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Tai Chi and COPD

13 Apr 2015
| Under COPD, Lifestyle, Lung Disease | Posted by | 11 Comments
Tai Chi and COPD Lung Institute

Battling Stress with COPD

Stress is an agonizing emotion that can manipulate your health. Chronic stress is a type of long term tension that can wear down your body causing you to feel worse than you should. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience this first hand when it comes to managing with stress on top of their condition. Stress enhances patient’s troubles with COPD due to it causing a weakening of their immune system. This can cause more frequent flare ups, which attribute to shortness of breath, wheezing and tightness in the chest. These symptoms have left some sufferers to research Tai Chi and COPD.

Manage COPD Stress with Tai Chi

Finding a way to relieve stress when dealing with COPD is key to sustaining good health.  Tai Chi is an easy, graceful exercise that is highly effective for reducing stress levels. It is known as a Chinese tradition that is filled with a series of slow movements accompanied by deep breathing. These exercises flow together causing a constant motion. The movements are light on the joints causing minimal stress on the muscles. When performing these exercises, your soft tissue stretches which enables the release of tension built up in your body.

Tai Chi Made Easy

Tai Chi is extremely flexible; it can be performed individually or in a class room setting. Although, it is more effective when you have an instructor by your side observing your moves. Having an instructor works to your benefit because it guarantees that you are conducting the exercise in a safe and accurate manner.  Below are a few Tai Chi exercises that can help calm your COPD flare ups:

Touch the Sky

  • Sit up straight in a comfortable chair. Place your hands in your lap with your palms turned upward and your fingertips pointing toward one another.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply, raise your hands to chest level in front of you, turn your palms outward and lift your hands above your head. Do not reach too far with your arms; keep your elbows relaxed and slightly bent.
  • Exhale slowly and deeply, relax your arms further and gently lower them to your sides. At the end of the breath, return your hands to the starting position with your palms turned upward.
  • Repeat this exercise up to 10 times.

Windmill Exercise

  • Stand with your feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang loosely.
  • Bring your hands in front of your body by your pubic bone, with your fingers pointing down toward the floor.
  • Inhale and raise your arms up the center of your body and over your head, fingers pointing up. Stretch toward the ceiling and arch your spine slightly backward.
  • Exhale and slowly bend forward to the floor, moving your hands down the center of your body. Bend forward from your hip joint, allowing your arms to hang loosely in front of you.
  • Inhale and return to your starting posture.

Take Caution

Please take caution when performing these movements. Make sure you have talked your doctor before performing them your own or with an instructor. If you use supplemental oxygen or inhalers, please keep them by your side while practicing these poses.

If you or a loved one has COPD or another lung disease and want to learn more about treatment options, contact the Lung Institute or call (800) 729-3065.


  1. Lung Institute

    7 months ago


    Thank you for your comment and we are happy you are interested in the benefits of Tai Chi and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We have written a number of other blog articles about Tai Chi.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular therapy for chronic lung diseases. We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Bridget

    7 months ago

    I am a COPD sufferer and would Like To know more about TAI CHI for breathing and relaxing exercise please.

  3. Matt

    1 year ago

    Hello Scott,
    Thank you for your post. We’re glad to hear you’re enjoying our content. Our general overviews can help those understand basic concepts such as relaxation, proper diet, the power of positive thinking, and stress management. To learn more about stress management, click this link. Thanks again and have a great day.

  4. Scott H

    1 year ago

    I’m a Respiratory Therapist developing Rehab skills for my patients, I would be interested in learning relaxation techniques for my patients.

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  11. alice whittaker

    3 years ago

    I would really like this.

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