three-arm RCT to improve QOL. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 15(19):8127-34. PubMed PMID: 25338995
  10. Oh B, Butow PN, Mullan BA, Clarke SJ, Beale PJ, Pavlakis N, Lee MS, Rosenthal DS, Larkey L, Vardy J (2012) Effect of medical Qigong on cognitive function, quality of life, and a biomarker of inflammation in cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Support Care Cancer 20(6):1235-42. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1209-6. Epub 2011 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 21688163.
  11. Oh B, Butow P, Mullan B, Clarke S, Beale P, Pavlakis N, Kothe E, Lam L, Rosenthal D (2010) Impact of medical Qigong on quality of life, fatigue, mood and inflammation in cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Oncol 21(3):608-14. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdp479. Epub 2009 Oct 30 PUBMED PMID: 19880433; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2826100. Free PMC Article
  12. Robins JL, McCain NL, Elswick Jr RK, Walter JM, Gray PD, Tuck I (2013) Psychoneuroimmunology-Based Stress Management during Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer. Evid Based Complement Alternate Med 2013: ID 372908, 7 pages. Published online 2013 May 14. doi: 1155/2013/372908 PubMed PMCID: PMC3666296. Free PMC Article
  13. Wang R, Liu J, Chen P, Yu D (2013) Regular tai chi exercise decreases the percentage of type 2 cytokine-producing cells in postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer survivors.  Cancer Nurs 36(4):E27-34. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e318268f7d5. PubMed PMID: 23051870.
  14. Jahnke R, Larkey L, Rogers C, Etnier J, Lin F. A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. American journal of health promotion : AJHP. 2010;24(6):e1-e25. doi:10.4278/ajhp.081013-LIT-248.

Resources to learn more about Qigong & Qigong Research

Yin Yang symbolWorld Tai Chi and Qigong Day Organization

National Qigong Association

Research in Progress

NIH grant – Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University – Video


Screening tool for safe participation in Qigong exercise
In order to maintain your safety while participating in Qigong Exercise classes, please complete the following brief screening survey. If you answered Yes to any of the questions below, then discuss same with Qigong instructor prior to joining the class.o   Are you limited in your ability to engage in mild exercise (equivalent to putting away groceries)?
o   Has your doctor or health care professional advised you to limit or avoid specific physical movements or activities?
o   Do you lose your balance at times or experience dizziness or lightheadedness when bending over to pick something up off the floor or when rising from a chair?
o   Are you limited in your cognitive ability to maintaining your own safety during exercise?


Class participant instructions for maintaining safety during Qigong exercise
Please be aware that you, as a class participant, have a role in maintaining your safety during exercise participation. o   Discuss any exercise concerns with the class instructor.
o   Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and flat-soled, non-slip shoes to class.
o   Bring a container of water to flush toxins and for rehydration during class.
o   Only exercise within a comfortable range.
o   Choose to sit, if you become fatigued or balance is a problem during exercise.
o   Limit movement such as reaching up or bending down, if advised to do so by your health professional.
o   Limit activity such as self-massage, if it results in discomfort or you have been advised to do so by your health professional.
o   If diabetic or experience periods of low blood sugar, be sure to eat something prior to class and bring a ready sugar substance to take during class, for use if needed.Tips for safe and effective home practice:
o   For home practice, follow the guidance of your class instructor.
o   Strive to practice daily
o   Calm the mind and relax prior to starting your Qigong practice.
o   Do not practice in an overly cold or hot environment (e.g. in front of air conditioning or outside when it’s cold and windy or very hot)
o   Do not consume cold drinks or frozen foods, such as ice cream, immediately before or after practicing Qigong (a warm herbal tea or room temperature drink is recommended).
o   Try to practice at least one hour after a meal (e.g., lunch or dinner), it is not good to practice when one is feeling hungry or full.
o   Refrain from  practicing after consuming alcohol.
o   If any exercise results in pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and discuss with your instructor or your medical consultant before continuing.



Advice from the field
·      Know your craft well.·     
Nurture, encourage, openly express the joy of Qigong practice in order to guide students to self-discover the joy in their own practice.
·      Keep it light and fun.
·      Allow your students the experience. Talk less. Listen more. You will teach your students how to practice Qigong, and they teach you to become a better teacher.
·      Only advise within your area(s) of expertise. Qigong is the focus, not medical treatment of cancer or nutritional counseling.
·      Prepare and distribute a brochure or informational handout describing your program, its philosophy and activities that your students can share with their attending oncologist.
·      Explore opportunities to defray participation cost including third-party reimbursement as health and wellness programming.
·      Accurately interpret the research. There is strong evidence that Qigong practice can improve cancer-related quality of life. At this time (Jan 2017), research evidence suggests that Qigong practice may have a role in cancer prevention and improved survival, but definitive proof of these two potential benefits needs to be assessed and verified through additional population research.
·      Each participant has a unique cancer journey. Perhaps all you need to know of cancer is that it is a collection of diseases most often manifesting as tumors. Western management may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or use of medication. Integrative oncology adds complementary therapies. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes qigong practice and nutritional support.
·      Some students may be experiencing paraesthesia (pins and needles sensation in feet and/or hands), difficulty concentrating, pain, fatigue, nausea, sleep disturbance, and emotional distress as side effects of the cancer and its treatment. These symptoms may persist during and after treatment. Qigong can help.
·      Be aware that some of your students may be adjusting to physical changes due to surgery (e.g. mastectomy, colostomy) or hair loss from treatment. Guide them to see the beauty in their energetic selves. While the physical may be limited and less than perfect, the spirit can still abound
·      Consider it normal that some days are better than others for your students. For many, every time they come to class is a reason for celebration. Celebrate with them.
·      Finally, your students won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.Additional Resource For a general overview of Qigong for Cancer care, See: Klein, P.J. Qigong in Cancer Care: Theory, Evidence, and Practice., Medicines 2017, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/medicines4010002 (available online at