Detoxification with qigong therapy for heroin addicts

Author: Li M//Chen K//Mo ZX
Conference/Journal: Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine
Date published: 2002
Other: Volume ID: 8 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 50-59 , Word Count: 354

Background: Qigong is one of the most effective traditional Chinese medical treatment systems with special healing and recovery power, but has little scientific documentation. We applied both self Qigong practice and external Qi emission to treat substance addicts, and achieved some impressive results. Methods: Eighty six heroin addicts (all met DSM-III-R substance dependence criteria) in a mandatory drug rehabilitation center were randomly assigned into one of the three groups with a 1.5:1 ratio: Qigong treatment group (N=34) practiced Qigong 2 to 2.5 hours per day, plus received some adjustment by a Qigong master (Qi emission); medicine comparison group (N=26) took regular detoxification pills (lofexidine-HCl, 0.2mg) by 10-day gradual reduction method , and control group (n=26) received basic care only, no medicine. Blood test, urine morphine test, ECG test, HAMA scale, and withdrawal symptom evaluation scale were applied to all pre-treatment and everyday for 10 days during treatment. Results: (1) Withdrawal syndrome: Reduction of withdrawal symptoms in Qigong group went much more rapidly. From day one, the Qigong group had significantly lower mean scores than other two groups (p< .01). By day eight, 100% reported no more withdrawal symptoms while other two groups still reported some at the end of the ten-day study. (2) Anxiety Symptoms: Both Qigong and medicine groups had a much lower anxiety score than control group (p < .01) on the 5th and 10th day of treatment, and the Qigong group had significantly lower anxiety score than medicine group (p < .01). The Qigong group also reported much more rapid improvement in sleep time and quality. (3) Urine morphine test: All subjects had positive response to the urine test before treatment. On the third day, 50% of the Qigong group became negative in urine tests, while only 23% in control group and 8% in medicine group did so (p < .01). By the 5th day of treatment, all 34 patients in Qigong group became negative in urine test, while the control group did so by the 11th day, and medicine group by the 9th day. Conclusion: Qigong can effectively treat heroin addiction. This treatment is a safe and effective way for detoxification, and possibly for rehabilitation, with long-term effect but with low cost or no side effects.