EFFECTS OF QIGONG ON BLOOD PRESSURE, BLOOD
PRESSURE DETERMINANTS AND VENTILATORY FUNCTION
IN MIDDLE-AGED PATIENTS WITH ESSENTIAL
American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Summer, 2003 by Myung Suk Lee, Myeong
Soo Lee, Euy-Soon Choi, Hun-Taeg Chung
This study was designed to measure changes in blood pressure (BP), urinary
catecholamines and ventilatory functions of patients with mild essential hypertension after
10 weeks of Qigong (Shuxinpingxuegong). Fifty-eight patients volunteered to participate
in this study and were randomly divided into either a Qigong group (n = 29), or a control
group (n = 29). Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure decreased
significantly in the Qigong group such that both became significantly lower after 10 weeks
in the Qigong than in the control group. Also, there was a significant reduction of
norepinephrine, metanephrine and epinephrine compared to baseline values in the
Qigong group. The ventilatory functions, forced vital capacity and forced expiratory
volume per sec, were increased in the Qigong group but not the control. These results
suggest that Qigong may stabilize the sympathetic nervous system is effective in
modulating levels of urinary catecholamines and BP positively, and in improving
ventilatory functions in mildly hypertensive middle-aged patients.
Keywords: Qigong; Essential Hypertension; Blood Pressure; Blood Pressure
Determinants; Catecholamines; Ventilatory Function.
Generally, essential hypertension is high blood pressure (BP) where there is no
detectable medical cause or organ pathology but treatable risk factor for cardiovascular
disease (Turner, 1994). Untreated hypertensives are at greater risk for heart failure,
stroke and renal failure (Johnston, 1991). The standard medical treatment for essential
hypertension consists primarily of the use of antihypertensive drugs. However, there are
potential problems with drug therapy due to their side-effects and consequent lowering of
quality of life (Croog et al., 1986; Houston, 1989; Swislocki et al., 1989). With respect to
this concern, there has been increasing interest in non-pharmacological treatments of
hypertension (Frumkin et al., 1978; Joint National Commitee, 1986). For instance, there
are reports regarding the efficacy of behavioral intervention for the control of BP such as
meditation, relaxation, autogenic training, hypnosis, stress management and biofeedback
(Andrews et al., 1982; Davison et al., 1991; Henderson et al., 1998; Raskin et al., 1999;
Schneider et al., 1995).
Table 3. Effect of Qigong on Urinary Catecholamine Levels
E (pg/l) Qigong
6.20 [+ or -] 5.52
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Myung Suk Lee, * Myeong Soo Lee, ([dagger]) Euy-Soon Choi ([section]) and Hun-
Taeg Chung ([double dagger])
* Department of Nursing, Mokpo Catholic University, Mokpo 530-742, Republic of
([dagger]) Department of Qi-Medicine, Institute of Biotechnology, and Professional
Graduate School of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University
([double dagger]) Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wonkwang
University School of Medicine Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea
([section]) College of Nursing, Catholic University, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: Dr. Hun-Taeg Chung, Department of Microbiology and
Immunology, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan 570-749, Republic of
Korea. Tel: (+82) 63-850-6762, Fax (+82) 63-851-5066, E-mail:
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