Randomised controlled trial of qigong in the treatment of mild essential hypertension

Author: Cheung BM//Lo JL//Fong DY//Chan MY////
Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China//Research Centre of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Conference/Journal: J Hum Hypertens
Date published: 2005
Other: Volume ID: May 19 , Word Count: 184

Exercise and relaxation decrease blood pressure. Qigong is a traditional Chinese exercise consisting of breathing and gentle movements. We conducted a randomised controlled trial to study the effect of Guolin qigong on blood pressure. In all, 88 patients with mild essential hypertension were recruited from the community and randomised to Goulin qigong or conventional exercise for 16 weeks. The main outcome measurements were blood pressure, health status (SF-36 scores), Beck Anxiety and Depression Inventory scores. In the qigong group, blood pressure decreased significantly from 146.3±7.8/93.0±4.1 mmHg at baseline to 135.5±10.0/87.1±7.7 mmHg at week 16. In the exercise group, blood pressure also decreased significantly from 140.9±10.9/93.1±3.5 mmHg to 129.7±11.1/86.0±7.0 mmHg. Heart rate, weight, BMI, waist circumference, total cholesterol, renin and 24 h urinary albumin excretion significantly decreased in both groups after 16 weeks. General health, bodily pain, social functioning and depression also improved in both groups. No significant differences between qigong and conventional exercise were found. In conclusion, Guolin qigong and conventional exercise have similar effects on blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension. While no additional benefits were identified, it is nevertheless an alternative to conventional exercise in the nondrug treatment of hypertension.