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Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

Qi gong is an ancient healing art that belongs to the realm of traditional Chinese medicine and translates as "work on energy". There are hundreds of variants of qi gong that can be classified as external or internal depending on whether a practitioner is required. Dynamic as well as meditative qi gong can be identified within internal qi gong. The medical literature on qi gong is relatively limited compared to other practices combining both relaxation and movement such as tai chi chuan or yoga. Different studies in the area of pain management show that qi gong has a positive but not always statistically significant impact. Those studies focus primarily on pain from ailment such as rheumatism (neck, back, shoulder and knee pain as well as fibromyalgia) and to a lesser extent on pain from cancer, migraines, complex regional pain syndrome and work-related issues. Some studies focus on the elderly and also show that while the practice of qi gong has a positive but not necessarily significant impact, it also leads to improved autonomy. Overall, qi gong offers a comprehensive treatment of patient with pain management issues. It is notable that contra-indications appear in none of the studies (adaptations are available for the elderly) and that side effects are few. The practice of qi gong has a very low cost and can also play a preventive role. © 2013. Source

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