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 Qigong and Taiji: Oxygen Metabolism 
 

2. Water Production
A second critical benefit of increased oxygen metabolism generated through the practice of moderate body movement and breathing exercises is linked to the lymph system. Besides the production of energy, in the phosphorylization cycle, there is also the generation of pure water as a waste product or by product.(30) This water is dramatically and directly increased when oxygen consumption is increased at the cell. Because this water becomes involved with the internal cleansing performed by the lymph it is a major link between the breath and lymphatic system function. (Discussion follows in lymph section)

3. Immune Function
ATP drives the activity of every cell. Therefore, immune function as well as the production of immune resources (white blood cells, lymphocytes, t-cells, killer cells, etc) are indirectly dependent on oxygen consumption. These activities become deficient in individuals who are unwell. It has been shown that exercise can mobilize the effect of natural killer(NK) cells.(31) In individuals who exercise so vigorously that they exceed the aerobic level and cross the anaerobic threshold immune function is decreased.(32,33) Both suggest that oxygen deficiency leads to decreased immune function and that moderate exercise increases immune function.

In his research, Nobel Prize recipient Otto Warburg found that oxygen deficiency was typical of cancer cells.(34) There are numerous studies that associate reduced oxygen intake with increased mortality (19,20) and reduced resistance to disease. In studies with elders immunodeficiency was found to be one of several consequences of reduced oxygen metabolism.(35).

Oxygen's effect on the immune function has been demonstrated through research studies on two nutrients that have been shown to have immunomodulating capability. Germanium, an element that bonds easily with oxygen, is thought to increase the efficiency of the use of oxygen in the mitochondria of the cell. In addition, it may help to decrease free radicals in the blood. In a German study it was found that in elderly, injured, stressed and hospitalized individuals the arterial oxygen content is often reduced from normal levels.(36) Administration of oxygen was found to elevate the arterial oxygen content and increase recovery rates. The experimental addition of germanium to the treatment protocol increased oxygen utilization and further accelerated the healing process.(36)

Blood studies on patients with AIDS revealed, in addition to deficient immune capability, low concentrations of Co enzyme Q10, a co enzyme present in all healthy cells. The patients were administered CoQ10 and their symptoms as well as blood immune factors improved.(37) Co Q10 apparently improves the ability of oxygen to produce ATP. Both germanium and Co Q10 enhance the ability of oxygen to support immune function with the implication that increased oxygen through Qigong or Yoga/Pranayama may have a direct impact on immune deficiency states.

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 About The Author
Roger Jahnke OMDRoger Jahnke has been in the health field since 1967 beginning with body therapies, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation. He turned his attention seriously to Oriental medicine in 1972 with study at the North......more
 
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