An analytical review of the chinese literature on qigong therapy for diabetes mellitus.

Author: Chen KW, Liu T, Zhang H, Lin Z.
Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Conference/Journal: Am J Chin Med.
Date published: 2009
Other: Volume ID: 37 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 439-57 , Word Count: 195

Diabetes rates have doubled in China over the past decade. However, as conventional medicine offers neither a sound explanation nor an effective cure, patients with diabetes increasingly seek complementary and alternative therapies. It was reported that the traditional Chinese medical approach, Qigong, might produce therapeutic benefits with minimal side-effects in this condition. The Qigong Database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and the library databases of Chinese institutions from 1978 to middle of 2008 on open trials, laboratory studies, and controlled clinical studies were reviewed. Over 35 studies were identified and reviewed. Qigong therapy for diabetic patients included self-practice, group qi-field therapy, external qi therapy, and Qigong in combination with other therapies. Only 2 randomized controlled trials were found; both evaluate Qigong as an adjuvant to conventional therapy. All studies reported some therapeutic effect or improvement. Some reported significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose. Others reported complete cures, which were unlikely to be the result of placebo effect as objective outcome measures were used. Qigong therapy may be an important complement to conventional medicine in treating diabetes, but the quality of studies needs to be improved. These preliminary data are promising and support the need for further randomized controlled trials.