Many people have said that they feel better after practicing qigong. This may help to explain why.
Qigong moderates ACTH
This article shows the effects on healthy volunteers who are new to qigong who did qigong for one month. The main finding of the present investigation is that Taoist qigong practice induces a significant modulation on the blood levels of ACTH in healthy subjects with no previous qigong experience. There were no effects on other measures of well-being such as depression or anxiety or sleep issues, however, perhaps due to the very short time frame (only one month). Generally ACTH blood levels impact the feeling of well-being.
Assessment of hormonal parameters and psychological well‐being in healthy subjects after a Taoist qigong program: An exploratory study
Francisca M. Vera, Juan M. Manzaneque , Francisco M. Rodríguez, Miguel Vadillo , Federico Navajas , Ana I. Heiniger , Vidal Pérez , M. José Blanca
First published: 14 November 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12501
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Qigong is an ancient form of health maintenance, which is part of Traditional China Medicine. Numerous beneficial mental and physical effects have been classically ascribed to this traditional psychosomatic method. The purpose of this work has been to assess the effects of Taoist qigong practice on several hormonal parameters of the Hypothalamic‐Pituitary‐Adrenal axis and specific measures of psychological well‐being in healthy subjects. Forty‐three healthy volunteers participated in the study, of whom 22 were randomly allocated to the experimental group, and 21 were assigned to the control group. Experimental participants underwent a qigong training program for one month. Blood samples for the quantification of hormonal parameters, and several instruments to assess anxiety and depression symptoms as well as subjective sleep quality, were obtained before and after the program. Statistically significant differences were found between the experimental and control groups, with the experimental group showing lower blood levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This study shows that Taoist qigong is a psychosomatic method able to exert a modulatory action on ACTH levels in healthy subjects. We consider the need to continue exploring the psychobiological modulation of this qigong method and its possible repercussion for human health care.
Note: ACTH is an important component of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and is often produced in response to biological stress (along with its precursor corticotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus). Its principal effects are increased production and release of cortisol by the cortex of the adrenal gland.