Qigong for Parkinson's Disease

In this new study, the effects of Qigong exercises on relieving the symptoms of Parkinson's disease were explored

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Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition affecting about one in every 500 people. People with Parkinson's don't have enough of a chemical called dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died. Without dopamine people can find that their movements become slower so it takes longer to do things.The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson's to appear.

In this new study, the effects of Qigong exercises on relieving the symptoms of Parkinson's disease were explored. Qigong is a form of mindful movement composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space. When you practice and learn a qigong exercise movement, there are both external movements and internal movements. These internal movements or flows in China are called neigong or "internal power".

In this study, 54 people with moderate Parkinson's were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. 28 were placed in the experimental group in which the prescribed medication plus Qigong was used as intervention. The other 26 people with Parkinson's as the control group were treated only with regular medication.

A ten-week intervention was conducted for the study, and participants completed the scheduled exercises 5 times per week for 60 minutes each time. Results showed that those who engaged in Qigong demonstrated a significant improvement in muscle hardness, the timed "up and go," balance, and hand-eye coordination. Researchers concluded that Qigong could reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and improve body functions in both the mild and moderate stages.

These results make us feel very happy indeed :) :)

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS