Decrease Blood Pressure with Qigong
By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.
“ Qigong exercise is a blessing in disguise. Because the physical movements of Qigong are performed while mindfully connecting your focus to your breath, as well as specific visualizations or positive emotions, you heal not only your body but your mind and spirit as well.“ – Bodhi Batista
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is an insidious disease because there are no overt symptoms. The individual feels fine. But it can be deadly as more than 360,000 American deaths, roughly 1,000 deaths each day, had high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. In addition, hypertension markedly increases the risk heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. It is also a very common disorder with about 70 million American adults (29%) having high blood pressure and only about half (52%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Treatment frequently includes antihypertensive drugs. But these medications often have adverse side effects. So, patients feel lousy when taking the drugs, but fine when they’re not. So, compliance is a major issue with many patients not taking the drugs regularly or stopping entirely.
Obviously, there is a need for alternatives to drugs for reducing blood pressure. Mindfulness practices have been shown to aid in controlling hypertension. Qigong is ancient mindfulness practice involving slow prescribed movements. Since Qigong is both a mindfulness practice and an exercise, it is particularly acceptable and effective methods to improve cardiovascular health. The research on Qigong and blood pressure has been accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned.
In today’s Research News article “Effects of qigong on systolic and diastolic blood pressure lowering: a systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7789757/ ) Ching and colleagues review, summarize and perform a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled trials of the effectiveness of Qigong practice for reducing blood pressure in adults. They identified 7 published randomized controlled trials.
They report that the published studies found that Qigong practice produced significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These findings suggest that Qigong practice is a safe and effective practice that may help reduce hypertension. Indeed, recent research has found that Qigong practice is effective in improving hypertension.
Some advantages of Qigong include the facts that it is not strenuous, involves slow gentle movements, and is safe, having no appreciable side effects, it is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It can also be practiced without professional supervision and in groups making it inexpensive to deliver and fun to engage in. This makes Qigong practice an excellent treatment to lower blood pressure and treat hypertension.
So, decrease blood pressure with qigong.
“Qi Gong is both an exercise routine and a stress management form of relaxation. Qi is the body’s life force energy. Research shows that a daily practice of Qi Gong can lower blood pressure.” – Lee Holden
CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies
This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch
Ching, S. M., Mokshashri, N. R., Kannan, M. M., Lee, K. W., Sallahuddin, N. A., Ng, J. X., Wong, J. L., Devaraj, N. K., Hoo, F. K., Loo, Y. S., & Veettil, S. K. (2021). Effects of qigong on systolic and diastolic blood pressure lowering: a systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 21(1), 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-03172-3
The benefits of qigong for systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) reduction have been noted in previously published systematic reviews; however, the data on its effectiveness has been at best scarce. We aimed to update the evidence of qigong on blood pressure reduction after taking into consideration the risks of random error and reliability of data in the cumulative meta-analysis using trial sequential analysis (TSA).
Included trials were assessed using Cochrane risk of bias instrument. We performed meta-analysis with random-effects model and random errors were evaluated with TSA. We performed the search for the eligible randomized controlled trial (RCT) through Medline, Cinahl, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and also PubMed.
A total of 370 subjects sourced from seven eligible RCTs were entered into the analysis. The pooled results demonstrated the significant reduction with the use of qigong of the systolic blood pressure [weighted mean difference (WMD), − 10.66 mmHg (95% confidence interval (CI) = − 17.69,-3.62, p < 0.001] and diastolic BP [WMD, − 6.76 mmHg, 95% CI = − 12.22, − 1.30, p < 0.001] as compared to the control group.
Significant reductions in BP is seen with the use of qigong as compared with the control group, suggesting that qigong may be used as a complementary therapy in the somewhat complicated management of hypertension.