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Qigong and Heart Failure

Encouraging results were found in this meta-study review of research on people with Heart Failure.

Twenty-four Random Control studies were reviewed with a total of 1,314 participants.

Qigong is included in the Tai chi studies.“Tai Chi, yoga, and relaxation were the most common type of Mind-Body Interventions (MBI) for Heart Failure patients. In this review, Mind-Body Interventions had encouraging results for patients with Heart Failure on selected outcomes including Quality of Life, anxiety, depression, Blood Pressure, 6-minute Walk Test, and exercise capacity. Despite the early evidence in this field, it seems that MBIs will play an important role in the future to treat patients with Heart Failure.”

“Tai Chi, Yoga, Relaxation Training, Meditation, and Pilates. Targeted relaxation exercises including Tai Chi, yoga, relaxation training, meditation, and Pilates were found to improve the psychological status, symptoms, and Quality of Life measures of patients with Heart Failure. Tai Chi and yoga improved Quality of Life, depression and anxiety, exercise capacity, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, respiratory rate, and serum Brain Natriuretic Peptide levels. Meditation Random-control Studies reduced norepinephrine levels and improved exercise capacity and Quality of Life scores. To date, there is only one Pilates study conducted in Heart Failure patients; it showed significant improvements in exercise capacity and Quality of Life. All Random Control studies including targeted relaxation techniques reported no adverse events.”

J Card Fail. 2017 Sep 20. pii: S1071-9164(17)31213-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2017.09.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Mind-Body Interventions for Individuals With Heart Failure: A Systematic Review of Randomized Trials.Gok Metin Z, Ejem D, Dionne-Odom JN, Turkman Y, Salvador C, Pamboukian S, Bakitas M.

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The effects of mind-body interventions (MBIs) (eg, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation) for individuals with heart failure (HF) have not been systematically evaluated.


We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effects of MBIs in HF. We extracted participant characteristics, MBI procedure, outcomes assessed, and main results of English-language RCTs before October 2016. We identified 24 RCTs (n = 1314 participants) of 9 MBI types: Tai Chi (n = 7), yoga (n = 4), relaxation (n = 4), meditation (n = 2), acupuncture (n = 2), biofeedback (n = 2), stress management (n = 1), Pilates (n = 1), and reflexology (n = 1). Most (n = 22, 95.8%) reported small-to-moderate improvements in quality of life (14/14 studies), exercise capacity (8/9 studies), depression (5/5 studies), anxiety and fatigue (4/4 studies), blood pressure (3/5 studies), heart rate (5/6 studies), heart rate variability (7/9 studies), and B-type natriuretic peptide (3/4 studies). Studies ranged from 4 minutes to 26 weeks and group sizes ranged from 8 to 65 patients per study arm.


Although wide variability exists in the types and delivery, RCTs of MBIs have demonstrated small-to-moderate positive effects on HF patients' objective and subjective outcomes. Future research should examine the mechanisms by which different MBIs exert their effects.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); heart failure; mind-body interventions; systematic review

PMID: 28939458

DOI: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2017.09.008