Filtered by author: Kathleen A. Levac Clear Filter

Qigong for Stroke prevention and treatment

Two research studies on stroke - one for prevention and one for Quality of Life post stroke


Article 1- Stroke Prevention

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Improved Mental Health in Elders with Long-term Tai chi Practice

Improved Mental Health in  Elders with Long-term Tai chi Practice


This well done, rigorous study offers a look into the impact of long term tai chi practice on the brain in elders. Decreased regret and judgment (rumination) were two interesting findings that could help elders avoid depression caused by rumination. 

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Qigong for Anti-Aging for those under age 65 and Frail Older Adults

 

Qigong for Anti-Aging for those under age 65 and Frail Older Adults

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Advice to Qigong Teachers

Advice to Qigong Teachers


This qualitative research study looked at adherence to ongoing practice at home. 


Key lessons learned that can benefit qigong teachers:


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Qigong for Depression and Substance abuse

The effect of tai chi and Qigong exercise on depression and anxiety of individuals with substance use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis

There is a scarcity of systematic reviews summarizing the clinical evidence of the effect of Tai Chi and Qigong among individuals with substance use disorders. This study tries to fill this gap by measuring the effects of each in substance abuse treatment. The findings suggest a potentially beneficial effect of Qigong exercise on symptoms of anxiety among individuals with drug abuse, but no significant effect from Tai chi. The study found that qigong reduced anxiety and depression. One of the benefits of relaxation is the effect on the limbic system to replace the numbing effect of  drugs. With qigong individuals  experience less  anxiety and perhaps the chance of relapse is reduced.  Qigong practice reduced the pleasure dissonance and improved cognitive control with simplicity of movement. This is a small metastudy and more research is needed but preliminary results are positive, noting that Qigong may reduce the need for medication therapy

The effect of tai chi and Qigong exercise on depression and anxiety of individuals with substance use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BMC Complement Med Ther 2020 May 29;20(1):161.doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-02967-8.

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Benefits of Qigong - a systematic review

Benefits of Qigong as an integrative and complementary practice for health: a systematic review

Nurses are using various forms of complementary medicine for patients in western health care systems.  The purpose of this article was to review and analyze the literature for the  integrative and complementary practice of Qigong with regard to the benefits to the health of adults.

This literature review is an interesting overview of 28 studies ranging from cancer to low back pain and tinnitus. The 28 articles span the years of 2008-2018amd  include: cancer; fibromyalgia; Parkinson's disease; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Burnout; stress; social isolation; chronic low back pain; cervical pain; buzz (tinnitus); osteoarthritis; fatigue; depression; and cardiovascular diseases.  It is interesting to note that the researchers included physicians, physical and occupational therapists, a pharmacist, and nurses.  The research locations included studies from all over the world. This reinforces the need to strengthen the use of integrative and complementary practices, such as the Qigong, in health care with a view to ensuring comprehensiveness and to improving the health care assistance offered to adults and elderly individuals.

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Tai Chi Qigong for Well Being and COPD

Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing- Evaluation of a British Lung Foundation Pilot


Respiratory diseases are a leading cause of death and disability throughout the world.  The British Lung Foundation Pilot study examined the effects of a 12 movement sequence of Tai Chi on the level of difficulty breathing, anxiety and physical function over a three month period .  The 12 simple movements were used to  simplify the practice so it could be done by anyone, no matter what level of disability.  There were four objective measures used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and the progress of the participants.  Fifty five percent of the participants completed the program, and a positive trend was noted for all of these participants.

The main perceived benefits were a decrease in breathlessness and improved ability to relax. More research is needed in this area as a potential alternative to traditional pulmonary rehabilitation.


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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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