A pilot study of external qigong therapy for arthritis pain

Author: Chen K//He BH//Rihacek G//Sigal LH
Conference/Journal: Journal Clinical Rheumatology
Date published: 2003
Other: Volume ID: In press , Word Count: 145

Patients with chronic pain are increasingly seeking alternatives to Western medicine. Qigong is a traditional Chinese energy exercise, which can be done by self practice or by external therapeutic emission of Qi by a Qigong master. This open trial was designed as a pilot study to determine if external Qigong therapy might be of benefit to patients with chronic arthritis. Ten patients with arthritis participated- 6 completed the protocol. All 6 patients reported reduction in pain, movement difficulty and anxiety scores. All but one had a decrease in negative mood score and active pain/tender joint count. Two patients reported complete relief, a response that persisted at the 1 month follow-up. Although the results of this pilot study are far from conclusive, due to its design and small size, the positive outcomes suggest that larger, randomized, controlled studies are warranted to confirm benefit from Qigong treatment of arthritis.