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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 134737, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/134737
Review Article

Effects of Qigong on Depression: A Systemic Review

1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Edward Ford Building A27, Fisher Road, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
3Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, Moxibustion & Meridian Research Centre, 1672 Yuseongdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea
4Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Received 19 November 2012; Revised 25 January 2013; Accepted 29 January 2013

Academic Editor: Ching Lan

Copyright © 2013 Byeongsang Oh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Physical exercises and relaxation have been found to be beneficial for depression. However, there is little evidence on the use of Qigong, a mind-body practice integrating gentle exercise and relaxation, in the management of depression. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effects of Qigong on depression. The paper examined clinical trials measuring the effect of Qigong on depression within six large-scale medical research databases (PubMed, Medline, ProQuest, Science Direct, EMBASE, and PsycInfo) till October 2011. Key words “Qigong,” “depression,” and “mood” were used. Ten studies were identified as original randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies investigating the effect of Qigong on depression as primary ( ) or secondary outcome ( ). Four studies reported positive results of the Qigong treatment on depression; two reported that Qigong effect on depression was as effective as physical exercise. One study reported that Qigong was comparable to a conventional rehabilitation program, but the remaining three studies found no benefits of Qigong on depression. While the evidence suggests the potential effects of Qigong in the treatment of depression, the review of the literature shows inconclusive results. Further research using rigorous study designs is necessary to investigate the effectiveness of Qigong in depression.