Researchers in the USA have found that a combination of tai chi and qigong (TQ) can enhance older adults' immune responses to the flu vaccine.
A group of 50 adults in their 70s, were randomised TQ or no exercise. The TQ group attended three one-hour classes per week, consisting of tai chi and qigong movements along with standing and seated meditation. All participants received a flu vaccination at the start of the study and had blood tests over the next five months. The results showed that the TQ group had much higher antibody responses against the flu virus than the comparison group. The vaccination resulted in a 173, 130 and 109% increase in antibody titre at 3, 6, and 20 weeks post-vaccine, respectively, in the TQ group, compared to 58, 54, and 10% in the controls. (Effects of a Taiji and Qigong intervention on the antibody response to influenza vaccine in older adults. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(4):597-607).