Ethos Ho, BSc Pharmacy Candidate
What Is Qigong?
Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that dates back around 7000 years.1 The word “Qi” means “vital energy” or “life force,” while “gong” means “work” or “discipline.”1,2 Generally speaking, the practice of Qigong incorporates:1,2
- Rhythmic movements
- Low-moderate intensity exercises and postures
- Coordination of various breathing patterns
Since Qigong is very easy to learn, it can be an appropriate practice for individuals of any age or physical condition. 1 Furthermore, Qigong can be used in a variety of conditions for additional health benefits, including but not limited to: 2
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Weight loss
- General health
How Safe Is It to Practice Qigong?
As mentioned before, Qigong is an easy and safe practice that can be initiated by nearly all individuals. Additionally, several clinicals trials demonstrated that Qigong is very safe if practiced appropriately. However, there is not enough safety evidence for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women; therefore, consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended before initiating Qigong.2
What Are the Benefits of Qigong?
So you may be wondering what the benefits of Qigong are. Based on the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong may improve health by increasing the flow of “Qi”, blood and other fluids throughout the body through repetitive movements involved in the practice. This flow of energy is what helps to restore and maintain the balance of energy flow and allow the body to heal.1,2
In addition to improved general health, Qigong has been reported to improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure.1-6 Research have shown that it can reduce certain hormones in the body such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol to reduce blood pressure. Moreover, it has been associated with reduction in LDL (bad cholesterol) levels through lipid metabolism which further enhance cardiovascular health.3
In addition to reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, Qigong was shown to be as effective as conventional exercise on lowering heart rate, weight, BMI, and waist circumference and improving kidney functions after 16 weeks of practice. 6
The Bottom Line
Qigong appears to be an effective strategy on improving overall cardiovascular health. Although more studies are needed to confirm these findings, Qigong is safe to initiate for many individuals and may be as effective as conventional exercises for reducing blood pressure, weight and cholesterol. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before starting Qigong to ensure safety. So, if you are interested in starting a new exercise routine to help improve your health, it might be worth a shot to try Qigong!
As always, we hope you took away something valuable from this piece. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article or others, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook, or at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. We’d love to hear from you. [
dt_gap height=”10″ /]
- Xiong, X., Wang, P., Li, X., & Zhang, Y. (2015). Qigong for Hypertension. Medicine, 94(1), e352. doi: 10.1097/md.0000000000000352
- Natural Medicines
- Lee, M., Lee, M., Kim, H., & Choi, E. (2004). Effects of qigong on blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and other lipid levels in essential hypertension patients. International Journal Of Neuroscience, 114(7), 777-786. doi: 10.1080/00207450490441028
- Lee, M., Pittler, M., Guo, R., & Ernst, E. (2007). Qigong for hypertension: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Journal Of Hypertension, 25(8), 1525-1532. doi: 10.1097/hjh.0b013e328092ee18
- Guo, X., Zhou, B., Nishimura, T., Teramukai, S., & Fukushima, M. (2008). Clinical Effect ofQigongPractice on Essential Hypertension: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, 14(1), 27-37. doi: 10.1089/acm.2007.7213
- Cheung, B., Lo, J., Fong, D., Chan, M., Wong, S., & Wong, V. et al. (2005). Randomised controlled trial of qigong in the treatment of mild essential hypertension. Journal Of Human Hypertension, 19(9), 697-704. doi: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1001884