Tai Chi and Qigong for Scoliosis: Supporting a Healthy Spine and Improved Posture

Tai Chi and Qigong for Scoliosis: Supporting a Healthy Spine and Improved Posture


Tai chi and qigong are Chinese exercises focusing on slow, intentional movements and breathing. People with scoliosis find these beneficial for their spine and posture. Practicing helps connect people to their environment, giving strength, better balance and coordination, awareness of physical sensations, and better breath control. This creates a sense of well-being.

Tai chi consists of 108 slow-motion postures called forms. It is a dance-like choreography that unites mind, body and spirit. Even people with disabilities can practice it, though different teachers may bring different flavors. Qigong involves mastering movements from martial arts training, with intense concentration on breathing. The stances are part of longer sequences for health benefits, not self-defense.

Understanding Scoliosis

Scoliosis: an abnormal spinal curvature usually seen in teens. It can cause pain, struggle with regular activities, and a drop in quality of life. To manage symptoms and advance wellbeing, one should understand scoliosis and make life changes. For example, Tai Chi and Qigong are great practices to adopt.


Scoliosis is an abnormal spine curvature. It’s divided into three categories: mild (up to 25 degrees), moderate (26-50 degrees) and severe (more than 50 degrees). Mild cases may self-correct, but advanced ones need treatments like bracing or surgery. Unfortunately, these treatments can cause pain and discomfort. So, alternative methods are needed.

Chinese Medicine views scoliosis holistically. Tai Chi and Qigong are two popular techniques that can help. They involve slow movements, deep breathing, relaxation and visualizations. All these help reduce pain, improve digestion and circulation, strengthen the spine and correct posture. With time, these techniques can lessen tension in tight muscles and strengthen weaker ones.


The real cause of scoliosis is unknown, yet researchers hold that certain things may trigger it.

  • Genetics can play a role; scoliosis can be passed from family to family.
  • The age of 10-18 is when it is mostly seen, and it is more common for females than males.
  • Old injuries, short limbs, bad posture or the feeling of an unequal weight distribution can lead to unbalanced muscles and an incorrect standing posture, thus adding to scoliosis.
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, can also heighten the risk of scoliosis, as they can hamper a person’s capability to keep proper posture and balance.


Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, or backbone. Some cases are mild, but severe scoliosis can stop you from doing certain activities and cause back pain. Symptoms include:

  • Uneven shoulders or waistline when viewed from front or back
  • Uneven shoulder blade when seen from side
  • One shoulder blade sticking out more than other
  • Head tilted to one side
  • Prominence on either side of rib cage
  • Clothes fit differently on one side
  • Pain & discomfort in certain areas or whole spine
  • Difficulty in breathing due to rib cage abnormalities.

Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong for Scoliosis

Tai Chi and Qigong can boost up those with scoliosis. How? They help with flexibility and strength in the spine. In addition, these exercises can also aid in improving posture and balance. As a result, scoliosis’ effects on the body can be minimized.

In this article, we will delve further into the advantages of Tai Chi and Qigong for scoliosis:

Improved Posture

Tai Chi and Qigong exercises can help with posture. Poor posture is often a cause of scoliosis pain. These postures focus on alignment, stretching, and posture-enhancing movements. This helps bring balance and an improved posture.

Tai Chi also helps with spinal flexibility, twisting movements, and awareness of any body asymmetry. It also strengthens weak muscles and increases abdominal strength. This helps with stability, coordination, and better spinal health. Regular practice leads to better spinal health overall.

Increased Flexibility

Tai chi and qigong can aid in scoliosis management. They strengthen the body, promote awareness of tight or weak areas and help with alignment. With regular practice, persons with scoliosis can learn to balance opposing forces. This can lead to improved posture and reduced asymmetrical tension in the spine. Greater flexibility means more range of motion for daily activities and physical activities like yoga and Pilates.

All this can help reduce pain and increase flexibility and range of motion.

Improved Balance

Tai Chi and Qigong prioritize balance. If ignored, scoliosis can lead to a misalignment of the spine. Practicing these two exercises can keep posture balanced and improve balance control by increasing body awareness.

