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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (12): 1388-1393.doi: 10.3736/jcim20121209

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Qualitative research of the elderly real experience of long-term adherence to Tai Chi exercise

 Xue Qiao, Yu-fang Hao()   

  1. Nursing College, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China
  • Received:2012-06-29 Accepted:2012-08-28 Online:2012-12-20 Published:2018-12-15

Objective: To explore the experience of the process of Tai Chi exercise
Methods: The study was conducted in a local park in Beijing of China where varying numbers of community members gathered to practice Tai Chi every day. Volunteers meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited after signed an informed consent form. In-depth interview and the participatory observation were used to know of the real feeling of practicing Tai Chi. The qualitative data obtained from the interviews were analyzed by using Colaizzi seven-step method to find the subjects.
Results: Six volunteers having a long-time Tai Chi exercise were recruited in this qualitative study, and their real experience was summarized in the physiological level, psychological level, social level and cultural level. In the physiological level, Tai Chi improves the health and exercise of Tai Chi assists the elderly to develop good living habits. In the psychological level, Tai Chi practice guides the person to inner peace, relieves tension, improves depressive mood state, and makes the elderly regain self worth. In the social level Tai Chi is a good form of community practice. In the cultural level, Tai Chi roots in yin and yang culture and integrates internal and external exercises.
Conclusion: Tai Chi is good for body and mind health and the community of practice is very important for practitioners. Tai Chi gains popularity for its benefits to health and psychological adjustments, and its cultural connotation.

Key words: shadow boxing, the elderly, the experience of practice, case study, qualitative research

Table 1

Basic information of 6 interviewees"

No. Age
Gender Job Education Types of shadow boxing Lasting time (year)
001 65 Female Retired cadre College Wu shadow boxing, 24-style shadow boxing 14
002 61 Male Retired worker High school 24-style shadow boxing 6
Retired physical education
Technical secondary
Yang shadow boxing, 24-style shadow boxing
004 60 Female Retired worker High school Chen shadow boxing 8
005 65 Female Retired pharmacist College 24-style, 32-style, 48-style shadow boxing 10
006 63 Female Retired teacher Undergraduate course Chen shadow boxing 22
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