Apr 052011
 

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.)

Cardiovascular

Qigong Evidence Summary - Cardiovascular - http://sheet.zoho.com

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.

 

Mar 052011
 

Possibly the most important step, since emotional shocks and pain may underlie 1 many physical 2 and mental symptoms. This “mind-clearing” can take many forms such as tai chi, qigong, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). One form of meditation that is helping me is The Healing Codes. If you can get past the authors’ religious overtones, the technique they describe really works for me — and they do provide non-religious “focus statements.”

Mar 052011
 

Unsurprisingly, exercise helps health. What’s surprising is the degree to which this is true. We evolved to move, not to sit in front of a computer for 8+ hours per day. Yes, exercise is difficult and can tempt procrastination, but for the small time investment required, the results are noticeable. One recent study, although in mice, is especially impressive because exercise appeared to thwart aging even in genetically weakened mice. 1 2 I aim to walk (or do other exercise, like tai chi) for at least 30 continuous minutes at least five days a week. Most weeks I meet that goal. Some weeks I don’t. I don’t beat myself up over it — I just make sure I go outside and walk around the next day.

Notes:

  1. Endurance exercise rescues progeroid aging and induces systemic mitochondrial rejuvenation in mtDNA mutator mice, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 2011.
  2. Endurance exercise prevents premature aging, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, McMaster University, 2011.