Incorporating Tai Chi and Qigong into daily life can help to use the correct muscles for better balance control and improved posture. Whether standing, walking, or sitting, the results will be seen:

  • Improved posture
  • Better balance control
  • Increased body awareness

Tai Chi and Qigong Exercises for Scoliosis

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient martial arts from China. They have numerous advantages. Now, they are commonly used to help those with scoliosis. These exercises can give relief and help maintain a healthy spine and better posture.

Recent studies have revealed the efficiency of these exercises in managing scoliosis. This article gives a summary of their results:

Spinal Twist

The Spinal Twist is a Tai Chi and Qigong exercise that helps persons with scoliosis. It encourages more rotation of the spine. This can be helpful for those with areas of restricted movement due to their spine’s curvature.

This exercise can be done either standing or sitting. Put your hands together at chest level, palms facing inwards. Inhale as you drop your shoulders and open your arms out to both sides.

Exhale as you twist your torso to the right. Keep both ends of your spine long and even. The left side of your abdomen should reach back, while the right side should reach forward. Feel a deep stretch in your upper and lower body. Imagine your spine being stretched from top to bottom like a taffy pull.

Exhale as you come back to the center and repeat on opposite side. Don’t hunch or scrunch your shoulders. Keep them relaxed. This will help you make full use of the exercise, improving flexibility of all areas of spinal curvature related to scoliosis.

Shoulder Circles

Shoulder circles involve taking your arms to the side. You then rotate your shoulders in a complete circle. Do this forward and backward, at the same time. This exercise can help relax tight muscles. It’s often used for Tai Chi and Qigong exercises. These help improve flexibility in the shoulder area.

For scoliosis, move slowly and stay aware of your shoulder blades. Make sure they stay aligned as you move them through the circle. When bringing your arms above head level, squeeze your shoulder blades together. This is extra helpful for supporting a healthy spine.

Cat and Cow Stretch

The Cat and Cow Stretch is great for a healthy spine! It helps improve posture by making shoulders flexible. To do it, start on the floor or hands and knees. Press your upper back outwards – like unzipping a zipper. Take long breaths in through your nose. Curve your spine like a cat. Then “aww” through pursed lips and arch downwards like a cow’s belly. This releases tension from the lower back. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds then switch. Do this 10 times.

With practice, you should feel more flexible and better posture!


Tai Chi and Qigong exercises can help you with scoliosis. They strengthen your spine, improve posture, and increase balance. You’ll also gain better concentration and mindfulness. This may aid in managing your pain. As with any exercise, speak to your doctor first.

Regular practice leads to better physical health and overall wellness:

  • Strengthen your spine
  • Improve posture
  • Increase balance
  • Gain better concentration and mindfulness
  • Manage pain
  • Better physical health and overall wellness

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Tai Chi and Qigong?

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese practices that involve mindful movement, breathing, and meditation. They are often used for health and wellness, stress reduction, and improving physical function.

2. How can Tai Chi and Qigong help with scoliosis?

Tai Chi and Qigong can help improve posture, strengthen core muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce pain and discomfort associated with scoliosis. They also promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can contribute to improved overall health.

3. Can Tai Chi and Qigong replace traditional medical treatment for scoliosis?

No, Tai Chi and Qigong should not be used as a substitute for traditional medical treatment for scoliosis. However, they can be used as a complementary practice to support a healthy spine and improved posture.

4. Is Tai Chi or Qigong better for scoliosis?

Both Tai Chi and Qigong can be beneficial for scoliosis. It really depends on the individual and their specific needs and preferences. Some people may find Tai Chi more helpful for improving balance and coordination, while others may prefer the gentle movements of Qigong.

5. Can anyone practice Tai Chi and Qigong for scoliosis?

Yes, Tai Chi and Qigong are generally safe and suitable for people of all ages and abilities. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have scoliosis or other health conditions.

6. How long does it take to see results from practicing Tai Chi and Qigong for scoliosis?

The benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong for scoliosis may vary from person to person. Some people may experience improvements in posture and reduced pain and discomfort after just a few sessions, while others may take longer to see results. It is important to practice regularly and consistently to achieve the maximum benefits.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

Related Articles