Most people are aware of the benefits of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Meditation - But what about Qigong?
Since Qigong is the core of our Mindful Movement and Self Healing practice here, I have gathered below just a small sample of the growing mountain of research illustrating the functional benefits of Qigong training.
Qigong has been shown to increase strength gains of weight lifters.
At the California Polytechnic Institute, athletes during off season were broken into a Qigong group and control group. Both groups engaged in the same resistance training regime over 8 weeks.
15 minutes of Qigong 5x weekly produced significant increases in strength gains compared to the control group. In some exercises, such as bench press, the average difference in gains between groups was more than 1.5x!
Qigong has been found to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
One study found that along with blood pressure, there was a decrease in cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, suggesting that Qigong may regulate blood pressure by balancing stress hormones.
Qigong has been shown to be helpful as a complementary medicine in the treatment of various cancers.
One study showed a regular Zhan-Zhuang (standing meditation) Qigong practice helped to maintain optimal levels of white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
A review of 11 randomized clinical trials involving 831 cancer patients showed that Qigong has positive effects on fatigue, immune function, and cortisol levels, regardless of which Qigong style the patients were doing.
In summary, Qigong helps your body function optimally, and this is likely of benefit if you are undergoing cancer treatment.
Qigong training has been found improve immune function.
One study compared a group doing actual Qigong training to another group being coached through fake Qigong classes (made up movements, not based on qigong principles). The group doing actual qigong was found to have significant increases in lymphocytes and monocytes (immune cells) after training compared to the placebo group.
Another study compared one group practicing qigong movements to another group that simply relaxed for an hour. They found a significant increase in the qigong group's "natural killer cell cytotoxicity", which means their immune cells were better prepared to kill tumors and cells infected with viruses.