Posts Tagged ‘medical qigong’

Medical Qigong and Yoga Improve Cancer Patients’ Quality of Life

I just returned from the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, where 30,000 doctors around the world gathered to discuss new cancer research.

I found 2 new randomized studies showing the effects of medical qigong and yoga on the quality of life of cancer patients.

It’s well known that cancer patients often experience diminished cognitive function and quality of life due to side effects of their treatment and disease symptoms.

Australian researchers led a randomized study to evaluate the effects of medical qigong, which is a combination of gentle exercise and meditation, similar to Tai Chi warm-up exercises, on cognitive function and quality of life in cancer patients.

One group of 37 cancer patients participated in qigong for 10 weeks while another group of 40 cancer patients received usual care (the control group).

The qigong group reported they felt their cognitive function and abilities and their quality of life had improved, compared to reports from the controls.

The second study examined the effects of yoga on buffering changes in quality of life in women with breast cancer undergoing radiation therapy.

The breast cancer patients were randomized to either do yoga (53 women) or stretching (56 women) 3 times a week for 6 weeks during radiation therapy, or to a waitlist (54 women).

After the radiation therapy ended, both the yoga and stretching groups said they felt less fatigue, while the waitlist group said they were more tired.

Six months after radiation therapy, the stretching group said they felt improvements in fatigue and physical functioning.

Those who did yoga said they felt less fatigue, that their quality of life was better, and they definitely felt a benefit from the yoga practice during therapy.

The research team led by those at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, said “this is the first yoga study to include an active control group, suggesting that the benefits of yoga are due to more than simple stretching, social support, or other indirect effects.”

Certainly not a cure for cancer, qigong and yoga both appear to improve the quality of life of people as they go through cancer treatments, and even better, afterward as well.