Qigong Well-Suited for Service Members with Mild Brain Injury
May 27, 2013 -
In a new study published in the
May/June 2013 issue of Explore, Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI
reported internal Qigong practice in service members diagnosed with mild
traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
Their study used qualitative descriptive phenomenological
methods originally described by Husserl and later refined by Giorgi.
Participants were interviewed about their experiences while learning Qigong to
determine their level of interest, benefits, and/or adverse effects; ease of
learning/performing the routine; and any barriers to practice. The participants
were 6 service members with mTBI receiving outpatient neuro-rehabilitation at
the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center-Charlottesville Rehabilitation
Participants learned Reflective Exercise Qigong, a form of
Qigong developed specifically to require less complex movement and balance than
most forms of Qigong, making it ideal for those with potential coordination and
Semi-structured interviews took place after four weeks of
formal Qigong instruction, then again after the subjects completed eight weeks.
Interview data were analyzed with phenomenological methods described by Giorgi.
Four themes emerged from the interview data: "the physical experience of
qigong," "regaining control," "no pain, a lot of gain," and "barriers to qigong
practice." Participants offered examples of how Qigong enabled them to control
refractory symptoms after mTBI while decreasing reliance on pharmacotherapy.
All agreed that Qigong was uniquely conducive to the
disciplined mindset of military service members and that the simplicity of
Reflective Exercise qigong was well suited to individuals with decreased
balance, cognition, and memory related to mTBI.