A brief qigong program may improve mood and self-esteem for people with traumatic brain injury, according to a pilot study published in Clinical Rehabilitation (2009; 23 [7], 589–98). Researchers from the University of Nottingham, in England, recruited 20 people with traumatic brain injury and randomly assigned them to participate in either a qigong exercise session for 1 hour per week for 8 weeks or non-exercise-based social and leisure activities for the same time period. All subjects completed a general health questionnaire, a physical self-description questionnaire and a social-support-for-exercise-habits scale at the study’s beginning and end.

Mood and self-esteem improved in the intervention group compared with the controls. None of the participants showed any significant difference in physical functioning. Researchers recommended a large-scale randomized trial to further study the benefits
of qigong exercise for people with traumatic brain injury.