The Efficacy of Tai Chi and Qigong for Patients with Essential Hypertension
August 26, 2020 - Tai Chi and Qigong are the two similar traditional Chinese wellness exercises. A strong body of published clinical randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has investigated the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong exercises in patients with Essential Hypertension. A new Chinese study published by Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in its July 2020 issue is the first meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of Tai Chi and Qigong on blood pressure (BP) and blood levels of nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) in Essential Hypertension patients and explore the potential antihypertensive mechanism of Tai Chi and Qigong.
They conducted a literature retrieval for Chinese and English studies in seven databases from their respective inceptions until January 14, 2020. All RCTs examining clinical efficacy of Tai Chi and Qigong for Essential Hypertension patients were considered. The major therapeutic outcomes of Tai Chi and Qigong were changes in the blood levels of NO, ET-1, and BP in Essential Hypertension patients.
Nine RCTs involving 516 Essential Hypertension patients were included. The intervention duration lasted from 1.5 months to 6 months. The results of comprehensive analysis showed that compared with control interventions, Tai Chi and Qigong were more effective in reducing the systolic blood pressure and the diastolic blood pressure and contributed higher blood levels of NO and lower blood levels of ET-1.
Tai Chi and Qigong could be an effective complementary and alternative therapy for Essential Hypertension. The lower BP in Essential Hypertension patients who practice Tai Chi and Qigong may have some connection with exercise-related increased blood NO levels and decreased blood ET-1 levels. However, further research is needed to make clear the efficacy of Tai Chi and Qigong in management of Essential Hypertension and the mechanism of lowering BP in Tai Chi and Qigong.