Qigong is one of the most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure. Qigong, pronounced Chee Gong or Chi Kung, is a Chinese healing art, often referred to as Chinese yoga. Qigong uses three principles of breathing patterns, rhythmic movements and meditation to lower a high blood pressure. Qigong is a gentle, relaxing therapy which can be followed by nearly anyone of any age or fitness level.
You can download an instruction booklet showing the 18 Qigong movements used in clinical trials to lower blood pressure at the end of this page.
Qigong lowers blood pressure
Qigong is an ancient Chinese healing art that dates back at least 2,000 years. The term Qigong essentially means the training or cultivation of qi. Also known as Dao Yin (guiding and stretching) or Yangsheng gong (nourishing life), Qigong focuses on the principle that a life force, or qi, flows around the body. Health conditions such as high blood pressure are believed to develop when the flow of Qi is blocked, and Qigong aims to cultivate the free flow of Qi.
The results from 20 clinical trials, involving 2,349 people with high blood pressure, show that practicing Qigong for hypertension reduced blood pressure by 17.40/10.15 mmHg compared to controls who did not practice Qigong.
Five of these studies assessed the effect of Qigong against antihypertensive drugs and found Qigong was at least as effective for lowering blood pressure. Qigong produced a clinically meaningful reduction in blood pressure that was 7.91/ 6.08 mmHg greater than that achieved with antihypertensive drugs, although only the reduction in diastolic blood pressure was statistically significant.
When Qigong was practiced in addition to taking antihypertensive drugs, there was an 11.99 /5.28 mmHg greater reduction compared with using antihypertensive drugs alone. No serious adverse events were reported.
This suggests that Qigong is an effective therapy for high blood pressure and may be used on its own, or to improve the effectiveness of your antihypertensive treatment.
As Qigong is a gentle form of exercise, your doctor is highly likely to support you using this approach.
Regular Qigong is needed for continued blood pressure benefits
Qigong can lower blood pressure fast, but it’s important to continue practicing it to maintain the benefits. A recent study published in the journal, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, assessed the effects of practicing Qigong exercise for 60 minutes, three times a week, for 8 weeks. A link to download the instruction booklet showing the 18 Qigong movements used in this study is available at the end of this page.
Those taking part had prehypertension, with a blood pressure in the high normal range – an average of 133.8/80.6 mmHg.
After 8 weeks of Qigong training, their blood pressure came down to an optimal average level of 115.9/74.9 mmHg – a reduction in blood pressure of 17.9/5.7 mmHg. Researchers found it also improved attention, brain processing speed, and maximal workload.
The Qigong exercise was then stopped and blood pressures were monitored over the following 12 weeks during which blood pressure rose back up to the previous prehypertension levels.
This suggests that Qigong exercise is an effect natural remedy for high blood pressure but that, as with all forms of exercise, benefits will be lost within 12 weeks of stopping. It’s therefore important to continue performing Qigong regularly to maintain the health effects.
What Qigong entails
Qigong aims to improve the flow of Qi energy using the three principles of breathing patterns, rhythmic movements and meditation. It is a gentle, relaxing therapy which can be followed by nearly anyone of any age or fitness level.
Qigong strengthens muscles, produces a feeling of lightness, and calms the mind. Physical movements are slow and gentle, breathing is rhythmic and measured, and a calm, focused mental awareness is encouraged. A key element is to visualise the flow of qi around the twenty meridians, or channels, through which it flows around the body.
Qigong aids physical fitness and also helps to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.
The basic postures of Qigong are easy to learn, and can be carried out while standing, sitting or even when lying down.
You can practice it on your own at home, or join a local class.
Lower your blood pressure fast with this Qigong exercise
Here is a simple qigong exercise for high blood pressure from Master Chunyi Lin.
Here’s a demonstration on how to perform Qigong from TaiChiHealthProducts.org
If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is key to maintaining good control.
Click here for advice on choosing a blood pressure monitor to use at home.