Preliminary study of the biological effects of qigong

Author: Tang Cimei//Sun Lihua//Aheng Lianxing//Xiang Xiaokuan
Affiliation: Institute of Psychology, Academica Sinica, Beijing, China [1]
Conference/Journal: 1st World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1988
Other: Pages: 20 , Word Count: 520


Evidence from two experiments is used in this paper. In the first experiment, excretion of urinary catecholamines was measured in 111 subjects with an average age of 52 years (22-78), who practiced different forms of qigong. After voiding, each subject was required to do the qigong exercise for one hour, then one urine sample was collected. The control sample was collected at the same time of a different day. In the control period the subjects' body posture and movements were different according to the qigong exercises they practiced. One hour after the control period another urine sample was collected.

The results showed that the excretion of urinary adrenaline increased following the qigong exercise in all six patterns, but significant increase of urinary adrenaline was observed only in the group who practiced Da Yan Gong (or 'Wild Goose Pattern Exercise'). The excretion of urinary noradrenaline increased following the qigong exercise as well, but marked increase was observed only in two groups Da Yan Gong and Lao Zi Quan Zhen Gong. Marked increase of urinary adrenaline following the qigong exercise was also observed in subjects who had practiced Zhan Zhuang Gong and Yang Qi Gong more than two years.

In the second experiment, the changes of EEG in the frontal area, respiratory rate, pulse rate, skin temperature, and excretion of urinary catecholamines and the correlations between these parameters were observed during the qigong exercise in 13 subjects with an average age of 56.9. After voiding, the subjects were required to rest for one hour, then the control urine sample was collected. In the laboratory, the EEG, respiratory rate, pulse rate and skin temperature were recorded with a RM-6000 Polygraph Physiologic Instrument. Then the subjects were required to rest for 10 minutes and to practice the qigong exercise for 40 minutes. A rest of 10 minutes was followed again. The second urine sample was collected.

The results showed that the respiratory rate decreased from 17.8±4.5 to 13.6±7.7 (P<0.05); the pulse rate increased from 71.4±l.8 to 76.2±14.7 (P<O.Ol); the skin temperature increased from 31.5±2.3 to 32.4±1.7°C (P<O.05) during the qigong exercise. A decrease of a power spectrum and an increase of a power spectrum in the frontal area were observed in most subjects, an increase of a power spectrum in individual subject was seen too. Negative correlation was found between changes of a or q power and the respiratory rate, g = —0. 626 (P<O.05).

Slight increase of urinary adrenaline and noradrenalirie was found after the qigong exercise. However, significant increase of adrenaline was seen only in these subjects whose changes of EEG were marked. A positive correlation was found between changes of a or g power and excretion of adrenaline, g =O.683 (P<O.01) . It suggests that the excretion of urinary adrenaline increased markedly in successful qigong trainees.

Decreased delta power spectrum, increased a power spectrum of EEG and excretion of adrenaline with marked correlation between them, and increased pulse rate suggest that the qigong exercise is neither a resting or relaxation condition, nor a quiet state between awaking and sleeping. It seems that the qigong exercise is an active process to regulate physiological activities through mental process.

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