A Study on the Stress Reducing Effect of Qigong

Author: Mori K 1//She J 2//Nakazato S 3
Affiliation: 1. International Institute for Systematizing TCM Theories//2. Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China//3. Japan Qigong Science Institute, Japan
Conference/Journal: 8th Int Sym on Qigong
Date published: 2001
Other: Pages: 9-10 , Word Count: 448


Objective:

Qigong, which is closely associated with the philosophy, thought and religion of ancient China, is an oriental self-control method of treating and preventing diseases and promoting health through production and accumulation of Qi and distribution of Qi via meridians to the whole body. Currently, Qigong is being applied in a multidisciplinary way, attracting a good: deal of interest not only from Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern
medical care, but also from psychology, physical science, business management, pedagogy, science of arts, cosmetics/esthetics, and other academic fields. Thus, we have regarded Qigong as an example of oriental methods such as Zen therapy, Yoga, meditation and energy work, and attempted to compile a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the stress reduction effect of Qigong from the standpoints of Traditional Chinese Medicine, complementary/ alternative medicine, and bio- psycho- social medicine.

Subjects and Methods

Subjects were 30 men and women consisting of Qigong masters, healthy volunteers and patients from Qigong courses.
The vital energy of the human body (Internal Qi) can be perceived as the unity of mental and physical functions in general. We used indices of mental functions including mood
(self sensation or Qi sensation) assessment, EEG, positron CT (PET), and psychiatric tests, as well as indices of physical functions including skin temperature, peripheral blood flow, body surface tension (compressive elasticity), and autonomic nervous function (MV), to measure and compare psychosomatic functions before and after application of Qigong from multiple aspects.

Results

1) The assessment using the mood check list revealed increased incidence of such personal sensations (Qi sensations) as delight, released tension, relaxed feeling, and warmth.
2) EEG topogram showed increased power primarily in alpha2-wave after Qigong therapy. Positron CT (PET) showed increased cerebral blood flow after Qigong therapy in areas including the thalamus, temporal lobe and frontal association area, with activation especially in the area of the A10 nerve.
3) Increase was observed in peripheral blood flow and dermal temperature after Qigong therapy.
4) Microvibration (MV) changed to the normal type with prominent alpha wave patterns that represent a comfortable condition due to Qigong Dirigation. This tendency persisted after the end of Qigong Dirigation.
5) Compressive elasticity representing hardness of dermal and muscular tissues decreased after Qigong therapy, indicating reduced physical tension.
6) In case studies, the number of both physical and mental subjective symptoms decreased after Qigong therapy, indicating that Qigong is effective for the improvement of general wellbeing and QOL.

Conclusion

Qigong as an oriental method is effective in the improvement of the self-control function of the brain (Control Shen), and the activation of innate natural healing power through alleviation of psychosomatic tension (strengthening of the body resistance). Results of this study demonstrated that Qigong is a useful measure for stress management.

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