Qigong and Tai Chi
What it’s good for…Arthritis, lower-back pain, and fibromyalgia
What the experts say: These slow-as-molasses movements may be as effective as prescription pain killers for some pain patients, according to new research. Women with fibromyalgia reported less pain after practicing qigong, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Medical School study, although larger trials need to be conducted to confirm these benefits. When qigong was combined with meditation in a University of Maryland study, the two treatments reduced pain as effectively as prescription drugs. Fibromyalgia patients may also benefit from practicing tai chi, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers say these findings support previous research showing the benefits of tai chi for musculoskeletal pain, though the underlying mechanisms aren’t yet fully understood.