Qigong: A Boon for Cancer Patients
Studies Show Improved Well-being
Cancer patients that regularly practiced qigong, a 5,000-yearold combination of gentle exercise and meditation, for almost three months experienced significantly higher levels of well-being, improved cognitive functioning and less inflammation, compared to a control group. Dr. Byeongsang Oh, a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Sydney Medical School, in Australia, who led the study, says the reduced inflammation in patients that practiced medical qigong, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, was particularly significant.
The project involved 162 patients, aged 31 to 86; those assigned to the medical qigong group undertook a 10-week program of two supervised, 90-minute sessions per week. They were also asked to practice an additional 30 minutes at home each day.
When the study began, there were no significant differences in measurements of quality of life, fatigue, mood status and inflammation between the intervention and control groups. However, “Patients that practiced medical qigong experienced significant improvements in quality of life, including greater physical, functional, social and emotional well-being, while the control group deteriorated in all of these areas,” reports Oh.
He remarks that the study is the first such trial to measure the impact of medical qigong in patients with cancer. “Several studies have indicated that chronic inflammation is associated with cancer incidence, progression and even survival,” Oh explains. He presented the findings at a recent American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.