February 07, 2013
1 min read

Mind-body therapy, Qigong improved fibromyalgia patients’ symptoms

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Therapies using the Rességuier method and Qigong improved pain, disability, quality of life, tenderness and anxiety in patients with fibromyalgia, according to study results.

Researchers in Italy divided 30 patients with fibromyalgia (FM) into two groups (n=15). Group 1 was treated for 7 weeks using the Rességuier method (RM), a mind-body therapy that included verbal and manual contact with a therapist, followed by Qigong (QG), a Chinese exercise emphasizing breathing, posture and relaxation, for 7 additional weeks. Group 2 started with QG, then practiced RM. Two sessions were conducted weekly for the first 3 weeks, followed by one weekly session for 4 weeks. RM and QG sessions lasted 60 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively.

Researchers assessed patients at baseline, after each 7-week program and at the end of a 12-week follow-up. Patients were evaluated by a number ratings scale (NRS) for sleep quality and pain, a Regional Pain Scale (RPS), Tender Points (TP), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for anxiety and depression (HADS-a/d).

After group 1 completed RM, NRS for pain, RPS, FIQ and HAQ were reduced, and HADS-a and SF-36 improved. Upon completing QG, FIQ was further reduced, and TP and HADS-d also improved. HADS-a and SF-36 levels remained constant.

After 7 weeks of QG for group 2 patients, reductions were observed in NRS for pain, RPS, TP, FIQ and HAQ, with levels maintained after 7 weeks of RM. HADS-a/d and SF-36 improved following QG and was confirmed after RM. Sleep quality also improved after RM.

Regardless of sequence, both groups maintained progress at follow-up.

“The two techniques are complementary and act synergically on FM, independently from the protocol used,” the researchers reported. “It can be hypothesized that QG, similarly to RM, by improving awareness and perception, ameliorates FM central symptoms and induces a relaxation response, thus reducing muscular tension … and improves mood.”