Qigong, A Potential Alternative Medicine for Neuropsychiatric Disorders



Guoqiang Xing*

Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the

Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Traditional Chinese Qigong is an ancient

self-training paradigm for mental and physical health that has

existed for thousands of years. Today qigong is becoming an

integrated part of the medical care system in China. It has been

estimated that tens of millions of people worldwide are

practicing qigong for self-healing and and stress reduction. The

potential value of qigong for the prevention of and alternative

therapy for neuropsychiatric disorders is so great that it

warrants scientific investigation. Here I will present some

evidence to support this notion and to draw attention to this


Although scientific research on qigong

remains scant, available evidence suggests that antipsychotic

effects of qigong may work through the improved functioning of

several system in the body including immunological,

endocrinological and central nervous system. For examle, there

asre studies showing that there were opposite patterns of

electroencephalogram (EEG) betweein qigong state and

neuropsychiatric disorders. During qigong training, thre is an

increased peak and power of the alpha frequencies (8-13Hz) in the

prefontal cortex while in first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar

psychosis patients and their first degree relatives there is a

deficient activity of alpha freqencies. Hundred-fold increases in

the power of brain electromagnetic fields have also been recorded

in people practicing oriental qigong. Additionally, qigong

training are associated with increased immunological functions,

while the immunological functions of the bipolar and

schizophrenic patients are often compromised. Qigong has been

proved to be very effective in stress reduction by many qiqong

practitioners. There are also scattered cases that the conditions

of schizophrenia patients were improved by qigong and related

trainings. These phenomena deserve further scientific

investigation. Some potential mechanisms of qigong will be

discussed in this presentation.