Houston Community News >> Chinese Chi Gong May Help People Heal Faster

9/12/2007 (CBS)-- Floating was just about the last thing on Janice Grillo's mind 11 days ago. That's when she had surgery to replace both her knees.

"I'll tell you, I was in a lot of pain," said Grillo.

As part of her rehabilitation, doctors at Morristown Memorial Hospital asked her to take a class every day, where patients learn the Chinese art of chi-gong.

It's similar to tai-chi, but the movements of chi-gong can be done from a fixed spot like a wheelchair. Stroke and surgery patients only need their arms to harness their own energy, or chi.

"It's teaching me how to breathe and how to relax my body," said Grillo.

Relaxation is key to the healing process. Research has shown techniques like meditation, yoga and even praying can speed recovery. Now doctors are studying chi-gong to see if it can do the same.

"People have reported improved sleep, reduced blood pressure. Plus in Chinese medicine, all the qi gongs, actually effect your organs," said Rebecca Thomas, Occupational Therapist.

"It's just like a wave washing over your head," said Grillo.

Does chi-gong help people heal faster? Researchers hope to have study results soon.

Janice isn't waiting, she's already a believer and plans to continue doing chi-gong on her own.

Contributed by CBS