Neural mechanisms of qigong state: an experimental study by the method of visual evoked potential flash and pattern

Author: Cui Rogqing 1//Liu Guolong 1//Zhang Huiwan 2
Dept of Physiology, Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China [1] //Australia [2]
Conference/Journal: 2nd Int Conf on Qigong
Date published: 1989
Other: Pages: 24 , Word Count: 581

Qigong exercises has three main link i.e. body regulation, breath regulation and mind regulation, with last regulation as the most primary link. Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that the heart dominates the mind. This implies the existence of some relationship between the 'Shenming Zhi Xin' in traditional Chinese medicine and the higher central nervous system in modern medicine. Normally in a conscious state, 95% of the brain information was caught by the visual system in the men. During the qigong state, it become 'look but see not, listen but hear not,' this change certainly affected the activity of the visual cortex . For this reason, it is quite helpful for the approach of the mechanism of the mind regulation of the qigong to study the activity of the visual cortex during qigong state.

METHODS: 26 subjects (22 male and 4 females), ages 19-26 years qigong exercise (Neiyang Qigong) 2-6 years. Visual evoked potential-False (VEP-P) were averaged using a evoked response recorder (model MEB-5100) and stimulated by a flash stimulator (model PM-173T). The subjects were seated comfortably in an electrically shielded room. VEP-F and VEP-P measurements were recorded before during and after qigong state.


(1) During qigong state, the amplitudes of the VEP-F were inhibited as compared with before Qigong i.e. the wave N1 decreased 36.47% (p<0.05); P1 decreased 18.26% (p>00.05); N2 decreased 41.4% (p<0.001); P2 decreased 48.95% (p<0.01); N3 decreased 66.56% (p<0.01); P3 decreased 56.65% (p<0 01); N4 decreased 37.35% (p<0.01); P4 decreased 35.08% (P<0.05) ; N5 decreased 11.08%; P5 decreased 9.15%. There were significant difference among the percent inhibition of most neighboring waves i.e. N1 and P1 p<0.05; P1 and N2 p<0.0; P2 and N3 p<0.05; P3 and N4 p<0.05; P4 and N5 p<0.001.

(2) The amplitudes of the VEP-P were inhibited too, during qigong state i.e. the wave N60 decreased 54.65% (p<0.001); P90 decreased 47.75% ( p<0.001); N140 decreased 37.14% (p<0.001); P200 decreased 34.72% (p<0.01); N230 decreased 24.16 (p <0.05). Like-wise, there were significant difference between a part of the neighboring waves i.e. P90 and Nl40 p<0.01; P200 and P [Here some characters were dropped - Editor] <0.05.

Discussion: The visual evoked potential is often thought of as electrical activity that is generated by the visual cortex and pathway for the visual stimulus. It represents the activity of the occipital cortex and the ability of the messages of transmission from the retinal to the cortex. The experimental results showed that the VEP-F and VEP-P not only were inhibited, but the percent inhibition were different among waves during qigong state. The results suggest that when the subjects enter qigong state, the activities of their visual cortex and pathways were decreased . Furthermore, the level of the inhibition was higher in the primary visual cortex than the secondary. The extrastriate area is higher than the circumstriate area, but the striate area is highest of all areas in the primary. Normally in a conscious state, numbers of the messages of the brain was sensed by the visual systems qigong restrain the activities of the sense organs which are the main gatekeepers of our body and mind. This can be achieved by minimizing the chances of having the sense organs stimulated by various external object. Result in (1) the catabolism is decreased and anabolism is increased in the brain; (2) it enables a person to prevent and cure various psychic and psychosomatic disorders; (3) it can also improve a person's resistance and ability to endure stressful situations more effectively; (4) it helps enter and keep the qigong state.