Know the Evidence: QIGONG for FIBROMYALGIA

There are several small, conflicting studies in the area of Qigong in management of
fibromyalgia. However a recent large, well-controlled study found positive results for
quality of life outcomes.
In 2012, Dr. R. Lauche, of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and colleagues
reviewed the literature and found 7 topic-related trials. They concluded that while Qigong
may be a useful approach in the management of fibromyalgia, there was no strong evidence,
at that time, to support superiority of Qigong as compared to conventional active
Lauche R, Cramer H, Häuser W, Dobos G, Langhorst J. (2013)A Systematic Review and Meta-
Analysis of Qigong for the Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Evidence-based Complementary and
Alternative Medicine : eCAM. 2013;2013:635182. doi:10.1155/2013/635182.
In more recent controlled study, conducted in Italy, Maddali Bongi et al concluded that in
individuals with fibromyalgia, Qigong/Tai chi quan programming, if administered by an
expert physiotherapist, should be regarded as an effective rehabilitation method.
Maddali Bongi S, Paoletti G, Calà M, et al. Efficacy of rehabilitation with Tai Ji Quan in an
Italian cohort of patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016
Aug;24:109-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.05.010. Epub 2016
Lynch et al found positive results for effectiveness of qigong and management of fibromyalgia. In post
hoc analysis of Chaoyi Fanhuan Qigong exercise compliance in an RCT of 100 individuals with
fibromyalgia [22]. Those who practiced per protocol (>5 times/wk) had significantly greater
improvement than those who practiced minimally (<3times/wk). This latter finding is important
information about dose response.
Lynch M, Sawynok J, Hiew C, Marcon D. A randomized controlled trial of qigong for fibromyalgia.
Arthr Res Ther. 2012;14:R178 DOI: 10.1186/ar3931


Source: KNOW THE EVIDENCE 2017: A report of the NQA Research and Education Committee Jun 30, 2017
 Major contributors: PJ Klein, PT, EdD (contact:, J Baumgarden, DPT
Kathy Levac RN MS is the chair of the NQA Research and Education Committee
This edition of the ‘Know the Evidence’ resource exists as a chapter authored by PJ Klein, PT,
EdD and J. Baumgarden, DPT in the text ‘Heal Yourself with Qigong’ by Master George Picard,
Village of Healing and Wellness, St Catharines, ONT, Canada, and is reprinted with their
permission. Picard G. Heal Yourself with Qigong 2nd ed. Spiral Graphics:Canada. 2017.