The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
The elderly are at high risk of contracting respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19 infection. The recent pandemic has the potential to cause significant physical and mental damage in older adults. Similarly to other mind-body exercises in Traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong features regulation of breath rhythm and pattern, body movement and posture, and meditation. Given these traits, Qigong has the potential to play a role in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Potential mechanisms of action include stress reduction, emotion regulation, strengthening of respiratory muscles, reduction of inflammation, and enhanced immune function. Three forms of Qigong; abdominal breathing, Ba Duan Jin and Liu Zi Jue, all of which are gentle, smooth, and simple for the elderly to practice, are recommended in this context.