Saturday, September 11, 2010

Qigong Benefits Heart Health

From the May, 2006 issue of Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, reported in the Summer 2007 issue of Qi Journal.

Recent studies have concluded that qigong, an ancient technique, may benefit the human heart’s overall health. Practicing qigong lowers the pulse rate, blood pressure, metabolic rates and oxygen demand.

Doctors of a recent study of qigong said, “the qigong group demonstrated greater improvement in psychological measures in addition to reduction in systolic blood pressure.” Note: the article did not specify the qigong exercises used.

Qigong is a 4,000-year-old technique that involves preventative and therapeutic health care, physical training and philosophy. There are nearly 5,000 styles of qigong cataloged by the Chinese Government.

Medical qigong consists of breathing exercises and meditation, which controls energy within the body, which, in turn, replaces stress and anxiety with positive images, increased confidence and enhanced spirit.

Qigong is frequently practiced with Taiji [t’ai chi], a Chinese movement-based exercise. The practice of qigong and taiji is a low-cost means of improving functional status in older persons.


  1. Qigong—Chinese mind/body exercises--helped me immensely in my successful battles with four bouts of supposedly terminal bone lymphoma cancer in the early nineties. I practiced standing post meditation, one of the most powerful forms of qigong--as an adjunct to chemotherapy, which is how it should always be used.

    Qigong kept me strong in many ways: it calmed my mind--taking me out of the fight-or-flight syndrome, which pumps adrenal hormones into the system that could interfere with healing. The deep abdominal breathing pumped my lymphatic system—a vital component of the immune system. In addition, qigong energized and strengthened my body at a time when I couldn't do Western exercise such as weight-lifting or jogging--the chemo was too fatiguing. And it empowered my will and reinforced it every day with regular practice. In other words, I contributed to the healing process, instead of just depending solely on the chemo and the doctors. Clear 14 years and still practicing!

    Bob Ellal

  2. Bob, thanks for the note. You make a great point that qigong is a great supplement to Western medical practice. Qigong can strengthen us and help us heal.

    Qigong can also work great as preventive medicine. Many qigong routines, such as the well-known ba duan jin, can be practiced daily to help us maintain our health and age gracefully. I'll take that any time over the alternative.