Effects of qigong on late-stage complex regional pain syndrome

Author: Wu WH//Bandilla E//Ciccone DS//Yang J////
Affiliation: Pain Management Center, 90 Bergen St. Suite 3400, Newark, NJ 07103
Conference/Journal: Altern Ther Health Med
Date published: 1999
Other: Volume ID: 5 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 45-54 , Word Count: 189


The effects of Qi Gong training on patients with treatment resistant RSD were evaluated using a credible placebo to control for nonspecific treatment effects. Patients were assigned in block-randomized fashion to either the Qi Gong or Placebo Control condition. N=12 each. They then received instruction from a recognized Qi Gong master or a Sham master (consisting of 7 training sessions and 1 follow-up). Results showed that subjects in both groups believed they had 'real' Qi Gong training. Patients who received actual Qi Gong reported lower levels of pain within but not between treatment sessions. Aside from short-term analgesia, patients in the Qi Gong group also reported a significant long-term reduction in anxiety. However, Qi Gong failed to produce effects on the vast majority of medical signs and symptoms associated with RSD which include range of motion, skin temperature, visual signs in the affected limb, activity level, and domestic functioning. Pre-experimental assessment revealed that Qi Gong Group was significantly more susceptible to hypnotic suggestion than the Control. Failure to control for this difference makes it difficult to state with confidence that these observed improvements were actually the result of Qi Gong training.

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