Qigong, Immunity, and Influenza

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Qigong, Immunity, and Influenza

With debate raging over the efficacy and side effects of the H1N1 flu vaccine, which contains mercury (as thimerosal) and may contain other raise and lower Both Hands, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, self-responsibility, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, spiritual evolution, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, power of Now, Presencing, Being Present,The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyomingadjuvants, perhaps it is appropriate to consider carefully some natural alternatives to increase one’s immune response.

It is well known to practitioners of T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong that these arts demonstrably improve one’s overall health and vitality in a gentle, non-stressful manner. The relevant question here is, does the practice of these ancient Qi generating exercises convey additional immunity to protect oneself specifically from influenza infections?

In one study, conducted by Dr. Yang, et al and published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine (35(4):597-607), researchers found that Qigong and T’ai Chi can definitely enhance immune response. A group of 50 adults was divided into two groups. One practiced qigong, meditation, and T’ai Chi forms, while the control group did no exercise. The Qigong – T’ai Chi group attended three one-hour Qigong and meditation classes each week.

All of the participants in the study got vaccinated for the flu at the beginning of the study and had blood titres performed periodically during the succeeding months. Results showed that the group practicing Qigong and T’ai Chi had significantly higher antibody responses to the influenza virus than the control group. In the Qigong – T’ai Chi group, results showed a 173%, 130% and 109% increase in antibodies to the flu at 3, 6, and 20 weeks while the control group showed only a 10% –  58% increase in influenza immunity.

From the Abstract of the American Journal of Chinese Medicine:
“… This study was intended to examine whether 5 months of moderate Taiji and Qigong (TQ) practice could improve the immune response to influenza vaccine in older adults… Baseline pre-vaccine blood samples were collected. All subjects then received the 2003–2004 influenza vaccine during the first week of the intervention. Post-vaccine blood samples were collected 3, 6 and 20 weeks post-intervention for analysis of anti-influenza hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers. We found a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the magnitude and duration of the antibody response to influenza vaccine in TQ participants when compared to CON. The vaccination resulted in a 173, 130, and 109% increase in HI titer at 3, 6, and 20 weeks post-vaccine, respectively, in the TQ group compared to 58, 54, and 10% in CON. There was a significant between group difference at 3 and 20 weeks post-vaccine and at 20 weeks the TQ group had significantly higher titers compared to the pre-vaccine time point, whereas the CON group did not. A higher percentage of TQ subjects also responded to the influenza A strains with a protective (> 40HI) antibody response (37% TQ vs. 20% CON for the H1N1 strain and 56% TQ vs. 45% CON for the H3N2 strain…”¹

What does this mean?

After 20 weeks, the practitioners of Qigong had an average of over 10 times the immune response to the flu than the control group (who were vaccinated, but did not practice Qigong). Additional immunity specific to Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu was detected in the Qigong group.

More ways to reduce the risk of contracting the flu:

–Wash your hands frequently

–Eliminate or reduce white sugar in your diet. Excessive sugar consumption can have a debilitating effect on the immune system.  See some other dietary guidelines for increasing immune function.

–Take a high quality source of omega 3 fats which help strengthen cell membranes, improving resistance to infection.

–Optimize your vitamin D levels. An optimal level of vitamin D can help you fight infections of all kinds.

–Get plenty of sleep.

–Manage your stress. When you are stressed your body does not have the reserve of Chi necessary to fight off viral infections.  See more about programs for stress management here © 2009 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

¹Effects of a Taiji and Qigong intervention on the antibody response to influenza vaccine in older adults. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(4):597-607

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