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Major Qigong Study Reports Decisive Fibromyalgia Pain & Sleep Improvements

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A randomized controlled trial of qigong for fibromyalgia – Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, Aug 3, 2012

by Mary Lynch, et al.

[Note: the full text of this article is available free here. [Chaoyi Fanhuan Qigong may be described as meditative movement that encourages detachment from thoughts & problems for true rest, relaxation and healing. The report represents qigong’s benefits for the majority of patients, physically able to practice qigong.]

Introduction: Fibromyalgia is difficult to treat and requires the use of multiple approaches. This study is a randomized controlled trial of qigong compared with a waitlist control group in fibromyalgia.

Methods: 100 participants were randomly assigned to immediate or delayed practice groups, with the delayed group receiving training at the end of the control period.

• Qigong training (level 1 Chaoyi Fanhuan Qigong, CFQ), given over 3 half-days,

• Was followed by weekly review/practice sessions for 8 weeks;

• Participants were also asked to practice at home for 45-60 minutes per day for this interval.

Outcomes were pain, impact, sleep, physical function and mental function, and these were recorded at baseline, 8 weeks, 4 months and 6 months.

Immediate and delayed practice groups were analyzed individually compared to the control group, and as a combination group.


In both the immediate and delayed treatment groups, CFQ demonstrated significant improvements in pain, impact, sleep, physical function and mental function when compared to the waitlist/usual care control group at 8 weeks, with benefits extending beyond this time.

Analysis of combined data indicated significant changes for all measures at all times to 6 months, with only one exception.

Post-hoc analysis based on self-reported practice times indicated greater benefit with the per protocol group compared to minimal practice.


This study demonstrates that CFQ, a particular form of qigong, provides long-term benefits in several core domains in fibromyalgia.

CFQ may be a useful adjuvant self-care treatment for fibromyalgia.

Trial Registration: clinicalrials.gov NCT00938834.

Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, Aug 3, 2012; 14(4):R178. PMID:22863206 Lynch M, Sawynok J, Hiew C, Marcon D. Departments of Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. [Email: jana.sawynok@dal.ca]

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2 thoughts on “Major Qigong Study Reports Decisive Fibromyalgia Pain & Sleep Improvements”

  1. IanH says:

    I am sure qigong is very good for anyone.
    This is not a true RCT. There is no control group. A delayed treatment group is not a control group. If anyone did this training they would come with positive gains in the dimensions of pain, fatigue and strength. This type of study does confirm the value of controlled exercise but does nothing to advance our knowledge of FMS and its treatment.

  2. roge says:

    well said Ian, yet another useless study on FM – I am so sick and tired of these exercise studies claiming to improve FM – what hogwash. can you please do more research on finding out better the pathology/dysfunction of FM – is that really too much to ask for?

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