Physiological and psychological study of qigong

Author: Kato Tadashi//Numata Takehiro//Shirayama Masato
Faculty of Education, University of Tokyo
Conference/Journal: Japanese Mind-Body Science
Date published: 1992
Other: Volume ID: 1 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 29-38 , Special Notes: Article in Japanese , Word Count: 339

Qigong are the exercises which are originated in old Chinese religious tradition. They are said to be effective in health promotion. The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological and psychological characteristics of Qigong exercises to investigate their effects. Thirteen voluntary healthy people exercised Qigong. At first, they exercised 'Shuai-shou' which is a kind of preparatory exercise for Qigong for ten minutes. Secondly. they exercised 'Zhan-zhuang' which is the motionless Qigong for ten minutes. And finally they exercised several kinds of Qigong with movements, also for ten minutes. Be measured blood pressure, temperature beneath the tongue. and state anxiety by the method of Spielberger before and after all the exercises. Also. we questioned subjective symptoms before and after every exercise. And, we measured respiratory frequency and beat-to-beat heart rate variability (HRV) as R-R intervals of ECG during every exercise and every five minutes' rest period before and after each exercise.

We applied spectral analysis to the HRV for every five minutes during each exercise and each rest period after eliminating the fractal component by CGSA method. With this method, we calculated low frequency (O.00-0.15 Hz) and high frequency (0.15-1.00 Hz) areas under power spectra (Lo and Hi. respectively), and deducted the function of Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) by Lo/Hi and that of Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) by Hi/Total, respectively. Although, there mere no significant changes either in blood pressure or in temperature beneath the tongue. state anxiety and subjective symptoms were significantly decreased after exercises. SNS was increased during Shuai-shou and Zhan-zhuang compared with each rest period just before each exercise, while PNS was decreased at the same time. And, SNS was increased during the rest period after all the exercises compared with the rest period before all the exercises, while PNS was decreased at the same time. These results indicate that Qigong increased the activity of sympathetic nervous system. By the power spectral trend, we concluded that the activity of peripheral nervous system which controls peripheral vasomotion was especially increased by Qigong exercises.