A US pilot study of tai chi for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suggests that it may be an effective treatment. Ten patients with moderate to severe COPD were randomised to 12 weeks of tai chi plus usual care or usual care alone. Tai chi training consisted of a twice-weekly one-hour class, which emphasised gentle movement, relaxation, meditation and breathing techniques. At 12 weeks there was significant improvement in respiratory scores among the tai chi participants compared with the usual-care group (1.4 vs -0.1). The tai chi group also showed non-significant trends toward improvements in six-minute walk distance, depression scores and shortness of breath. There were no significant changes in either group’s peak oxygen uptake. (Tai chi exercise for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pilot study. Respir Care. 2010 Nov;55(11):1475-82).