Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Qigong Research Updates 1

Qi Dao Newsletter January 2006

• Deep-breathing exercises reduce atelectasis and improve pulmonary function after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Westerdahl et al. of Sweden reported in Chest (Nov. 2005) that a randomized controlled trial (N=90) showed patients performing deep-breathing exercises after CABG surgery had significantly smaller atelectatic areas and better pulmonary function on the fourth postoperative day compared to a control group performing no exercises.


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of deep-breathing exercises on pulmonary function, atelectasis, and arterial blood gas levels after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

DESIGN & SETTING: In a prospective, randomized trial, patients performing deep-breathing exercises (n = 48) were compared to a control group (n = 42) who performed no breathing exercises postoperatively. Patient management was similar in the groups in terms of assessment, positioning, and mobility.

INTERVENTIONS: The patients in the deep-breathing group were instructed to perform breathing exercises hourly during daytime for the first 4 postoperative days. The exercises consisted of 30 slow, deep breaths performed with a positive expiratory pressure blow-bottle device (+ 10 cm H(2)O).

MEASUREMENTS & RESULTS: Spirometric measurements, spiral CT (three transverse levels), arterial blood gas analysis, and scoring of subjective experience of the breathing exercises were performed on the fourth postoperative day. Atelectasis was only half the size in the deep-breathing group compared to the control group, amounting to 2.6 +/- 2.2% vs 4.7 +/- 5.7% (p = 0.045) at the basal level and 0.1 +/- 0.2% vs 0.3 +/- 0.5% (mean +/- SD) [p = 0.01] at the apical level. Compared to the control subjects, the patients in the deep-breathing group had a significantly smaller reduction in FVC (to 71 +/- 12%, vs 64 +/- 13% of the preoperative values; p = 0.01) and FEV(1) (to 71 +/- 11%, vs 65 +/- 13% of the preoperative values; p = 0.01). Arterial oxygen tension, carbon dioxide tension, fever, or length of ICU or hospital stay did not differ between the groups. In the deep-breathing group, 72% of the patients experienced a subjective benefit from the exercises.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients performing deep-breathing exercises after CABG surgery had significantly smaller atelectatic areas and better pulmonary function on the fourth postoperative day compared to a control group performing no exercises. (Chest, 2005 Nov; 128:3482-8)



• Qigong exercise helps reduce the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: A

randomized controlled pilot study

Schmitz-Hubsch et al. of Germany published their study in October 2005 issue of Movement Disorders. Here is the abstract.

ABSTRACT: Irrespective of limited evidence, not only traditional physiotherapy, but also a wide array of complementary methods are applied by patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).

We evaluated the immediate and sustained effects of Qigong on motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD, using an add-on design. Fifty-six patients with different levels of disease severity (mean age/standard deviation [SD], 63.8/7.5 years; disease duration 5.8/4.2 years; 43 men [76%]) were recruited from the outpatient movement disorder clinic of the Department of Neurology, University of Bonn.

We compared the progression of motor symptoms assessed by Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor part (UPDRS-III) in the Qigong treatment group (n = 32) and a control group receiving no additional intervention (n = 24). Qigong exercises were applied as 90-minute weekly group instructions for 2 months, followed by a 2 months pause and a second 2-month treatment period.

Assessments were carried out at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months.

More patients improved in the Qigong group than in the control group at 3 and 6 months (P = 0.0080 at 3 months and P = 0.0503 at 6 months; Fisher's exact test). At 12 months, there was a sustained difference between groups only when changes in UPDRS-III were related to baseline. Depression scores decreased in both groups, whereas the incidence of several nonmotor symptoms decreased in the treatment group only. (Movement Disorders, 2005 Oct 14).



Qi Dao Newsletter May 2006

Following are brief summaries of the findings from some published NIH-funded studies:

• A randomized controlled trial found that three times per week, 6 month Tai Chi program is effective in decreasing the number of falls, the risk for falling, and the fear of falling, and it improves functional balance and physical performance in physically inactive persons aged 70 years or older (Li et al. 2005).

