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Qigong for Low Back pain

Qigong for Low Back pain

This article is a review of the current literature on the effectiveness of treating lower back pain via MMBI: Movement Based Mind-Body Interventions. Rigorous screening was conducted in choosing which articles to consider. At present, 80% of American adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. No thoroughly effective treatment exists, though research does exist as to the varying effectiveness of certain exercises. Otherwise, all that is currently offered is either pain medications [oftentimes opioids], surgery, and/or injections. This article, however, reports MMBI can not only reduce back pain, but also the psychological stress that often times accompanies it, especially with chronic back pain patients. The majority of articles reviewed had to do with yoga, which did show clear effectiveness in relieving this condition. Both tai chi and qigong also showed promising results, but more research needs to be conducted on both in order to be more conclusive.

Summary written by Dr. Charles Garrettson, George Mason University

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Qigong for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of COVID-19 Infection in Older Adults

June 2020 Blog


Qigong has the potential to play a role in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Potential mechanisms of action include stress reduction, emotion regulation, strengthening of respiratory muscles, reduction of inflammation, and enhanced immune function.

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Preventing Cognitive Decline with Aging

Two groups of women were studied in-depth and contrasted to help clarify if just long term brisk walking regularly or long term practicing tai chi regularly helped more with cognitive function in later years (seniors).  Based upon the results, The tai chi group did much better on the cognitive tests, and demonstrated changes in the characteristics of brain matter compared to either walking or the control group.  Each group practiced either brisk walking regularly, or tai chi regularly, for an average of six years prior to the testing.  The investigators note that tai chi may attenuate the neural network of the human brain, influencing and staving off age-associated cognitive decline.  They conclude that long term tai chi training is more conducive than walking to optimize the brain structure and promote efficient brain function.

Description by Dr. CJ Rhoads, M.Ed., D.Ed, Kutztown University 

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Qigong for Persistent Post-Surgical Pain

 

Qigong Mind-Body Exercise as a Biopsychosocial Therapy for Persistent Post-Surgical Pain in Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study

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Qigong as a Treatment for Depression

This study was a meta-analysis discussing the possible mechanisms in which qigong may relieve depression. Seven studies were included in their review, which showed that qigong has a significant effect on improving depression (and lowering diastolic blood pressure). Based on the results of their review, the authors concluded that the most likely neurophysiological explanation as to how qigong helps improve symptoms of depression is through its effects on the autonomic nervous system, particularly enhancing the effects of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Summary written by Joseph Baumgarden, DPT

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Using Qigong to boost the immune response

Given the concerns about Coronavirus, this article shows the benefits of qigong practice to boost the immune response.


Acute Effects on the Counts of Innate and Adaptive Immune Response Cells After 1 Month of Taoist Qigong Practice 

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Tai Chi in older adults with CHF

This study examined the effects of tai chi and Functional Electrical Stimulation of lower limb muscles on the recovery of older adults with chronic heart failure. There were 1084 participants divided into 4 groups- a control group with no intervention, a group who performed tai chi exercises only, a group who received FES to their quadriceps and calves only, and a combined tai chi and FES group. Participants were > 70 years of age, and the interventions lasted for 12 weeks.

 

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Know the Evidence Update - 2019

Know the Evidence Update- 2019

A report of the NQA Research and Education Committee

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Qigong exercise for chronic fatigue syndrome

 

This report is greatly encouraging for all qigong practitioners at all levels. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome [CFS] is widespread, under-studied, under-reported and, as of yet, has no cure. This study, however, provides compelling evidence that qigong can be an effective remedy to this debilitating condition. 

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Longer term Benefits of Tai Chi for People who are Obese

Longer term Benefits of Tai Chi for People who are Obese


The World Health Organization has identified the top three factors that cause death worldwide as hypertension, smoking, and high cholesterol (hypercholesteremia).  As we age, we experience a decrease in physiological and heart function, reduction in the elasticity of blood vessels, increased viscosity of blood, and a reduction of pulmonary capacity and function.  Arteries lose their elasticity and flexibility which results in increased resistance to blood flow with increased blood pressure, cardiac insufficiency and other cardiovascular diseases. Obesity is a risk factor in heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses, and often finding the right type of exercise is difficult for the obese adult.

