Chinese Exercise Eases Fibromyalgia Pain

Chinese Exercise Eases Fibromyalgia Pain

A traditional Chinese meditative exercise significantly reduces pain in as little as 8 weeks in patients with fibromyalgia, according to a new study by Canadian researchers. The routine practice of qigong also showed sustained benefits in sleep, fatigue, anxiety, physical function and overall well-being.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia enrolled 100 patients with long term fibromyalgia in a six month study.  The patients had tried a variety of methods to control their pain and other symptoms, including medication, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage. Almost all of the participants were women, with an average age of 52.

The patients were taught Chaoyi Fanhuan Qigong (CFQ), a type of qigong that uses choreographed movements designed to release “qi,” or energy, throughout the body. The patients were given hour-long practice sessions of CFQ once a week for 2 months, and then were asked to perform the exercises at home for up to 60 minutes each day for 6 months.

“Findings reported in this study indicate that self-practice of CFQ, a particular form of qigong, leads to long-term beneficial effects in fibromyalgia in several domains and may be a useful adjunct in the management of fibromyalgia. Further study of the potential health benefits of this modality is warranted,” wrote lead author Jana Sawynok, PhD, of Dalhousie University. The study is published online in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder characterized by chronic pain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and mood swings. Approved medications include pregabalin (Lyrica), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and milnacipran (Savella), but their effectiveness is limited.

Two smaller studies of qigong and tai chi for fibromyalgia also showed significant effects on pain, as well as physical and psychological health.

Authored by: Pat Anson, Editor

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. acanright at 11:51 pm

    I have a long list of problems including fibromyalgia and hypermobility (thanks UK for work done to document and devise tx for this devastating malady). I have found a therapuetic pool that is 91 degrees and has a deep end so that all joints are suspended. I can do gentle exercise and often stay in it hours. It belongs to a hospitl but is in my health club. Others like me gather there and it has be come a support group. It has been the only thing that has worked besides all of the meds. Keep working for yourself! Keeep looking for something that works! And keep informing health care workers about things that don’t work. If it sounds dopey don’t do it! Good luck everyone.

  2. peter lee at 3:36 am

    forgive me for being a little sexiest but women are not the only ones suffering with fibro i have it and its great that its getting more and more noticed but the 2 main problems in the uk is the goverment dont believe its existance and secondly why hasnt there been a cure found for this terrible ordeal that both men and women are having to go through every single day ive just read a comment that regular exersice does help to relieve pain and help matters er not in my case the more exercise i do the worse i get the pain killers help to a point but its long time coming but we need a cure now please can someone find one before its too late.
    rant over sorry