The effects of qigong on reducing stress, anxiety and enhancing body-mind wellbeing

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The effects of qigong on reducing stress, anxiety and enhancing body-mind wellbeing


Author: Chow, Wai-yi Yvonne
Title: The effects of qigong on reducing stress, anxiety and enhancing body-mind wellbeing
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2011
Subject: Qi gong -- Therapeutic use.
Mind and body.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xxi, 329 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Background and purpose: Stress-related comorbid illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, hypertension, and heart disease are responsible for considerable disability worldwide. Few studies have investigated the therapeutic value of qigong. Using a combination of psychological and physiological approaches, the intent of this study was to investigate whether practicing qigong helps to reduce stress and anxiety, thus enhancing body-mind well-being. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted using a Repeated Measures design. Thirty-four healthy middle-aged adults participated in an 8-week qigong program. Their outcomes were compared with 31 matched subjects in the waitlist control group and 34 participants from a psychology class. The outcome measures included measures of mood states (DASS-21), quality of life (ChQOL), and physiological measures of stress (salivary cortisol level and blood pressure). GLM was used to analyze the data of the 3 groups collected in the 1st, 4th, 8th, and 12th follow-up weeks. Results: In week 8, significant main effects were found in cortisol level (F= 5.733, p = 0.02) and blood pressure (F = 4.587, p = 0.036) between the qigong and the waitlist groups. Significant Time x Group interaction effects were found in stress (F = 4.558, p = 0.014), depressiveness (F = 4.375, p = 0.016), the ChQOL scales (F = 3.059, p = 0.011) and cortisol levels (F = 5.108, p = 0.027). In week 12, two groups differed substantially as indicated by the main effects in the DASS-21 scales (F = 6.377, p = 0.014), the ChQOL scales (F = 6.042, p = 0.017), cortisol level ( F = 15.908, p ≤ 0.001), blood pressure (F = 6.212, p = 0.015), as well as the interaction effects in the DASS-21 scales (F = 3.247, p = 0.003), the ChQOL scales (F = 4.996, p ≤ 0.001), cortisol levels (F = 11.047, p ≤ 0.001), and heart rate (F = 5.566, p = 0.002). Significant differences were also found between the qigong group and the psychology group in all outcome measures (p ≤ 0.05) except heart rate. In general, the qigong participants enjoyed better quality of life and mood states with lower cortisol levels and blood pressure than the two other groups. Conclusion: The present findings support the concept that qigong has positive effect on reducing stress, anxiety and enhancing body-mind well-being. In this study, we re-packaged a traditional qigong exercise into a systematic workout structure, and demonstrated its potential effects on mood regulation as illustrated by both psychological and physiological measures.

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