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Qigong as a Complementary Self-Care Practice at a Tertiary-Care Pain Management Unit

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July 28, 2021 - Qigong, which can be characterized in many different ways, is offered as a complementary self-care practice at a tertiary-care pain management unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A Canadian study, reported by Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, provides a quantitative and qualitative assessment of two groups engaged in qigong practice in this context as part of two Research in Medicine (RIM) projects (2014-15, 2016-17).

It includes assessments of pain, mood, quality of life, sleep, and fatigue, considers outcomes in relation to the amount of practice, and considers whether health attitudes would help determine who might benefit from the practice.

There were 43 participants (28 ongoing practitioners, 15 new to qigong). The ongoing practice group in RIM2 had significant benefits over time in pain, mood, quality of life, and fatigue in quantitative scores, but changes were not significant in RIM 1. There were no differences in any measures in those new to qigong.

Qualitative comments in core and other domains reflected good or better outcomes in 16 subjects in the ongoing group who practiced consistently. In those who practiced less, results were more variable. In most of those new to qigong, the practice was limited and comments indicate minimal changes. Those engaged in qigong have a stronger internal health locus of control than control subjects.

In conclusion, diligent qigong practice provides multiple health benefits for those with chronic pain, and qualitative assessments are essential for documenting these effects. For those new to qigong, factors needed to effectively engage practice need to be explored further to optimize program delivery.




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