Tai Chi and Qigong for Insomnia

Practitioner often say to me:

“I wake up at 3 am and then can’t get back to sleep as my mind is too busy”. “I’m not sleeping as I’m too stressed”.

One of the main benefits of Qigong practice is that it helps to calm and clear our minds. Qigong brings us into the present and allows us to focus clearly on what we are doing. The key to using Qigong for insomnia is to perform exercises which calm your mind, especially before bed. It’s as simple as that. The more you practice these exercises, the better quality and quantity of sleep your will enjoy!

Qigong is ideal for training the mind to "switch off", and as a relaxing bedtime routine to help ease the transition between wakefulness and sleepiness.

What Do I Do Next? If you would like to start using Qigong click here

Can Tai Chi Help Older Adults Sleep Better?

Tai Chi, better sleep quality reduce inflammation, depression and age-related morbidities. A new study published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry reports that treatment for insomnia, either by cognitive behavioral therapy or the movement meditation tai chi, reduces inflammation levels in older adults over 55 years of age. Stress, including sleep disturbance, is a major contributor to inflammation in the body. Insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders, is associated with increased risk for depression, medical comorbidities, and mortality. Tai chi, a lifestyle intervention that targets stress that can lead to insomnia, was also found to reduce inflammation, and did so by reducing the expression of inflammation at the cellular level and by reversing activation of inflammatory signaling pathways. The reduction of cellular inflammation was also maintained during the 16-month follow-up. ~networks.nhs.uk Tai Chi significantly improved sleep quality in both healthy adults and patients with chronic health conditions, which suggests that Tai Chi may be considered as an alternative behavioral therapy in the treatment of insomnia. Nearly 60% of people with cancer experience insomnia; it can persist for years if not appropriately managed. Furthermore, patients with cancer who have insomnia are at increased risk for infections, anxiety, and depression, which can negatively affect quality of life. Tai Chi for Insomnia

Tai chi is a form of mind-body therapy stemming from traditional Chinese medicine theory that combines a sequence of gentle body movements with meditation and breathing. Clinical trials in noncancer settings indicated that tai chi improves insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in healthy older adults with moderate sleep complaints. Findings from another study showed that long-term, rather than short-term, tai chi practice led to improvements in sleep in older adults with chronic insomnia. Tai chi is considered safe, and it can be practiced by people of all ages because its movements are gentle and put little stress on the body. Because of ease of implementation, many hospitals, cancer centers, and community and senior centers offer tai chi typically taught by experienced instructors. Patients with musculoskeletal symptoms should consult with their physicians before practicing tai chi. voice.ons.org/

Purpose Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and Tai Chi Chih (TCC), a movement meditation, improve insomnia symptoms. UCLA has been doing high quality research in qigong and tai chi practiced as qigong. This RCT study showed significant impact on insomnia, and the low cost and easy access to tai chi was emphasized as well making tai chi an excellent option for people suffering from insomnia. Here, we evaluated whether TCC is noninferior to CBT-I for the treatment of insomnia in survivors of breast cancer. Patients and Methods This was a randomized, partially blinded, noninferiority trial that involved survivors of breast cancer with insomnia who were recruited from the Los Angeles community from April 2008 to July 2012. After a 2-month phase-in period with repeated baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned to 3 months of CBT-I or TCC and evaluated at months 2, 3 (post-treatment), 6, and 15 (follow-up). Primary outcome was insomnia treatment response-that is, marked clinical improvement of symptoms by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index-at 15 months. Secondary outcomes were clinician-assessed remission of insomnia; sleep quality; total sleep time, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and awake after sleep onset, derived from sleep diaries; polysomnography; and symptoms of fatigue, sleepiness, and depression. Results Of 145 participants who were screened, 90 were randomly assigned (CBT-I: n = 45; TCC: n = 45). The proportion of participants who showed insomnia treatment response at 15 months was 43.7% and 46.7% in CBT-I and TCC, respectively. ~nqa.org