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    Qigong to Reduce Chronic Pain


    Qigong to Reduce Chronic Pain

    Qigong (pronounced “cheegong”) and Tai Chi are ancient Chinese practices that include meditation, controlled breathing and movement to improve one’s mental and bodily health.

    These techniques can be used to reduce chronic pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

    How it works

    These exercises are based on the core principle that increasing energy, also known as “qi”, or “chi”, in the body through gentle, repeated movements can improve a person’s well-being. The aim is to balance yin/yang in the body, which are complementary and opposing forces found in nature.

    Although there are many similarities between qigong, tai-chi has subtle differences. Tai chi is considered a form qigong when it is used to promote health.

    Qigong is a simpler practice. You can do stationary exercises in any order, and they are often repeated.

    Modern qigong is used to treat a specific condition, such as opening the chest or lungs.

    Here are some examples of qigong movements:

    • Arm raise and arm lower
    • Rub your ears, feet and hands.
    • Move your head sideways and backwards

    Tai Chi movements can include elements of martial arts and must be performed in a particular order.

    There are many styles of Tai Chi, also known as schools with different teacher linesages. Long forms have 108 movements, while shorter forms have fewer.

    Tai chi, sometimes called “moving meditation”, is more holistic than traditional qigong.

    The exact mechanism of qigong or tai-chi’s chronic pain relief is not fully understood. Researchers believe that pain relief can be achieved through relaxation of the muscles or by boosting endorphins, which are chemicals that promote happiness in the body.

    Others believe that tai-chi might affect the autonomic nervous systems, increasing parasympathetic tones — parasympathetic tones refers to a relaxed state, with a decrease in stress hormones.

    These practices can also be beneficial for people with chronic pain. People with arthritis may experience stiff muscles that become more flexible with movement. Exercise can improve blood flow and body fluids, which may reduce pain.

    Because they are easy to do and low-impact, Qigong or Tai Chi may be attractive for chronic pain sufferers.

    Chronic pain symptom relief

    Numerous studies have shown that qigong or tai-chi can help with chronic pain.

    • Functional Problems and Pain A review of 886 studies found that qigong was beneficial in reducing pain and functional problems. There were several positive outcomes, including improvements in pain and physical function.
    • Fibromyalgia Musculoskeletal Pressure: Researchers followed 226 people suffering from fibromyalgia for one year. They found that participants who did tai-chi at least once a week had greater improvement in their symptoms than those who did aerobic exercise twice a weeks. The better their results were, the more they did tai-chi. The study authors concluded that tai chi mind body treatment can produce similar or greater improvements in symptoms to aerobic exercise, which is the most common non-drug treatment for patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
    • Chronic low back pain. Researchers reviewed studies to determine if qigong and yoga could help with chronic low back pain. The researchers found that all three methods were effective in relieving pain. They also reported positive results such as a reduction in disability due to pain and an improvement of functional ability. The researchers pointed out that only three studies were available on qigong, four on tai-chi, and 25 on yoga. This association needs to be further investigated, according to the researchers.
    • Osteoarthritis 40 participants in a study funded by NCCIH found that tai-chi reduces pain and improves function more than education and stretching.
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis pain One small study published by BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders indicated that tai-chi may be able to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

    Although this research seems promising, the NCCIH cautions that there have been conflicting results in some studies regarding the pain-reducing effects of Qigong.

    RELATED: 8 Great Pain Reliefs You Don’t Need

    There are very few clinical trials on qigong or tai-chi for pain relief. Many of the studies that have been done so far involve very small samples.

    As more research is done, it will be easier to see the effects of qigong or tai-chi on pain.

    Qigong and Tai Chi have many benefits for general health and wellness.

    Studies have shown that qigong, tai-chi and other forms of qigong can help with chronic pain relief. They also offer health benefits for certain conditions and diseases.

    • Tai Chi may be an option for those with obesity. One study found that the practice was as effective as group exercises for reducing belly fat and slimming down in older people.
    • Fall Prevention: There have been several studies that show that tai-chi can help to prevent falls in people with Parkinson’s and older adults.
    • Patients with Certain Conditions: Tai chi or qigong can improve quality of life and symptoms.
      • High blood pressure
      • Chronic fatigue
      • Cognitive function
      • Heart disease, cancer, or other chronic diseases
      • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
      • Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).
      • Osteoporosis

    Qigong as well as tai-chi are both proven to have a variety of benefits that can be used to improve physical and mental health. These include:

    • Muscle strength increases
    • Improved cardio- and respiratory fitness
    • Improved mood and concentration
    • More energy
    • Better sleep
    • Stability and balance improvements

    Research has shown that qigong, tai-chi and other forms of qigong can boost your immune system. This is crucial for fighting off viruses and other diseases. The journal Medicines published research that found qigong and Tai Chi practitioners had higher levels of certain immune cells.

    A review of the research found that there is “excellent evidence” that Tai Chi can be beneficial for osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease, rehabilitation from chronic obstructive lung disease, prevention of falls, cognitive enhancement, and improving cognition in older adults.

    Research also suggests that these practices can reduce stress levels. According to a review of studies, people who practiced qigong and tai-chi had lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who did not exercise. They also reported a better mood.

    A study by the NCCIH also found that tai-chi practice may increase quality of life for both chronically ill and healthy individuals.

    How to Use it

    Qigong and tai-chi can be done by anyone. There is no need to be a particular fitness level or have any equipment. You can modify most of these moves from a chair or bed, if necessary.

    According to the Arthritis Foundation it is important to speak to your doctor before you start any exercise program.

    Qigong and tai-chi classes may be offered by local gyms, hospitals, or recreational centers. You can also find online resources and books, as well as videos at home. Mayo Clinic advises that you seek the guidance of a qualified instructor to ensure that you are able to follow the correct form and use the proper techniques.

    A qualified instructor can also help you execute the moves safely. This is especially important for those with chronic pain.

    Although instructors don’t need to be licensed, many organizations offer certification and training programs. Ask about the experience of your instructor in treating chronic pain.

    The Tai Chi for Health Institute offers a directory that will help you find registered tai-chi instructors in your local area.

    What to Expect

    Classes in Qigong or Tai Chi are usually held in a calm and peaceful environment. You can learn the moves at your own speed.

    It is a smart idea to wear clothing that is both comfortable and stretchy.

    Try to be patient with your self if you have difficulty with any of the moves. Do not perform any movement that is painful or makes your pain worse.

    Experts recommend that you do some form of qigong every day to get the best results.

    Tai chi can be practiced as often as you wish.

    Mayo Clinic says that you will see the most benefits if classes are taken regularly and for a longer period of time (more than 12 weeks).

    Fees: Does Qigong have a high price tag? Will my health insurance cover it?

    Cost of a Qigong or Tai Chi class will depend on where it is taken, who the instructor and how often you attend.

    While you can save money by doing the exercises at home many people prefer the socialization of group classes.

    You may also find group classes at senior centers or health clubs that are free or part of your membership.

    Some Medicare and health insurance plans may include qigong classes.

    For more information, you will need to consult your policy.

    Take into account

    Qigong, tai-chi and other gentle exercises are safe and considered safe. However, you can get injured or worsen an injury by not using the right techniques.

    Research on adults suffering from neck pain revealed that qigong participants had the same side effects as those who exercised in other programs (muscle pain and soreness) as others.

    Although research on qigong, tai chi and other methods for chronic pain has shown encouraging results, it is important to remember that not all clinical trials used large samples. Double-blind studies are difficult to do because of funding issues and difficulties in research design. Experts say it is difficult to quantify the pain-relieving properties of these practices.



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