Friday, October 05, 2007

Eight Pieces Brocade (Baduanjin) and Eight Healing Sounds Qigong Research Updates

Here are some interesting research updates I found in the past issues of Qi Dao newsletter.

Although I am teaching the Eight Healing Sounds, I imagine the results would be similar to those of the Six Word Practice which is also a healing-sound qigong.

Two of the research reports are on Baduanjin (Eight Pieces of Brocade), one is on healing sounds, and one is about the benefits of mental relaxation and slow, regulated breathing.

If you have a chronic health condition that isn't getting any better, I hope you will find the nearest qigong class and jump-start your self-healing capabilities! Practicing with like-minded people is very beneficial to your health, too! (See my earlier article on Qigong Group Practice.)

Without further ado, here are the excerpts from the Qi Dao newsletters:

July 2006
Six-Word-Practice is a unique method of Qigong as people make sounds in the practice. Compared with Standing Posture Qigong, the number of heartbeats will increase when making sounds. The figures show that making sounds are closely related with abdominal respiration. Potential value of R point in cardiogram has not apparent changes when people keep still. However, the value increases significantly with sounds in practice of Six-Word-Practice. Blood flow through neck artery increases with making sounds. The flow of blood is not corresponding to the strength of sound. Increase of blood flow is not very significant for "He". The third word "Hu" is not stronger than "He", but the increase of blood flow is much higher. For "Chui", both the sound and the increase of blood flow are high.
Additionally, the maximum blood pressure in practice of Six-Word-Practice is over 160 mmHg, higher than that of Standing Posture Qigong. Although the maximum blood pressure is higher than that of Standing Posture Qigong, the duration of increase of blood pressure in shorter, which will not bring addition load for aged people. The examination of Six-Word-Practice shows shat oxygen density in blood of end blood vessels keeps decreasing. The decreasing happens in practice of "Chui" and "Xi", showing that the load is much higher in the short time. Cycle change of respiration is synchronized with cycle change of oxygen density in blood of end blood vessels, meaning that level of practice may reflect the coordination level of inner respiration and outer respiration.

The Effect of Baduanjin to the Function of Human Cardio-Vascular -- Li Yuhuan, Li Dongjun, Zhang Haibo, Hou Beichen (Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion , Beijing University of Chinese Medicine
We recruited some college students and trained them to practice Baduanjin. Then we monitored systematically six kinds of physical indications. They were blood pressure, electrocardiogram, pulse pressure, degree of oxygen saturation of blood, temperature of the limbs ending skin, the delaying time between heart beat and pulse, and do some contrast experiments, using multi-parameters recording device. At last, we got the data that Baduanjin could improve the body's cardio-vascular function and discuss its effect to the human's cardio-vascular function made by practicing Baduanjin. The result has showed that after 10 weeks' concentrative training, there were some effects to the students in the experimental group, such as the electrocardiogram, the degree of blood oxygen saturation, the temperature of the ending skin, the delaying time from the heart beat to pulse. Statistical significance could be found in these data (P<0 .05="">

August/September 2006
Effects of mental relaxation and slow breathing in essential hypertension. Kaushik RM, Kaushik R, Mahajan SK, Rajesh V. (Department of Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Nagar, P.O. Doiwala, Dehradun 248140, Uttaranchal, India), Complement Ther Med. 2006 Jun;14(2):120-6.
OBJECTIVES: To compare mental relaxation and slow breathing as adjunctive treatment in patients of essential hypertension by observing their effects on blood pressure and other autonomic parameters like heart rate, respiratory rate, peripheral skin temperature, electromyographic activity of the frontalis muscle and skin conductance.
METHODS: One hundred patients of essential hypertension either receiving antihypertensive drugs or unmedicated were selected randomly. Various parameters were recorded during the resting state and then during mental relaxation and slow breathing for 10 min each, separated by a quiet period of 15 min. All parameters were recorded again after mental relaxation and slow breathing. Changes in various parameters observed after mental relaxation and slow breathing were analyzed and compared. RESULTS: Both mental relaxation and slow breathing resulted in a fall in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and electromyographic activity with increase in peripheral skin temperature and skin conductance. Slow breathing caused a significantly higher fall in heart rate (p<0 .05="">0.2) observed with both the modalities.
CONCLUSIONS: Even a single session of mental relaxation or slow breathing can result in a temporary fall in blood pressure. Both the modalities increase the parasympathetic tone but have effects of different intensity on different autonomic parameters.

November/December 2006
The effects of baduanjin qigong in the prevention of bone loss for middle-aged women. Chen HH, Yeh ML, Lee FY., (American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2006;34 (5):741-7.)
Abstract: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a 12-week Baduanjin qigong training program in preventing bone loss for middle-aged women. An experimental design was adopted, and subjects were assigned randomly into an experimental group (n = 44) and a control group (n = 43). The experimental group received a 12-week Baduanjin qigong training program, whereas the control group did not. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured before and after the intervention. The results showed significant differences in IL-6 (t = -5.19, p < t =" 1.99," p =" 0.049)">
In conclusion, this study demonstrates promising efficacy of Baduanjin in preventing bone loss commonly occurring in middle-aged women. Thus, Baduanjin is valuable for promoting and maintaining the health status of middle-aged women.

January/February 2007
Qigong exercise with concentration predicts increased health. Jouper J, Hassmen P, Johansson M. Am J Chin Med. 2006; 34(6):949-57
Regular physical activity has many positive health effects. Despite this, approximately 50% of all adults are not exercising enough to enjoy better health and may, therefore, need an alternative to vigorous physical exercise.
Qigong offers a gentle way to exercise the body. A questionnaire sample of 253 participants was collected and correlations with the variable health-now were analyzed. Results showed that health-now was positively correlated with number of completed qigong courses (p <>

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