This post is in initial build-out status and may change.
General Information: Wikipedia entry
Studied Uses: Cardiovascular. (More will be added here in the future.)
Overall Score: 5.06
Behind the Score: The score is significantly positive based on evidence from several small and short-term but relatively rigorous studies. Most of these studies involved fewer than 100 individuals, divided into at least two groups: a control group and a qigong group. One study also compared qigong plus medicine to medicine alone 1, while another compared a control group, an exercise group and a qigong group. 2 In both of these studies, qigong showed significant benefits. In another study, qigong and exercise proved to be equally effective in lowering blood pressure — both worked well over a period of 16 weeks. 3
A drawback of the studies is that, although randomized and controlled, most trials were by their nature not blinded.
Warnings and Special Notes: One case report described a 65-year-old woman who frequently practiced qigong. Following a stroke, her blood pressure when performing qigong was erratic, despite normal status when resting. 4 Although this was a single case report, it indicates that caution and monitoring may be warranted in people with truly precarious health who want to participate in qigong.
What Now? Most studies spanned less than a year, and in the majority of cases only a few months. These studies illustrated clear short-term benefits of qigong, especially for lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. The long-term benefits of qigong appear to be relatively unexplored. It is possible that these benefits could be even more striking.
What Can I Do? You can find a qigong teacher in your area by searching the Qigong Institute’s database of teachers, or by visiting a holistic health practitioner or center and asking if they can provide a referral.
- Influence of qigong therapy upon serum HDL-C in hypertensive patients. Chinese Journal of Modern Developments in Traditional Medicine, 1989. ↩
- Tai chi Qigong improves lung functions and activity tolerance in COPD clients: a single blind, randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2011. ↩
- Randomised controlled trial of qigong in the treatment of mild essential hypertension. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2005. ↩
- Intracerebral haemorrhage and Qigong. Hong Kong Medical Journal, 2001. ↩