Chinese exercise qigong found to ease hypertension

According to a group of researchers, qigong, a form of traditional Chinese exercise, can help ease the symptoms of hypertension (high blood pressure). In the study, which was published in the journal Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, the authors examined how qigong can help improve the health condition of patients with hypertension.

  • Hypertension refers to the constant elevation of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, or SBP and DBP, respectively. If left untreated, this condition may cause cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and renal morbidity and mortality.
  • For the study, the researchers wanted to determine the effectiveness of a five?day “one?minute qigong exercise” program on the reduction of blood pressure in individuals who had primary hypertension.
  • Researchers conducted an open?label, parallel?group, controlled trial on staff from the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) with essential hypertension.
  • The participants were separated into two groups: those who took part in the “one?minute qigong exercise” program and those who were part of the control group.
  • The two groups took part in their sessions for five consecutive days. The outcomes, which included the participants’ SBP and DBP, were measured by standardized assessors via manual mercury sphygmomanometers. Repeated measurements of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) helped correlate data from the two groups over time.
  • The researchers said that in general, they didn’t observe notable “within? or between?group effect for mean SBP.” They added that “there was a marginally significant difference in mean DBP at the DBP and group interaction level.” On day two, mean DBP was statistically significantly different between the two groups.

The researchers concluded that while “one?minute qigong exercise” program didn’t significantly lower the blood pressure of patients with primary hypertension, further study may help confirm if the traditional exercise can improve a person’s overall health condition.

You can learn more about qigong and other traditional Chinese exercises at

Journal Reference: 

Chen X, Arifin WN, Draman N, Wan-Arfah N, Ajalal MI, Chen HH, Naing NN. A PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL OF ‘ONE-MINUTE QIGONG EXERCISE ON THE REDUCTION OF BLOOD PRESSURE AMONG PATIENTS WITH ESSENTIAL HYPERTENSION. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2016;21(2):82–88. DOI: 10.1111/fct.12254

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