Alternate Title

  • Chi Kung

Related Terms

  • AST Chiro, Chan-Chuang qi-gong therapy, chi, Chi Gong, Chi Kung, Chinese medicine, Chun Do Su Bup, Daoyin, Daoyin-Tuna Qi gong, external Qi gong, Falun gong, hanyu pinyin, healing touch, hexiangzhuang (flying crane) Qi gong, imagery, internal Qi gong, meditation, Nei-Gong, Pa Tuan Jin, Pai Jer Tsuh Jih Gong, Qigong, Qi gong emitted external Qi (QEQ), Qi gong Waiqi, Qi gong Yangsheng, Qi gongizations, Reiki, tai chi, therapeutic touch, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), visualization, Wai Qi Fa Gong, walking Qi gong, Yan Jing Yi Shen Gong.
  • Not included in this review: Healing touch, guided imagery, meditation, Reiki, tai chi, therapeutic touch, and visualization. Separate Natural Standard monographs on these topics are available.

Background

    Evidence Table

      Disclaimer

      These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

      High blood pressure

      Good evidence suggests that Qi gong, when used with conventional treatments, may be of benefit for high blood pressure. Initial research reports fewer deaths among people with high blood pressure who practice Qi gong. There is some evidence that internal Qi gong relaxation exercises may be safe for helping to control high blood pressure associated with pregnancy. Further research is warranted.

      Angina

      There is some evidence suggesting that Qi gong may be used in the treatment of angina (chest pain). However, further evidence is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Asthma

      Some research suggests that the regular practice of internal Qi gong over several months may improve breathing in asthma. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

      Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

      There is some evidence supporting the use of external Qi gong together with standard therapies for blocked arteries. However, the available evidence is unclear. More studies would lead to a better understanding of this technique.

      Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

      There is promising early evidence to support the use of internal Qi gong in the treatment of ADHD in children. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Autism

      Preliminary evidence suggests that Qi gong may be effective in treating young children with autism. Further studies are needed in this area before a conclusion can be made.

      Cancer

      Several studies suggest that Qi gong may benefit cancer patients. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Cardiovascular health

      Preliminary evidence suggests that Qi gong may be useful in the treatment of heart conditions. Additional high quality studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Cardiovascular rehabilitation

      Preliminary data suggests that Qi gong coupled with group support may improve functional quality of life for patients undergoing cardiovascular rehabilitation. Additional studies of the effect of Qi gong alone are needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Childhood growth promotion

      Children are capable of receiving instruction in internal Qi gong as a health promotion activity and it may have some behavioral benefits. However, it is unclear whether Qi gong can promote physical growth in children. More research is needed.

      Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

      Preliminary evidence suggests that practicing mindfulness meditation and/or Qi gong three times weekly for a year may contribute to improvement in overall health. Additional research on Qi gong alone is needed before a conclusion can be made on the use of this therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.

      Chronic pain

      There is some evidence that internal Qi gong or externally applied Qi gong may be useful in the management of pain and anxiety. More evidence is needed in this area before a conclusion can be made.

      Complex regional pain syndrome

      There is some evidence that patients with complex regional pain syndrome might benefit from Qi gong instruction. However, more research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Detoxification

      Limited study suggests that Qi gong may aid in reducing the anxiety and withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin detoxification. Additional research is needed.

      Diabetes

      There is some evidence that patients with diabetes may benefit from Qi gong. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Fibromyalgia

      Scientific evidence regarding the usefulness of Qi gong in treating fibromyalgia is mixed. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Flu

      Traditional tai chi and Qi gong (TQ) practice has been shown to improve the immune response to influenza vaccine in older adults. Further study is needed to determine the effect of Qi gong alone.

      Gastritis

      Some evidence suggests that internal Qi gong may be useful in the treatment of gastritis. Further research is needed.

      Immune function

      Some evidence suggests that internal Qi gong may help in treating immune deficiencies. Further research is needed in this area.

      Kidney failure (chronic)

      Sufficient scientific evidence on the use of Qi gong to treat chronic kidney failure is lacking. Additional research is needed in this area.

      Leukopenia (chemotherapy-induced)

      Preliminary study suggests that Qi gong therapy may improve white blood cell count in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Further study is warranted in this area.

      Muscular dystrophy

      Early evidence suggests that internal Qi gong practice may help slow the decline of health in muscular dystrophy patients. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Parkinson’s disease

      There is promising early evidence suggesting that internal Qi gong may help in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. However, the evidence is unclear and further research is needed.

      Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

      Regular Qi gong therapy may help to reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

      Quality of life

      Qi gong may be beneficial for improving quality of life in cardiac and cancer patients. Further study is necessary to make a firm conclusion.

      Stress

      Preliminary study shows that Qi gong may be beneficial for relieving stress. Additional study is warranted in this area.

    *Key to grades:

    Tradition

      Disclaimer

      The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

    Safety

      Disclaimer

      Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

    Attribution

    • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

    Bibliography

      Disclaimer

      Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

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    • Eng ML, Lyons KE, Greene MS, et al. Open-label trial regarding the use of acupuncture and yin tui na in Parkinson’s disease outpatients: a pilot study on efficacy, tolerability, and quality of life. J Altern Complement Med 2006 May;12(4):395-9.
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    • Hui PN, Wan M, Chan WK, et al. An evaluation of two behavioral rehabilitation programs, qi gong versus progressive relaxation, in improving the quality of life in cardiac patients. J Altern Complement Med 2006 May;12(4):373-8.
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    • Iwao M, Kajiyama S, Mori H, et al. Effects of qi gong walking on diabetic patients: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med 1999;5(4):353-358.
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    • Jung MJ, Shin BC, Kim YS, et al. Is there any difference in the effects of Qi therapy (external Qi gong) with and without touching? A pilot study. Int J Neurosci 2006 Sep;116(9):1055-64.
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    • Mehling WE, Hamel KA, Acree M, et al. Randomized, controlled trial of breath therapy for patients with chronic low-back pain. Altern Ther Health Med 2005;11(4):44-52.
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    • Ospina MB, Bond K, Karkhaneh M, et al. Meditation practices for health: state of the research. Evid Rep Technol Assess (Full Rep) 2007;(155):1-263.
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    • Pippa L, Manzoli L, Corti I, et al. Functional capacity after traditional Chinese medicine (qi gong) training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation: a randomized controlled trial. Prev Cardiol 2007;10(1):22-5.
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    • Yang, Y., Verkuilen, J., Rosengren, K. S., Mariani, R. A., Reed, M., Grubisich, S. A., Woods, J. A., and Schlagal, B. Effects of a traditional Taiji/Qigong curriculum on older adults’ immune response to influenza vaccine. Med.Sport Sci. 2008;52:64-76.
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    • Yeh ML, Lee TI, Chen HH, et al. The influences of Chan-Chuang qi-gong therapy on complete blood cell counts in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Cancer Nurs 2006;29(2):149-55.
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