Serum cytokines, mood and sleep after a qigong program: is qigong an effective psychobiological tool?

J Health Psychol. 2009 Jan;14(1):60-7. doi: 10.1177/1359105308097946.


Qigong is an ancient Chinese psychosomatic exercise that integrates movement, breathing and meditation into a single multifaceted practice. The present study was designed to assess the effects of qigong practice on serum cytokines, mood and subjective sleep quality. Experimental participants underwent a qigong training program for one month. Blood samples for the quantification of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma, and several instruments to assess anxiety and depression symptoms as well as SSQ, were obtained before and after the program. Our findings revealed that while the practice of qigong for one month did not alter serum cytokines, it enhanced psychological well-being, including sleep duration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sleep*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Cytokines
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha