Abstract and key points
- Qigong is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Proponents claim that it improves health by regulating the flow of qi energy.
- Several clinical trials have tested its effectiveness usually with encouraging results.
- The most consistent evidence is for improvements in immune function, fatigue and quality of life.
- The quality of these studies is generally poor.
- No serious safety concerns are known.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese therapy aimed at regulating the flow of “vital energy” in the body. It is mainly used as a symptomatic treatment for various types of complaints including those caused by cancer or cancer treatments.
In-vitro and preclinical studies have generated encouraging findings providing evidence that external qigong induces apoptosis and inhibition of cancer cell invasion. Clinical trials have also yielded mostly promising results but their methodological quality is generally poor. A cause-effect relationship between the intervention and the outcome remains therefore undocumented.
There are no major safety concerns related to qigong.
CitationRachel Jolliffe, Edzard Ernst, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Qigong [online document]. http://cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Mind-body-interventions/Qigong. March 11, 2015.
Revised and updated in March 2015 by Rachel Jolliffe.
Most recently updated in May 2012 by Edzard Ernst.
First published in April 2011, authored by Edzard Ernst.
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