BACKGROUND: The incidence of hypertension, particularly in the middle-aged female population, has increased over the past years leading to high risk co-morbidities such as stroke and coronary heart disease. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Qigong as an adjunct to anti-hypertensive medications in lowering blood pressure of female hypertensives. Qigong is a non invasive, breathing exercise that is easily taught and has an array of application.
METHOD: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 20 subjects in the treatment group. They were subjected to Qigong as an adjunct 3 times a week for 8 weeks in Brgy. Deparo, Caloocan compared to a control group of 24 females on anti-hypertensive medication alone.
RESULT: In the course of the trial, supplemental Qigong with anti-hypertensive medication had greater lowering effect on the systolic blood pressure of the treatment group with a difference of 18mmHg as compared to the control group with with 4.17mmHg (p value <0.001). A consistent downward trend of the blood pressures were noted on the treatment group which was most apparent beginning the 6th week of the program.
CONCLUSION: The findings are consistent with previous researches on the applications of Qigong. This supplemental program is an affordable non pharmacological intervention that can be adapted to further decrease co-morbidities and improve the lives of hypertensive individuals.
KEYWORDS: Qigong, blood pressure, hypertension, female