Qigong is another mind-body practice that may help people to manage stress, according to a research review of seven randomized, controlled trials available in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014; doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-8). Researchers from the University of Hong Kong conducted the review to evaluate qigong’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety among healthy adults.
The study authors concluded that qigong is effective in relieving anxiety and reducing stress—perhaps because of the structured body movements and deep diaphragmatic and rhythmic breathing. These practices may affect the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine system, neurotransmitters and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the reviewers suggested. More large, well-defined studies are required to substantiate and refine these findings.
The review is available online at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893407.￼