Home > Lifestyles > Chinese Qi-gong > Chinese Qi-gong
Therapeutic Effects of Qi-Gong

Therapeutic Effects of Qi-Gong

Over the centuries, the five major traditions of qi-gong: the Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist, medical and martial arts, have founded their own theories on qi-gong. However, the fundamental basis is closely related to TCM theories on the yin and yang, five elements, organs and meridians. TCM principles are also used to guide the daily training. From a TCM viewpoint, qi-gong's health benefits or mechanisms are as follows:

1. Balancing yin and yang: yin and yang refers to the mutual opposite and complementary relationship among the body's organs and functional activities. A practitioner can use different maneuvers of qi-gong to adjust the body's states, such as depressing excitatory conditions or lifting inhibited conditions. Therefore, qi-gong can modify the equilibrium of yin and yang.
2. Soothing blood and qi circulation: Qi-gong aims at managing the flow of qi (vital energy). Qi is the master of blood which means qi leads the blood circulation. Therefore, qi-gong helps to resolve the stagnation in the meridian system, which enhances the nourishment of organs, bones and joints.
3. Cultivating genuine qi: The human physiological functions, from a TCM perspective, are driven by the action of genuine qi; which is actually a "vaporization process". Through different forms of qi-gong exercise, the vaporization process is enhanced and a more genuine qi moves through the body providing the power source for all of life's activities.
4. Extending the lifespan and improving intelligence: Qi-gong regulates the organs' functioning and leads to a stronger vitality. The acquired jing of the kidneys can be replenished constantly, therefore the bones and brain marrow are adequate, which fosters a youthful body, better constitution and higher level of intelligence. Most of the aging processes can be delayed.

TCM practitioners believe good health results from the fact qi-gong stimulates the flow of qi along the meridians linking the internal organs with the fingers or toes, and acupuncture points on the head, spine and other parts of the body, thereby eliminating blockages of qi. Manipulating qi reduces the heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the blood vessels, and enhances oxygenation of the tissues. Improved circulation helps to quickly eliminate toxic substances from the body. The slow, gentle movements enhance balance, co-ordination, strength and flexibility. Correct body alignment improves posture and benefits many musculo skeletal problems.

Modern study of qi-gong is still going on. At the moment, only a preliminary understanding has been revealed. Below are a few areas of discovery:

1. The nervous system: Using qi-gong allows an individual to enter into a tranquil state allowing the brain to be oriented towards a higher conscious level. There is better integration of the nervous system, and it is expressed as relatively less inhibition in the autonomic nervous systeem.[13]
2. The cardiovascular system: Qi-gong reduces the burden of the heart. It changes the excitability state that dominates the heart and blood vessels, makes the capillaries expand and lowers the heart rate. It lowers blood pressure, particularly in those with hypertension (high blood pressure), but can also elevate it in hypotensive (low blood pressure) people.[13,14]
3. The digestive system: The peristalsis and evacuation of food in the gastrointestinal track are expedited, secretion and amylase (a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch to sugar) activities are all increased. Therefore, digestion and absorption are enhanced.[14,16]
4. The respiration system: During qi-gong practice, the respiration rate may be decreased and the mode of ventilation changed. As a whole, oxygen consumption is much lower than even in a sleeping state. The lowered metabolic rate and decreased energy consumption is thought to aid in the recovery of bodily functions[14,16].
5. The endocrine and immune system: The practitioners' hormonal regulation becomes well adjusted. For example, adrenaline activities are 40% lower than that of the normal people not practicing qi-gong. Phagocytes of white blood cells are more active and lymphocyte transformation rate is increased. Total immune functions are enhanced as well.13


As a whole, qi-gong's benefits may hold out advances in cures for cancer, heart disease, AIDS, arthritis and asthma [12]. Although not scientifically proven as of yet, people have claimed to use it effectively to fight hemorrhoids, constipation, diabetes, high blood pressure, menstrual problems, prostrate problems, impotence, pain, stress and anxiety, insomnia and migraine headaches. It is commonly accepted in China that elderly practitioners of qi-gong in China are better equipped to combat frailty and enjoy increased mobility. It has also been shown qi-gong is particularly effective in reducing stress-related behavior problems [15]. As more scientific studies are undertaken, it is possible that qi-gong may be an important part of health maintenance and disease prevention that is prescribed by doctors in the future.


1. Chinese Qi-gong, Zhang Enqin (Chief ed.), Publishing House of Shanghai University of TCM, ©1990.
2. The Therapeutic Methods of Qi-gong for Common Diseases, Lu Yun (Chief ed.), Publishing House of Nan Yue, ©1989.
3. Qi-gong and Health Preservation, Lu Yun (Chief ed.), Publishing House of Nan Yue, ©1991.
4. Essence of Traditional Chinese Qi-gong, Lu Yun (Chief ed.), Publishing House of Nan Yue, ©1992.
5. Health Preservation by Qi-gong, written by Yao Shangda, The Television Enterprise Publishing House, ©1999.
6. http://www.wishus.org/self-healing_qigong.htm.
7. http://www.dreamweaverlodge.com/qigongarticle.html.
8. http://www.jadedragon.com/archives/martarts/chigung.html.
9. http://www.acupuncture.com/QiKung/History.htm.
10. http://qi-journal.com/Qigong.asp
11. http://www.newcastlesportinjury.co.uk/qigong.html.
12. http://health.yahoo.com/health/Alternative_Medicine/Alternative_Therapies/Qigong
13. http://www.healthy.net/asp/templates/article.asp?PageType=Article&ID=995
14. http://www.nearchina.com/frame/medical/exampleqigong2.htm
15. Qi-gong Refreshing the Brain, Li Zhe, Sicience of Chinese Qi-gong, 2000-9.
16. http://www.piantan.net/qigong/qigong1.htm
17. http://qgren.51.net/yiliao.htm.
Written By:
Raka Dewan, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Angela Collingwood MSN, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Lawrence Lau, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Raka Dewan, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.

Special thanks to Elpidio Talens Juan for helping with article graphics.