Effects of Qigong
on Late Stage Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

New Jersey Hospital Pain Clinic - Newark, NJ

In 1994, Master Shen and Master Wu have participated in an experiment testing the effects of qigong on Late-Stage Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The Findings were published in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in 1999. Below are excerpts from the published study.

Wen-hsien Wu, MD. Erin Bandilla, MA. Donald S. Ciccone, PhD. Joseph Yang, MD. Szu-Chi Steven Cheng, MD. Nancy Carner, Master Yi Wu, and Master Ronger Shen. Alternative Therapies, January 1999, Volume 5, Number 1.





The experimental group received qi emission and qigong instruction (including home exercises) by a qigong master. The control group received a similar set of instructions by a sham master.  The experimental protocol included 6 forty-minute qigong sessions over 3 weeks, with reevaluation at 6 and 10 weeks. Assessment included comprehensive medical history, physical exam, psychological evaluation, necessary diagnostic testing, Symptom Check List 90, and the Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scale.


22 subjects completed the protocol. Among the genuine qigong group, 82% reported less pain by the end of the first training session compared to 45% of control patients. By the last training session, 91% of qigong patients reported analgesia compared to 36% of control patients. Anxiety was reduced in both groups over time, but the reduction was significantly greater in the experimental group than in the control group.


Using a credible placebo to control for nonspecific treatment effects, qigong training was found to result in transient pain reduction and long-term anxiety reduction. The positive findings were not related to pre-experimental differences between groups in hypnotizability. Future studies of qigong should control for possible confounding influences and perhaps use clinical disorders more responsive to psychological intervention.


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