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Effect of Ba Duan Jin Qigong on Blood Pressure of Individuals with Essential Hypertension
February 16, 2016 -
Essential hypertension, persistently high arterial blood pressure with no known organic cause, is challenging but treatable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Individuals with untreated hypertension are at greater risk of heart failure, stroke, and renal failure. Lifestyle modifications are advocated for the prevention, treatment, and control of hypertension, with exercise being an integral component. Several studies have reported that Qigong is effective in lowering blood pressure. As a traditional Chinese health and fitness qigong exercise routine, Ba duan jin dates back to the Song dynasty (960-1279). Practice of Ba duan jin improves cardiovascular function and helps decrease blood pressure in older adults with hypertension.

A recent Chinese study, published by Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, investigated whether Ba duan jin may be an appropriate treatment strategy to reduce blood pressure in individuals with hypertension and the possible mechanism of the effects.

Forty-eight individuals with essential hypertension (aged from 57 to 73) were randomized to two groups: 24 to a Ba duan jin Qigong Group and 24 to a control group. Subjects provided written informed consent to participate in the study as approved by the ethics review committee of Beijing Sport University. The Qigong group trained in Ba duan jin five times per week for 6 months. Sessions included a 5-minute warm-up, 30 minutes of Qigong exercise, and a 5-minute cool-down. The control group received no intervention. Weight, waist circumference, systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, fasting glucose, serum nitric oxide (NO), and plasma endothelin-1 (ET-1) were measured for each subject at baseline and after 6 months.

In the present investigation, data analysis indicated that multiple measurements improved significantly in the Ba duan jin Qigong Group but not in the control group after a 6-month intervention. It is not surprising that greater improvement in blood pressure blood lipids, blood glucose, and vascular endothelium function was found in the Ba duan jin group than in the control group because the Ba duan jin training was task specific.

A combination of strength and relaxation or dynamism and inertia helps to improve circulation in the channels and collaterals and smooths the actions of the joints and the blood circulation. It improves cardiovascular function and helps cure such illnesses as coronary artery sclerosis.

The results of this study indicate that Ba duan jin Qigong exercise may have the potential to improve numerous measurements such as fasting glucose and plasma ET-1. These findings may contribute to the future planning of community-based exercise programs for individuals with essential hypertension.


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