Effects of Baduanjin practice on emotional, attention and cognitive function in acupuncturists: protocol for a clinical randomized controlled neuroimaging trial

Author: Weiming Luo#1, Jun Zhou#1, Xinyue Zhang1, Yuke Teng1, Siyuan Tao1, Nuo Chen1, Dan Tong1, Peiling Su1, Kaijie Ying2, Zheng Jie Li1
1 Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China.
2 Sichuan Health Qigong Management Center, Sichuan Provincial Sports Bureau, Chengdu, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Psychol
Date published: 2024 Apr 5
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Pages: 1340456 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1340456. , Word Count: 251

In Chinese medicine, the mental focus and emotional stability of acupuncturists are key to optimal clinical outcomes. Many renowned acupuncturists utilize Traditional Chinese Qigong practices to enhance their concentration and emotional regulation abilities. Nevertheless, the existing literature lacks comprehensive evidence addressing this matter.

This study will enroll 99 acupuncturists and randomly allocate them to one of three groups: Baduanjin, aerobic exercise, or a waiting-list control. The Baduanjin group will undertake 24 weeks of training, with three one-hour sessions weekly. The aerobic group will engage in brisk walking for the same duration and frequency. The control group will not receive any specific training. Assessments of emotion regulation, attention, cognitive functions, finger sensation, and athletic ability will be conducted at baseline (-1 week), mid-intervention (12 weeks), and post-intervention (24 weeks). Additionally, 20 participants from each group will undergo fMRI scans before and after the intervention to explore brain functional and structural changes relating to emotion, attention, cognition, motor skills, and sensory perception.

This study aims to contribute valuable insights into the effectiveness of Qigong practice, specifically Baduanjin, in enhancing emotional regulation, attention, and cognitive functions in acupuncturists and to investigate the neuroimaging mechanisms behind these effects.

Ethics and dissemination:
Approved by the Sichuan Regional Ethics Review Committee on Traditional Chinese Medicine (No. 2023KL - 118) and adhering to the Declaration of Helsinki. Results will be shared through policy briefs, workshops, peer-reviewed journals, and conferences.Clinical trial registrationwww.chictr.org.cn, ChiCTR2300076447.

Keywords: Baduanjin practice; acupuncturist; attention; cognition; emotion regulation; fMRI; neuroimaging.

PMID: 38646122 PMCID: PMC11027990 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1340456