• A study of patients who underwent 12 weeks of Tai Chi training vs. usual care found that the intervention group demonstrated improved quality-of-life scores, six-minute walk distance, and serum B-type natriuretic peptide level compared to controls (Yeh et al. 2004).

• Wu et al (1999) examined the effect of external qigong therapy on late-stage complex regional pain syndrome in a randomized placebo-controlled trial, and found that 91% of the genuine qigong group reported less pain after the treatment, compared to 36% of the sham qigong group (p < .01).

• Irwin et al (2003) reported that administration of Tai Chi Chih (a form of qigong) for 15 weeks led to an increase in Varicella-zoster virus specific cell-mediated immunity. Gains in health functioning were also found in participants who received TCC and were most marked in those older adults who had the greatest impairments of health status.

• A randomized clinical trial examined Tai Chi’s effects on psychosocial variables in individuals with various stages of HIV disease. The findings indicated that Tai Chi intervention may account for clinically meaningful improvements in psychosocial functioning (Robin et al. 2006).


• The Effect of Baduanjin to the Function of Human Cardio-Vascular -- Li Yuhuan, Li Dongjun, Zhang Haibo,

Hou Beichen (Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion , Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

We recruited some college students and trained them to practice Baduanjin. Then we monitored systematically six kinds of physical indications. They were blood pressure, electrocardiogram, pulse pressure, degree of oxygen saturation of blood, temperature of the limbs ending skin, the delaying time between heart beat and pulse, and do some contrast experiments, using multi-parameters recording device.

At last, we got the data that Baduanjin could improve the body's cardio-vascular function and discuss its effect to the human's cardio-vascular function made by practicing Baduanjin.

The result has showed that after 10 weeks' concentrative training, there were some effects to the students in the experimental group, such as the electrocardiogram, the degree of blood oxygen saturation, the temperature of the ending skin, the delaying time from the heart beat to pulse. Statistical significance could be found in these data (P<0.05).>


Qi Dao Newsletter August/September 2006

• Effect of Qigong exercise program on elderly with depression -- Tsang and his colleagues at the Department of

Rehabilitation Sciences, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University conducted a randomized control trial on this subject, and published their results in September issue of International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;21(9):890-7).

Here is the abstract:

OBJECTIVES: This report released findings of a randomized controlled trial conducted in Hong Kong to further our understanding of the psychosocial effects of qigong on elderly persons with depression.

DESIGN: Eighty-two participants with a diagnosis of depression or obvious features of depression were recruited and randomly assigned into the intervention and comparison group. The intervention group was given a 16-week period of Qigong practice while the comparison group participated in a newspaper reading group with same duration and frequency.

RESULTS: After eight weeks of qigong practice, the intervention group participants outstripped themselves in improvement in mood, self-efficacy and personal well being, and physical and social domains of self-concept when compared with comparison subjects. After 16 weeks of practice, the improvement generalized to the daily task domain of the self-concept.

CONCLUSIONS: This report shows that regular qigong practice could relieve depression, improve self-efficacy and personal well being among elderly persons with chronic physical illness and depression. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


• Effects of mental relaxation and slow breathing in essential hypertension. Kaushik RM, Kaushik R, Mahajan SK, Rajesh V. (Department of Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Nagar, P.O. Doiwala, Dehradun 248140, Uttaranchal, India), Complement Ther Med. 2006 Jun;14(2):120-6.

OBJECTIVES: To compare mental relaxation and slow breathing as adjunctive treatment in patients of essential hypertension by observing their effects on blood pressure and other autonomic parameters like heart rate, respiratory rate, peripheral skin temperature, electromyographic activity of the frontalis muscle and skin conductance.

METHODS: One hundred patients of essential hypertension either receiving antihypertensive drugs or unmedicated were selected randomly. Various parameters were recorded during the resting state and then during mental relaxation and slow breathing for 10 min each, separated by a quiet period of 15 min. All parameters were recorded again after mental relaxation and slow breathing. Changes in various parameters observed after mental relaxation and slow breathing were analyzed and compared.

