Try qigong, a traditional Chinese exercise, that can help hypertensive people lower their blood pressure

Qigong, a traditional Chinese exercise, helps practitioners cultivate “qi” (vital life force) through different techniques. There are various forms and styles of qigong, and they can either heal you, improve your physical attributes, or help you achieve enlightenment. However, according to a study, qigong may also help people with hypertension lower their blood pressure.

If a person has hypertension, their systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) are constantly elevated. When high blood pressure is left untreated, it can cause severe health problems like cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renal morbidity. It can even cause death.

According to the authors, many adults in Malaysia suffer from primary hypertension or high blood pressure that doesn’t have a known secondary cause. Alarmingly, most cases of the condition are undiagnosed. Thankfully, the traditional Chinese exercise called qigong had positive health effects on individuals with this condition.

Qigong’s effect on blood pressure

The study authors wanted to confirm if a five?day “one?minute qigong exercise” program could help lower the blood pressure of people who had primary hypertension. They conducted an open?label, parallel?group, controlled trial on staff from the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) with primary hypertension.

The trial participants were sorted into two groups. The first one joined the “one?minute qigong exercise” program” and the second set of participants joined the control group. The two groups underwent their respective sessions for five consecutive days.

The trial results included the participants’ SBP and DBP, which were measured by standardized assessors via manual mercury sphygmomanometers. The researchers repeatedly measured the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to compared results from the two groups during the trial. Once the trial was concluded, the results showed that 21 (56.8 percent) and 25 (92.6 percent) participants were still in the qigong and control groups, respectively.

Overall, the scientists didn’t notice significant “within? or between?group effect for mean SBP.” The data also showed that there was a marginally significant difference in mean DBP at the DBP and group interaction level. During day two of the trial, mean DBP was statistically significantly different between the qigong and the control group.

In conclusion, the researchers noted that even though the “one?minute qigong exercise” program didn’t necessarily minimize the blood pressure of patients with primary hypertension, they posit that continued study can help confirm if the traditional Chinese exercise can offer other benefits for a patient’s overall well-being.

The study was published in the journal Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

What is qigong?

Qigong, also called chi-kung, is “the study and practice of cultivating vital life-force through various techniques.”

These techniques may include:

  • Breathing techniques
  • Guided imagery
  • Meditations
  • Postures

Qi” means “breath” or “air,” which qigong practitioners consider your “vital life force” or “life-force energy.” According to qigong practitioners, this vital-life-force is present in everything in the universe. “Gong” means “work” or “effort” and this is a person’s commitment to any practice or skill that requires time, patience, and constant practice to master.

By studying qigong, a person tries to develop the ability to manipulate qi. By mastering qi manipulation, you can heal various ailments, prevent illnesses, and even and increase your lifespan. (Related: Qigong exercise helps kids reduce stress.)

Qigong involves various forms and styles, but these all belong to three main categories:

  • Martial qigong – This focuses on strengthening your physical prowess.
  • Medical qigong – This focuses on learning how to heal yourself and other people.
  • Spiritual qigong – This focuses on the achievement of enlightenment.

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

Sources include:

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