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.


According to the authors, alcoholism (and drug abuse) could be a core problem of self-regulatory failure. Several neurocognitive theories have hypothesized hypo-functioning or dysfunction of reflective (executive) system and heightened functioning of reactive (impulsive) system in self-regulatory failure implicated in drug addiction. Executive functions play a crucial role in self-regulation and mediate reward processing, emotional regulation, inhibition of impulses, and decision making. Their goal for this study was to improve or increase self-regulation. 


Both study groups were statistically comparable at baseline. Compared to the comparison group, the Qigong/Tai Chi group showed a significant improvement on executive functioning and affect regulation. At six month follow up, they also showed significantly fewer relapses in recovery and longer periods of abstinence. The authors concluded that this treatment model could potentially be used in other similar clinical conditions such as externalizing behaviors, other substance use disorders and behavioral addictions including pathological gambling and gaming addiction.





Abstract


Effectiveness of an Integrated Intervention Program for Alcoholism (IIPA) for enhancing self-regulation: Preliminary evidence.


Kumar R,  Kumar KJ, Benegal V, Roopesh BN, Ravi GS.

Asian J Psychiatr. 2019 May 3;43:37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2019.05.006. 


OBJECTIVE:

Alcoholism could be a core problem of self-regulatory failure. Several neurocognitive theories have hypothesized hypo-functioning or dysfunction of reflective (executive) system and heightened functioning of reactive (impulsive) system in self-regulatory failure implicated in drug addiction. Similarly, stress and affect dysregulation may breakdown self-regulation. The present study aimed to develop an Integrated Intervention Program for Alcoholism (IIPA) to enhance self-regulation and to test its effectiveness in the treatment of alcoholism.


METHOD:

Individuals with early onset alcoholism (n = 50) were recruited after getting written informed consent. The study used randomized case control design. The participants were matched on age (+/-1 year) and education (+/-1 year). The TAU group received usual treatment for alcoholism which included pharmacotherapy, 6 sessions/week yoga and 3 sessions/week group therapy on relapse prevention. The intervention group received IIPA for 18 days along with usual treatment (except yoga sessions). The IIPA included several cognitive remediation tasks and mind-body exercise (Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan). Both groups were assessed on executive function tests and affect regulation scale at pre and post-intervention. The subjects were also followed up for 6 months to compare the abstinence between groups.


RESULTS:

Both groups were comparable at baseline. At post-intervention, the IIPA group showed a significant improvement compared to the TAU group on executive functioning and affect regulation. Follow-up results showed lower relapses in six months in the IIPA group.


CONCLUSION:

Preliminary evidence showed that IIPA is effective in facilitating self-regulation. Further study may examine its utility and feasibility in other clinical conditions.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


KEYWORDS: Alcoholism; Executive functions; Follow-up; IIPA; Intervention; Self-regulation


PMID: 31078094 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajp.2019.05.006

 
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