RESULTS: Both mental relaxation and slow breathing resulted in a fall in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and electromyographic activity with increase in peripheral skin temperature and skin conductance. Slow breathing caused a significantly higher fall in heart rate (p<0.05),>0.2) observed with both the modalities.

CONCLUSIONS: Even a single session of mental relaxation or slow breathing can result in a temporary fall in blood pressure. Both the modalities increase the parasympathetic tone but have effects of different intensity on different autonomic parameters.


Qi Dao Newsletter November/December 2006

• The effects of baduanjin qigong in the prevention of bone loss for middle-aged women. Chen HH, Yeh ML, Lee FY., (American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2006;34 (5):741-7.)

Abstract: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a 12-week Baduanjin qigong training program in preventing bone loss for middle-aged women.

An experimental design was adopted, and subjects were assigned randomly into an experimental group (n = 44) and a control group (n = 43). The experimental group received a 12-week Baduanjin qigong training program, whereas the control group did not. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured before and after the intervention.

The results showed significant differences in IL-6 (t = -5.19, p < t =" 1.99," p =" 0.049)">


Qi Dao Newsletter January/February 2007

Jouper J, Hassmen P, Johansson M. “Qigong exercise with concentration predicts increased health.” Am J ChinMed. 2006; 34(6):949-57

Regular physical activity has many positive health effects. Despite this, approximately 50% of all adults are not exercising enough to enjoy better health and may, therefore, need an alternative to vigorous physical exercise.

Qigong offers a gentle way to exercise the body.

A questionnaire sample of 253 participants was collected and correlations with the variable health-now were analyzed. Results showed that health-now was positively correlated with number of completed qigong courses (p <>

Qigong exercise thereby seems to offer a viable alternative to other more vigorous physical activities when wellness is the primary goal. When interpreted using self-determination theory, qigong seems to satisfy needs related to autonomy, competence and relatedness, thereby, primarily attracting individuals who are intrinsically motivated.


Qi Dao Newsletter May/June 2007

“Functional capacity after traditional Chinese medicine (qi gong) training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation: a randomized controlled trial.” Prev Cardiol. 2007 Winter;10(1):22-5. by Pippa L. Manzoli L, Corti I et al. (Camillo de Lellis per la Ricera Clinica Applicata, Pescara, Italy.)

Evidence indicates that low energy expenditure protocols derived from traditional Chinese medicine may benefit patients with cardiac impairment; therefore, the authors carried out a randomized controlled trial to test a 16- week medically assisted qi gong training program for the physical rehabilitation of patients with stable chronic atrial fibrillation and preserved left ventricular function.

Functional capacity variation was evaluated using the 6-minute walk test, which was performed at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and after 16 weeks. Thirty men and 13 women (mean age, 68+/-8 years) were randomized to the intervention protocol or to a wait-list control group.

Qi gong training was well tolerated and, compared with baseline, trained patients walked an average 114 meters more (27%) at the end of treatment (P<.001) and 57 meters more (13.7%) 16 weeks later (P=.008). Control subjects showed no variation in functional capacity. These results seem promising and deserve confirmation with further research.


Qigong reduces stress in computer operators. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 May;13(2):78-84. by Skoglund L. Jansson E. (Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.)

Chinese research indicates that the Qigong method reduces psychosomatic and physical symptoms through an effect on the sympathetic nervous system.

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to investigate the effects of Qigong on stress among computer operators.

DESIGN: Ten women were included in a Qigong group and an equal number in a control group. Heart rate, blood pressure, and finger temperature were measured at the beginning and at the end of the working day during 5 weeks. Twenty four-hours urine samples were collected in the first and last weeks to measure catecholamine excretion in urine. Participants kept a daily record of psychological measures of strain and weekly measures of stress levels.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Qigong reduced noradrenaline excretion in urine (p<0.05),>

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