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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2013, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (4): 241-245.doi: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013038

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Qigong improves balance in young women: A pilot study

María Victoria González López-Arzaa,b(), Enrique Varela-Donosob,c, Jesús Montanero-Fernándezd, Juan Rodríguez-Mansillaa,b, Blanca González-Sánchezb, Luis González López-Arzae   

  1. a. Medicine and Surgery Department, Extremadura University School of Medicine, Badajoz, Spain
    b. Adolor Research Group of the Extremadura University, Badajoz, Spain
    c. Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Complutense University School of Medicine, Madrid, Spain
    d. Mathematics Department, Extremadura University School of Sciences, Badajoz, Spain
    e. Health Care Centre of Zafra, Badajoz, Spain
  • Received:2013-01-31 Accepted:2013-05-13 Online:2013-07-10 Published:2013-07-15

Background

Balance problems are common in people of all ages and can lead to falls, thus causing fractures with consequent disability. Qigong practice has long been part of daily life in Chinese culture, and has good effects on physical health maintenance.


Objective

The present work describes the change in balance in young, healthy women after practising Qigong for eight weeks.


Design, setting, participants and interventions

The study took the form of a controlled, randomised longitudinal trial, and involved 30 women aged 18-25 years. The subjects had no prior experience of Qigong or Tai Chi and were unaware of the aims of the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to a Qigong intervention group or a control group. Those in the Qigong intervention group performed “exercises in 20 figures for health and long-life” (Wang Ziping) for 1 h twice per week, for 4 weeks. The control group undertook no exercise at all.


Main outcome measures

The main outcome measure was the stabilometry values. These were obtained in a unipodal support test, using a plantar pressure platform with optical sensors.


Results

The Qigong subjects showed a significant improvement in their stabilometry results (40.1% pre-intervention and 56.4% post-intervention) (P<0.045), while no improvement was seen in the control group (51.2% pre-intervention and 53.5% post-intervention). At the beginning of the intervention, the stabilometry values recorded for the Qigong intervention group were worse than those recorded for the control group (40.15% and 51.21% respectively; P=0.121). However, a comparison of the post-intervention values between these groups showed that these differences have disappeared (P=0.653).


Conclusion

Qigong can improve balance in healthy, young women.

Key words: Qigong, Musculoskeletal Equilibrium, Women, Pilot projects

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Figure 1

Flow chart showing patient participation"

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