Mayo Clinic: External Qigong Offers Fast Relief for Chronic Pain
July 27, 2010 - A new study by Mayo Clinic shows that chronic pain patients may experience significant decrease in their pain intensity after receiving External Qigong treatment for as little as 30 minutes a week for 2 weeks.
External Qigong is usually performed by well-trained and highly skilled practitioners who can direct their own qi (the internal energy) outward to other people. The purpose is often to help people on the receiving end to clear blockages, remove negative qi and balance the flow of qi in the body, and thus to relieve their pain and to get rid of certain diseases. In this study, External Qigong was used as a pharmacotherapy adjunct.
There were 50 people with chronic pain (pain lasting for over 3 months with pain score of > or = 3 on 0-10 numeric analog scale) participated in the study by Mayo Clinic. Most of them had experienced pain for more than 5 years (66%); the rest, for 3 to 5 years (8%), 1 to 3 years (10%), or less than 1 year but more than 3 months (10%). The most frequent concomitant diagnoses of these participants were multifactorial (26%), osteoarthritis (18%), and low back pain (12%). Most patients were also receiving other treatments (74%), but none had previously used External Qigong.
The participants were randomly assigned to receive either External Qigong Treatment (EQT) or Equivalent Attention Time (EAT) in weekly 30-minute sessions for 4 consecutive weeks. Outcomes were assessed before and after sessions. The primary outcome measure was intensity of pain by a 10-cm visual analog scale used to rate all pain severity measurements.
At the 8-week follow-up, participants were contacted by telephone and mailed a questionnaire. Compared to the EAT group, EQT participants had a significant decrease in pain intensity in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th weeks of treatment. At week 8, these differences in overall decreased pain intensity persisted but were not statistically significant.
This study is published in the latest issue of American Journal of Chinese Medicine.