Author: Chan JSM1, Ng SM2, Yuen LP3, Chan CLW4
1Departments of Social Work and Social Administration, Faculty of Social Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2Departments of Social Work and Social Administration, Faculty of Social Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: email@example.com.
3International Association for Health and Yangsheng, Hong Kong, China.
4Departments of Social Work and Social Administration, Faculty of Social Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Centre on Behavioral Health, Faculty of Social Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Conference/Journal: Int Rev Neurobiol.
Date published: 2019
Other: Volume ID: 147 , Pages: 121-153 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2019.08.002. , Word Count: 275
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is often overlooked, has unclear etiology and no effective cure except some symptomatic treatments. Additionally, most people with CFS do not seek medical attention. Qigong exercise, an ancient Eastern body-mind-spirit practice, has been long practiced in Chinese communities and may powerfully trigger the self-healing process. Using full baseline data (n=1409), the average Hong Kong CFS respondent was found to be female, married, 42.5yo, highly educated and employed full-time, experiencing sleep disturbance (~95%), anxiety (>80%), and depressive symptoms (68%). Here, we summarized our previous studies to evaluate the potential of Qigong as a complementary and alternative therapy for CFS. Two randomized controlled trials were conducted (RCT1 n1=137, RCT2 n2=150). In both trials, extensive online questionnaires allowed individuals with CFS-like illness (i.e., symptoms match CFS, yet without clinical confirmation) to be identified. RCT1 included a 5-week intervention. The intervention in RCT2 was 8weeks. In RCT1 Qigong group had reduced fatigue (P<0.001) and depressive symptoms (P=0.002), and improved telomerase activity (P=0.029). An effective practice regimen was identified (≥3 days/week, at ≥30min/session). Methods were slightly adjusted for RCT2, which replicated RCT1 findings, and further documented improved subjective sleep quality (P=0.008) and adiponectin levels (P<0.05). A significant dose-response relationship was founded. Thus, Qigong exercise should be recognized as a possible standalone therapy and self-management skill in CFS. Strategies are needed to increase motivation for regular practice and to explore its possibility of self-management skill in brain health. Further clarity would come from studies comparing Qigong with other physical exercises.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
KEYWORDS: Adiponectin and brain health; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Psychological distress; Qigong exercise; Sleep disturbance; Telomerase activity
PMID: 31607352 DOI: 10.1016/bs.irn.2019.08.002