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Qigong Therapy For Heart Device Patients

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Updated: Monday, Aug 24,2009, 9:37:18 AM
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The goal of this study is to improve the overall physical health and quality of life of patients attached to mechanical hearts or assist devices while awaiting heart transplantation. Qigong, an ancient Chinese exercise that involves active participation of the individual in the form of meditation, breathing exercises and simple physical movements, will be used as an adjunct to the therapies, including a structured exercise program, currently provided to these patients at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Based on the results of studies that have demonstrated physiological and psychosocial benefits of structured exercise programs and the practice of qigong, the following hypotheses are proposed:

1) a structured exercise program that combines aerobic and resistance training will improve the cardiovascular health of patients on mechanical hearts and assist devices; these conditioning effects will be amplified by the practice of Qigong;

2) a structured exercise program that combines aerobic and resistance training will improve the quality of life of patients on mechanical hearts and assist devices; these conditioning effects will be amplified by the practice of Qigong;

3) improved quality of life and physical conditioning effected by the structured exercise program and Qigong will enhance quality of life and physical conditioning after cardiac transplantation. To test these hypotheses, the following specific aims will be accomplished:

1) obtain pilot data to evaluate alterations in specific measures of cardiovascular function and health in patients attached to mechanical heart or assist devices who have participated in a structured aerobic/resistance exercise program, with and without Qigong;

2) obtain pilot data to evaluate alterations in specific quality of life measures in patients attached to mechanical heart or assist devices who have participated in a structured aerobic/resistance exercise program, with and without Qigong;

3) as part of the clinical follow-up of these patients following heart transplantation, obtain pilot data to evaluate specific parameters of cardiovascular health and quality of life of individuals who were attached to mechanical heart or assist devices prior to receiving the transplant. Information gained from this research will serve as a basis from which the application of exercise training and Qigong can be applied to the treatment of other chronic disease states in which the physical conditioning and/or quality of life of individuals is compromised.

 

Tags: QiGong

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