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How Baduanjin Qigong Reduces Depression in Women with Chronic Fatigue
December 21, 2016 -
According to the December, 2016 issue of the journal Cell transplantation, researchers from the University of Hong Kong and Harvard C.H. Chan School of Public Health investigated the effects of Baduanjin Qigong exercise on adiponectin, a protein important for regulating glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown, and evaluated whether adiponectin is involved in the anti-depressive effects of Qigong exercise on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)-like illness.

This is a randomized, waitlist-controlled trial. One hundred and eight female participants were randomly assigned to either Qigong exercise or waitlist groups. Sixteen 1.5-hour Qigong lessons were conducted. Outcome measures were taken at three time points. Baseline adiponectin levels were negatively associated with body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference and waist/hip ratio in women with CFS-like illness. Compared with waitlist control, Qigong exercise significantly reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms, and significantly raised plasma adiponectin levels.

More interestingly, increases in adiponectin level following Qigong exercise were associated with decreases in depression score for the Qigong group. Moreover, adjusted linear regression analysis further identified Qigong exercise and change in adiponectin level as the significant factors accounting for reduction of depressive symptoms.

Baduanjin Qigong significantly increased adiponectin level in females with CFS-like illness. Decreases in depressive symptoms were associated with increases in adiponectin levels following Qigong exercise, indicating that the potential contribution of adiponectin to Qigong exercise-elicited anti-depressive effects in human subjects.


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