Nonlinear analysis of heart rate variability during Qi therapy (external Qigong)

Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(4):579-88. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X05003181.


Heart rate variability (HRV) was compared in 30 subjects receiving external Qi therapy (EQT) or placebo control therapy, in a crossover design experiment. Subjects who received the EQT reported more pleasant and calm emotions than did the placebo group. Qi therapy reduced the heart rate and increased HRV as indicated by a reduced low frequency/high frequency power ratio of HRV. With nonlinear analysis, the Poincaré plot index of HRV and approximate entropy was greater in the EQT group than in the control group. These findings suggest that EQT stabilizes the sympathovagal function and cardiac autonomic nervous system by inducing more positive emotions than the placebo therapy. In conclusion, EQT may act by stabilizing both the autonomic nervous system and the emotional state.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / psychology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Emotions
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Qi*