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Tai chi qigong improves brain function

This study involved 55 healthy right–handed subjects, among which, 23 Chen style Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practitioners and 32 control subjects were matched for sex, age, and education. All TCC practitioners have been practicing and teaching TCC for more than 5 years. The control participants with no TCC practice were recruited from local community as the non–sports population. 


Using functional near–infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) which can be used to measure the amount of hemoglobin in the blood of a desired area of the brain,  this study measured the resting state and TCC movement state of ordinary people and long–term TCC practitioners, in order to explore the mechanism of action of TCC and the change of brain function in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC), Motor Cortex (MC) and Occipital Cortex (OC) of TCC training by using fNIRS.

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Effect of Qigong on Negative Emotions

This meta-analysis and systematic review evaluated 14 studies which examined the effects of Tai Chi Chuan on negative emotions in both younger adults and older adults. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 8% of the population is affected by depression and/or anxiety, and it is one of the leading causes of mortality and disability across the lifespan. Tai Chi Chuan is an evidence based prevention strategy that may offer both physical and psychological benefit, is low cost, and is non-pharmacological- therefore no medication side-effects.


Study intervention periods lasted from 12 weeks to 18 months, and included 1285 participants (Tai Chi 645, Control 640). Not only did the authors find that Tai Chi Chuan could decrease depression and anxiety in those affected, but they also found a strong likelihood that the practice of Tai Chi Chuan could prevent depression and anxiety of seemingly healthy individuals. The authors attributed this significant effect to the meditative components of practice. 

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Research on benefits of qigong increasing

Qigong practitioners should be encouraged by the substantial [exponential] increase in research on the medical benefits of qigong. This increase warrants future studies, which qigong practitioners should expect to see.




Abstract


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Qigong for alcoholism and addictions

 

This study involving 50 male participants and examined the effects of Qigong/Tai Chi plus medication and group therapy on alcoholism. The comparison group received medication and group therapy plus yoga. Post-intervention assessments were conducted at 18 days and 6 months.

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Qigong benefits dementia patients with Vascular Cognitive Impairment [VCI]

This study focused on the potential effect of practicing qigong in patients with Vascular Cognitive Impairment [VCI], the second greatest cause of dementia following Alzheimer’s. Ninety-three people were initially screened, though only 60 ended up participating in the entire three months of the study. Qigong was practiced an hour per day. Patients were 60 years old or older. The study was conducted at Tianjin Medical University General Hospital in Tianjin, China. The study focused on utilizing qigong and cognitive training in concert with control groups utilizing neither. Using a variety of ways to test the results, the conclusions were “significant.” The group that combined both qigong and cognitive training had the greatest positive effect. The greatest concern with the conclusion was with the relatively small number of subjects involved. More study using greater numbers of subjects should be the next step. Still, the results are encouraging in terms of the positive potential qigong practice can have with elderly care.


Abstract

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Research on Diaphragmatic Breathing

The following information was presented during the Research Panel at the 2019 NQA Annual Conference on Diaphragmatic Breathing. It includes a summary of current research on diaphragmatic breathing.

 ABSTRACTS      ARTICLE

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Bridging Integrative Medicine and Healthcare Financials

 

Please see the presentation on Bridging Integrative Medicine and Healthcare Financials by Dr CJ Rhoads PhD from the NQA conference research panel. We look forward to phase two of her project.

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Qigong benefits Low Back Pain

Qigong benefits Low Back Pain


This paper is a meta-analysis of 11 Randomized Controlled Trials involving 886 individuals with low back pain. Their aim was to investigate the effects of Traditional Chinese Exercise (TCE) on low back pain and disability. They defined TCE as Tai Chi, Qigong, Baduanjin, Yijinjing, or Wuqinxi.

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Qigong for Insomnia

Qigong for Insomnia


This systematic review and meta-analysis provided evidence that mind body therapies such as tai chi, qigong, yoga, and meditation could be effective in treating insomnia and improving the sleep quality of healthy subjects and clinical patients.

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Qigong practice helps behavioral disorders in school-age children

This paper examined the effects of a Tai Chi / Qigong intervention in four children between the ages of 6 and 10. The children were referred into the program due to difficult behavior and a diagnosis of ADHD. Consent was obtained from their parents.

The sessions took place over the course of a school-year (20 minutes, 30 sessions total - 1x/week). Tai Chi forms focused on regulation of breathing, mind focus and soft control of movements. The Qigong forms focused on clearance of mind and slow control of movements with muscle contraction-relaxation patterns synced with breathing.

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