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A preliminary Study Applying Spring Forest Qigong to Depression as an Alternative and Complimentary

05-Apr-2011 A preliminary Study Applying Spring Forest Qigong to Depression as an Alternative and Complimentary Treatment 
By Frances V. Gaik, M.S., Psy.D. A Dissertation Study Adler School of Professional Psychology 65 East Wacker Place, Chicago, IL Published in 2003
A pilot study with 39 subjects suffering from DSM-IV (Psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition) diagnosis of major Depression, Dysthymia or Bipolar Disorder were treated with the Eastern Traditional Chinese Medicine technique of qigong. Treatment included qi emission treatment by qualified practitioners, and subjects were required to practice qigong exercise for a two-month period. Significant improvement was observed, especially in the first month on the measurements of Beck's Depression Index-Revised (BDI-R) (p<0.0000) and Symptom Checklist-90R (SCL-90 R) Depression Index (p<0.00003), Interpersonal Sensitivity (p<0.00003). Scl-90 Somaticism indexes as well as three criteria from DSM-IV guidelines are also reported on indicating an overall trend of improvement over time. All subjects improved over the treatment period and it is determined that the qigong exercise is a highly effective complimentary and alternative treatment modality for depression and should be considered as an adjunct to psychotherapy treatment. No significant difference was seen in those subjects treated with qi emission. We started with 63 subjects and had 3 practitioners. 45 subjects showed up for treatment. We split them into 3 groups. The individuals in the study were screened for situational depression and psychosis. I only chose those individuals who met criteria for a long-term depression, one which would be considered biological in basis. Also, in consideration of the deviant syndrome which has been seen, I screened for any psychosis in depression. Some of the subjects had been suffering from major depression for 30 years. One individual had a brain tumor, and several had been victims of sexual abuse. These were very depressed individuals. In the first session, half were given a qi emission treatment for 10 min. There were significant decreases in BP for the treated group. The second and third time we met (30 days apart) all subjects were given a 10 min qi emission treatment. There was no difference between those who received the qi emission treatment the first time and those who did not. The qigong exercise seemed to be the main factor. There were significant decreases in other area measured by the SCL-90 as well, such as anxiety, hostility, and psychoticism, however I reported only 3 measures -Depression, Somaticism and Interpersonal Sensitivity, which is a major factor connected with depression. The results are impressive. Some of the scores fell as much as 50% (40 points) when I was hoping to get at least 10 points on the measures. We used Spring Forest Qigong - Chunyi Lin's technique. The subjects were told to practice 40 min a day and utilized video tape/audio tape to accomplish this. There was a marked difference in personal presentation between the first and last meeting ? from somber, sad and discouraging faces to joyful and excited behavior. So there was also a significant effect with bipolar subjects (3) in the study and this is an important aspect. I hope that this helps and thank you for including me in the qigong disc. As far as I know, this is the first study done in U.S. with qigong and depression. 

Frances V. Gaik can be contacted at