Body Movement

What is body movement?

Nonaerobic movement with controlled breathing can be practiced to reduce stress and anxiety that is often associated with disease and illness. The Eastern medicine body movement techniques most well known include:

Tai chi

Tai chi is an ancient form of martial art. It is based on a Chinese belief system of practicing slow, graceful movements and rhythmic breathing. Tai chi is sometimes referred to as moving meditation—practitioners move their bodies slowly, gently, and with awareness, while breathing deeply.  It is well-suited for the elderly.

Tai chi may help:

  • Decrease blood pressure

  • Increase stamina, muscle tone, and flexibility

  • Improve posture, balance, muscle mass, and strength in older people


Yoga is an ancient posturing and breathing technique originating from India. It uses slow movement, meditation and breathing exercises to reach a state of relaxation. Hatha yoga is common in the United States and Europe. It uses postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). Some of the other major styles of hatha yoga include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vini, Kundalini, and Bikram yoga.

Yoga may help:

  • Reduce stress

  • Reduce pain associated with some chronic illnesses

  • Reduce insomnia

  • Improve stamina

  • Enhance quality of life