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Qigong for High Blood Pressure - Hypertension

This article is the first meta-analysis of available literature on the effect of TaiChi/Qigong exercise [TCQE] on Essential Hypertension [EH] patients.

The focus was on the effect of TCQE on blood pressure and blood levels of Nitric Oxide and Endothelin-1 in EH patients. Nine randomized controlled trials were cited involving 516 EH patients, with an intervention duration lasting from 1.5 to 6 months.

The conclusions are very positive, showing that TCQE can be an effective treatment of EH.

Summary by Dr. Charles Garrettson, George Mason University

The Efficacy of Tai Chi and Qigong Exercises on Blood Pressure and Blood Levels of Nitric Oxide and Endothelin-1 in Patients with Essential Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Dingcheng Liu, Lan Yi, Meixiao Sheng, Gang Wang, Yanqin ZouEvid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 Jul 30;2020:3267971.doi: 10.1155/2020/3267971.eCollection 2020.PMID: 32802122  PMCID: PMC7414352   DOI: 10.1155/2020/3267971


Objective: Tai Chi and Qigong are the two similar traditional Chinese wellness exercises. A strong body of published clinical randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has investigated the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong exercises (TCQE) in patients with essential hypertension (EH).

This is the first meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of TCQE on blood pressure (BP) and blood levels of nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) in EH patients and explore the potential antihypertensive mechanism of TCQE.

Methods: We conducted a literature retrieval for Chinese and English studies in seven databases from their respective inceptions until January 14, 2020. All RCTs examining clinical efficacy of TCQE for EH patients were considered. The major therapeutic outcomes of TCQE were changes in the blood levels of NO, ET-1, and BP in EH patients. Methodological quality of the included RCTs was detected via The Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We evaluated the data reported and performed the meta-analysis by Review Manager 5.3 software.

Results: 9 RCTs involving 516 EH patients were included. The intervention duration lasted from 1.5 months to 6 months. The results of comprehensive analysis showed that compared with control interventions, experimental interventions were more effective in reducing the systolic blood pressure and the diastolic blood pressure and contributed higher blood levels of NO and lower blood levels of ET-1.

Conclusions: TCQE could be an effective complementary and alternative therapy for EH. The lower BP in EH patients who practice TCQE may have some connection with exercise-related increased blood NO levels and decreased blood ET-1 levels. However, further research is needed to make clear the efficacy of TCQE in management of EH and the mechanism of lowering BP in TCQE.