Qi gong is one of the four pillars of traditional Chinese medicine along with acupuncture, massage and herbal medicines. Patients who regularly use the gentle exercises of qi gong need less medication, less acupuncture and heal faster. Daily qi gong practice has been found to lower blood pressure, pulse rates, metabolic rates, and oxygen demand. Qi gong triggers the body's relaxation response by reducing the level of dopamine, a natural body chemical that controls neurological activity. Regular qi gong can reduce stiffness and pain in the hands of arthritic patients and help the deformed knuckles characteristic of arthritis to return to normal.