Qigong for Parkinson's Disease

In a 2014 article in the International Journal of Neuroscience called 'Qigong exercise may improve sleep quality and gait performance in Parkinson's disease' authors from the University of Kansas Medical Center found that a six-week qigong program "resulted in significant improvements to gait velocity" and "improvement in some aspects of sleep quality" in a study of 58-75 year old patients with Parkinson's disease.

The authors made the following comments about improvement in gait function via the qigong intervention:

"Gait function was improved by a significant reduction of stride time and a slight increase in stride length. Together these changes resulted in significant improvements to gait velocity. Additionally, time spent in double limb support was reduced following the intervention. Overall gait variability improved significantly, particularly in the reduction of stride time variability."

What's remarkable about the study is that the results were achieved in only six weeks.  Can you imagine the improvements over a larger period of time?

The text of the article is available here.

Energy Therapy Found to be More Effective than Physical Therapy for Improving Range of Motion for Restricted Shoulder Mobility

In a 2013 article in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine entitled 'Comparison of physical therapy with energy healing for improving range of motion in subjects with restricted shoulder mobility' authors from the University of Arizona found two forms of energy therapy (specifically 'reconnective healing' [RH] and reiki) to be more effective than physical therapy (PT) in increasing range of motion (ROM) in patients with restricted shoulder mobility.  The two forms of energy therapy were also found to be almost as effective as physical therapy (in the case of reiki) and more effective than physical therapy (in the case of reconnective healing) in decreasing pain in patients with restricted shoulder mobility.

The authors preface the article with the following interesting remarks:

"In this study, manual manipulation (joint mobilization, long axis distraction, and gentle rebounding) was tested against RH and Reiki in patients with limited ROM. These energy healing therapies only involve light touch or no touch and so if they are as effective as manual manipulation in improving ROM, this would imply that manual manipulation [i.e. physical therapy provided by a licensed physical therapist], per se, is not necessary for alleviating this particular impairment."

The article concluded with the following statements:

"This study showed that a 10-minute session of RH or Reiki was as effective as PT in improving ROM in people with restricted shoulder mobility; in fact RH, but not Reiki, was significantly more effective than PT when performed for this short time period. These results cannot be explained by a placebo effect because sham treatment did not significantly improve ROM."

"The results suggest that it would be beneficial for physical therapists to be trained in RH or Reiki as well as PT so that they could reduce the need for manual work on patients, at least in cases of shoulder limitations."

I've noticed similar success with patients that typically require physical therapy and chiropractic for other similar problems.  Energy therapy is the most gentle body therapy there is.  Energy therapy allows for a healing intervention below the pain threshold.  Physical therapy and chiropractic interventions often exceed this pain threshold of patients, lengthening the healing time or exacerbating the problem.

The entire text of the article is available here.