Effects of Qigong Therapy for Arthritis
- I have just published a review entitled "Effects of Qigong Therapy on
Arthritis: A Review and Report of a Pilot Trial" in Medical Paradigm, A new
medical journal defining a new balance in health care. This study was
partially supported by a research grant from Qigong Institute
(www.qigonginstitute.org). Following is the citation and abstract. You
may get the entire first issue of the journal online from the following URL:
Effects of Qigong Therapy on Arthritis: A Review and Report of a Pilot Trial
Kevin W Chen and Tianjun Liu
Medical Paradigm, 1(1): 36-48.
Background: Patients with chronic pain, like arthritis, are increasingly
seeking alternatives to Western medicine. Many have benefited from
acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy. TCM theory
purports that arthritis is due to a blockage of the qi flow. Qigong
therapy, like acupuncture, is said to alter qi flow and strengthen internal
qi, either through self-practice or through external qi emission.
Objective: To review literature of qigong therapy for arthritis, to help
further understanding of the possible applications of qigong therapy in
pain relief; and to report the results of an open pilot study of external
qi therapy for arthritis.
Methods: Literatures derived from Medline, Qigong Database, China National
Knowledge Infra-structure (CNKI), and the library database at the Beijing
University of Medicine cover both open trial without control and randomized
control trials. In our open trial, 10 patients with arthritis were
recruited, and six of them completed all 3 treatments and one-month
Measures: Visual analogue scale (VAS) on pain and mood were used pre- and
post-treatment. Other measures include physical disability scale;
Spielberger anxiety scale, and swollen/tender joint count.
Results: All patients reported some degree of symptom relief, reduction in
pain and negative mood, decreased anxiety score, and reduced active
pain/tender joints (except one), and reduction in movement difficulty
scores. Two reported complete relief without any pain one month after the
Conclusions: Literature review suggests the strong evidence of therapeutic
effect of qigong on reducing pain and relieving symptoms of arthritis.
Although our pilot trial is far from conclusive due to the small sample
without control, the results suggest that further studies are warranted to
determine the efficacy of Qigong therapy for arthritis with a large sample.
Keywords: qigong, bioenergy therapy, energy medicine, arthritis, review,
pain relief, anxiety, functional movement.