Qi Gong, pronounced "chee gong", has been gaining popularity
in the US. It consists of simple exercises and can progress to
complex sets of slow movements. It's purpose is to balance the
body's energy or Qi. Also, a Qi Gong master can transmit his energy
to others thereby improving their health.
Now researchers are looking at Qi Gong in the research lab. Twenty-six
(26) pain patients took part in this study. They suffered from
a disorder called "complex regional pain syndrome."
It is pain that may occur after an injury, usually to an arm or
a leg. In rare cases, the syndrome develops after surgery, a heart
attack, a stroke or some other medical condition. It also goes
by the name of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. These 26 patients
were not responding to standard treatment.
The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. One groups
received both Qi Gong instruction and also Qi treatments from
the Qi Gong master. The control group received a similar set of
instructions by a sham master. The groups met 6 times in a 3 week
period. The groups were evaluated after 6 and 10 weeks.
In the group that received the true Qi Gong, 82% said
they had less pain by the end of the first training session
compared to 45% of the patients who got phony Qi Gong training.
At the last session, 91% of the true Qi Gong patients
reported pain relief compared to 36% of the patients
in the control group.
Also, anxiety was reduced in both groups. However, the anxiety
reduction was significantly greater in the true Qi Gong group
than in the sham group.
Effects of qigong on late-stage complex regional
pain syndrome. Wu WH, Bandilla E, Ciccone DS, Yang J, Cheng SC,
Carner N, Wu Y, Shen R. Altern Ther Health Med 1999 Jan;5(1):45-54
NOTE: Dr Wu was a guest speaker
at the July RSD conference 2000 in Toronto.