A randomized controlled trial of qigong for fibromyalgia.

Author: Lynch M, Sawynok J, Hiew C, Marcon D
Conference/Journal: Arthritis Res Ther.
Date published: 2012 Aug 3
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: R178 , Word Count: 243

Fibromyalgia is difficult to treat and requires the use of multiple approaches. This study is a randomized controlled trial of qigong compared with a waitlist control group in fibromyalgia.
One hundred participants were randomly assigned to immediate or delayed practice groups, with the delayed group receiving training at the end of the control period. Qigong training (level 1 Chaoyi Fanhuan Qigong, CFQ), given over 3 half-days, was followed by weekly review/practice sessions for 8 weeks; participants were also asked to practice at home for 45-60 minutes per day for this interval. Outcomes were pain, impact, sleep, physical function and mental function, and these were recorded at baseline, 8 weeks, 4 months and 6 months. Immediate and delayed practice groups were analyzed individually compared to the control group, and as a combination group.
In both the immediate and delayed treatment groups, CFQ demonstrated significant improvements in pain, impact, sleep, physical function and mental function when compared to the waitlist/usual care control group at 8 weeks, with benefits extending beyond this time. Analysis of combined data indicated significant changes for all measures at all times to 6 months, with only one exception. Post-hoc analysis based on self-reported practice times indicated greater benefit with the per protocol group compared to minimal practice.
This study demonstrates that CFQ, a particular form of qigong, provides long-term benefits in several core domains in fibromyalgia. CFQ may be a useful adjuvant self-care treatment for fibromyalgia. Trial Registration: clinicalrials.gov NCT00938834.
PMID: 22863206