Extension trial of qigong for fibromyalgia: a quantitative and qualitative study.
By J Sawynok, M. Lynch and D. Marcon
This extension trial is an open-label observational trial of 20 subjects with fibromyalgia who undertook level 2 Chaoyi Fanhuan Qigong (CFQ) training following an earlier controlled trial of level 1 CFQ.
Subjects practiced 60 min/day for 8 weeks and continued some daily practice for 6 months. Quantitative measures, assessed at baseline, 8 weeks, 4 and 6 months, were of pain, impact, sleep, physical and mental functions, and practice time. Qualitative comments also were recorded.
Compared to baselines, CFQ practice led to significant improvements in pain, impact, sleep, and physical function in the 13 subjects (65%) who completed the trial; changes were present at 8 weeks and were maintained for the 6-month trial duration.
A highly motivated subgroup of N = 5, who practiced the most, had the best outcomes in terms of end symptomology, and qualitative comments indicated health benefits in other domains as well.
Qualitative comments by the remaining N = 8 trial completers and N = 7 withdrawals indicate different experiences with the practice.
This extension trial indicates that diligent CFQ practice over time produces significant health gains in fibromyalgia in a subset of individuals. Future studies will need to address factors that might predispose to favourable outcomes.
Source: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013. By J Sawynok, M. Lynch and D. Marcon. Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, 5850 College Street, P.O. Box 15000, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2.