Baduanjin Qigong Helps People with Chronic Fatigue
ATCQA members and certified instructors/practitioners can access the full content of this article on ATCQA website.
Sign in your ATCQA account and then click the link for "Study Materials".
February 19, 2015 -
Chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS)-like illness is a complex, medically unexplained, and debilitating
condition, which is characterized by persistent fatigue of at least 6 months. To
date, no curative treatment is available for CFS and the treatment is often
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and the
University of Hong Kong collaborate on a project to evaluate the effectiveness
of Baduanjin Qigong exercise
on sleep, fatigue, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in CFS)-like illness
Baduanjin (also called Eight-Section Brocades) is one of the most common forms of Chinese health Qigong exercise, characterized by its
simple, slow, and relaxing movements. The exercise involves 8 simple movements,
according to the traditional Chinese medicine theory, each of which can enhance
the function of certain organs or parts of the body. As Baduanjin Qigong is very
easy to learn and less physically or cognitively demanding, it is popular in the
Chinese population as a safe Qigong exercise to promote health. The secondary
objective was to investigate the dose-response relationship between Qigong
exercise and symptom improvement.
One hundred fifty participants, with CFS-like illness, aged
between 31 and 47, were randomly assigned toto Qigong and waitlist. Sixteen 1.5-hour Qigong lessons were arranged over 9
consecutive weeks. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Chalder Fatigue Scale, and
Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were assessed at baseline, immediate
post-treatment, and 3-month post-treatment. The amount of Qigong self-practice was assessed by
Repeated measures analyses of covariance
showed significant differences for the "subjective sleep quality" and "sleep
latency" items, favoring Qigong exercise.
Improvement in "subjective sleep quality" was maintained at 3-month
post-treatment. Significant group by time interaction was also detected for the
Chalder Fatigue Scale and Depression Scale anxiety and depression scores. The
number of Qigong lessons attended and the amount of Qigong self-practice were significantly
associated with sleep, fatigue, anxiety, and depressive symptom improvement.
The researchers concluded that Baduanjin Qigong was
an efficacious and acceptable treatment for sleep disturbance in CFS-like
This study was published in the December 2014 issue of Evidence-based complementary and