Qigong, Parasympathetic Function and Fibromyalgia | OMICS International| Abstract

Fibromyalgia: Open Access
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  • Research Article   
  • Fibrom Open Access 1:107,

Qigong, Parasympathetic Function and Fibromyalgia

Jana Sawynok*
Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
*Corresponding Author : Jana Sawynok, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Tel: 902 494 2596, Fax: 902 494 1388, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Feb 11, 2016 / Accepted Date: Mar 15, 2016 / Published Date: Mar 18, 2016


Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by widespread pain and multiple other symptoms; underlying mechanisms include central sensitization, dysregulation of the stress response system, and autonomic nervous system dysregulation. Alterations in the sympathetic nervous system have been variably implicated, but a reduction in parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity is now becoming more clearly implicated. Qigong, a traditional health and wellness practice that is also considered as mindful exercise or meditative movement, has been shown in several controlled and uncontrolled trials to be of marked benefit in FM, with effects that are sustained over time. Several hypotheses have been considered to account for the benefits of qigong practice, including autonomic regulation. The current article proposes that qigong, as a self-practice, leads to enhanced PNS activity, and this underlies benefits in FM and contributes to other health benefits that occur with extended practice. This hypothesis could be tested: (a) by exploring benefits of non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation (this should mimic effects of qigong), (b) by demonstrating that qigong practice produces changes in PNS activity, (c) by demonstrating that other non-pharmacological therapies that have been shown to be of benefit in FM also modulate PNS activity. The hypothesis is amenable to direct testing.

Citation: Sawynok J (2016) Qigong, Parasympathetic Function and Fibromyalgia. Fibrom Open Access 1: 107.

Copyright: ©2016 Sawynok J. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Review summary

  1. Jacob Smith
    Posted on Aug 30 2016 at 11:38 am
    The authors of the study reviewed the Qigong practice and its effects on treatment of major symptoms of FMS by utilize PNS activity. They highlighted the all major symptoms of the syndrome and its relation with sympatho vagal function, parasympathetic tone, HRV, SNS, PNS ans ANS. The review is thorough and very well written, and the topic is worthy of the review.