Effects of Tai Chi Qigong training on aerobic capacity and arterial hemodynamics in survivors of nasopharyngeal cancer

Shirley Siu Ming FONG, Sheung Mei Shamay NG, Weety Suet-Ching LUK, Chung Yin Joyce LEUNG, Rich S. W. MASTERS, Wai Yee Joanne CHUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Background: Survivors of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) often sustain cardiovascular complications such as arterial spasm, cardiac dysfunction and accelerated atherosclerosis after conventional cancer treatments. Tai Chi (TC) Qigong training may improve peripheral circulatory status and functional aerobic capacity in this population. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 6-month TC Qigong training program on arterial blood flow velocities and resistance, palmar skin temperature and functional aerobic capacity in survivors of NPC. Methods: Twenty-five and 27 survivors of NPC joined the intervention group (mean age ± SD=55.4±7.5 years) and no-intervention control group (mean age ± SD=58.7±9.5 years), respectively. The intervention group received a TC Qigong training program for 6 consecutive months, while the control group received no training. Peripheral arterial blood flow velocities and resistance, palmar skin temperature and functional aerobic capacity were assessed at 4 time points: baseline, mid-intervention (3-month), post-intervention (6-month) and follow-up (12-month) periods. Results: The TC Qigong group had higher minimum diastolic blood flow velocity (p=0.010), lower arterial blood flow resistance (p=0.009) and higher palmar skin temperature (p=0.004) than the control group after TC Qigong training (i.e., post-intervention). However, only the minimum diastolic blood flow velocity was higher in the TC Qigong group than in the control group during the no-training follow-up period (p=0.032). In addition, an improvement in aerobic capacity was found in the intervention group after TC Qigong training (p< 0.008) but not in the control group over time (p>0.008). Conclusions: It seems that TC Qigong training could improve peripheral circulatory status and functional aerobic capacity among people treated for NPC. A randomized controlled trial should be carried out to confirm all the positive effects of the TC Qigong intervention. Implications: TC Qigong has enormous potential as a rehabilitation intervention for survivors of NPC. Long-term regular practice of TC Qigong is advocated.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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Qigong
Tai Ji
Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms
Survivors
Hemodynamics
Blood Flow Velocity
Skin Temperature
Control Groups
Education
Spasm

Citation

Fong, S. S. M., Ng, S. S. M., Luk, W. S., Chung, J. W. Y., Leung, J. C. Y., & Masters, R. S. W. (2015, May). Effects of Tai Chi Qigong training on aerobic capacity and arterial hemodynamics in survivors of nasopharyngeal cancer. Paper presented at The 17th World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress, Victoria Charity Centre, Singapore.

Keywords

  • Head and neck neoplasms
  • Mind-body therapies
  • Physical fitness