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.

At the end of the study period, the teacher reported marked improvements in behavior, performance and grades. In the interviews, the children reported feeling relaxed and calm during and after the practices, recognizing that TJQ and QG helped them gain control over themselves, arousing a feeling of “happiness”, and “joy” while performing the involved “kind of movements”. All of them wished to continue practicing in the next academic year.

The authors concluded that Tai Chi and Qigong may be a promising treatment for symptoms of children with behavioral disorders, and may be valuable if implemented in school programming.

 

Abstract

Effects of taijiquan and qigong practice over behavioural disorders in school-age children: A pilot study.

Rodrigues J MSM1, Mestre M ICP2, Matos LC3, Machado JP4.

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2019 Jan;23(1):11-15.

Child development and wellness are strictly dependent on several factors among them physical activity, a proper nutrition and, of critical importance, a healthy mind. Psychopathologies like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) have a direct negative impact on social, academic or occupational functioning of the affected children. If left untreated, these pathologies may progress to adulthood, thus requiring research strategies on conventional and nonconventional modalities of treatment. In this pilot study, conducted during the academic year 2015/2016, a combination of exercises of TaijiQuan (TJQ) and Qi Gong (QG) were taught to four selected children, three males and one female, aged between 6 and 10, suffering from the above mentioned behavioural disorders. The main goal was to understand if it is possible to achieve any kind of improvement in their condition, by evaluating the scores of the Achenbach Teacher's Report Form (TRF) in the beginning and ending of the experimental period. Results showed very interesting improvements in symptoms of CD, ODD and ADHD-HI (hyperactive-impulsive), while ADHD-PI (predominantly inattentive) showed only minor improvements. The overall symptom improvement was 43% across pathologies, which demonstrates that TJQ and QG may be a promising treatment of symptoms for children with behavioural disorders. More research is needed with controlled experimental designs and statistically representative samples in order to fully comprehend the versatility of these modalities.

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