Many alternative and complementary therapeutic methods have been used by patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Researchers in Germany examined the immediate and continuous effects of Qigong on motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD (Schmitz-Hubsch et al., 2006). A total of 56 patients with different levels of PD disease severity were involved in the study.
The researchers compared the Qigong training group and a control group about the progression of motor symptoms evaluated using Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale motor part (Schmitz-Hubsch et al., 2006). The Qigong group had the trainings of 90-minute each week for 2 months, followed by a 2 months break, then a second training for 2 months.
The study found that at the time point of 3 and 6 months, more patients showed improvements in the Qigong group than in the control group (Schmitz-Hubsch et al., 2006). In addition, the rates of several nonmotor symptoms reduced in the Qigong group only.
This study indicates that Qigong exercise may be helpful for relieving PD. More studies are still needed to confirm this effect and to find out the mechanisms.
Schmitz-Hubsch, T., Pyfer, D., et al. (2006) Qigong exercise for the symptoms of : a randomized, controlled pilot study. Mov Disord 21, 543-548.