A recent peer reviewed study entitled: Qigong for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of COVID-19 Infection in Older Adults, has been published in the The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry on May 15, 2020.
HIGHLIGHTS •What is the primary question addressed by this study? Can Qigong be used as an intervention to treat respiratory infection, including COVID-19, in the elderly?
•What is the main finding of this study? Qigong may be beneficial for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, including COVID-19. The elderly, in particular, could benefit from Qigong during the pandemic, for it is easy to practice.
•What is the meaning of the finding? As a mind-body skill, Qigong provides an innovative option for integrative treatment during this outbreak.
ABSTRACT The elderly are at high risk of contracting respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19 infection. The recent pandemic has the potential to cause significant physical and mental damage in older adults. Similarly to other mind-body exercises in Traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong features regulation of breath rhythm and pattern, body movement and posture, and meditation. Given these traits, Qigong has the potential to play a role in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Potential mechanisms of action include stress reduction, emotion regulation, strengthening of respiratory muscles, reduction of inflammation, and enhanced immune function. Three forms of Qigong; abdominal breathing, Ba Duan Jin [the 8 Brocade] and Liu Zi Jue [the 6 Healing Sounds], all of which are gentle, smooth, and simple for the elderly to practice, are recommended in this context.
The available biological and psychological evidence suggest Qigong may be potentially useful for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, including COVID-19. The elderly, in particular, could benefit from Qigong during the ongoing pandemic, for it is easy to practice. Future studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of Qigong in this context and to provide more evidence on this topic.
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