COVID-19 is currently a widely studied disease due to its manifestation and the massive number of people it affects. This pandemic is developing rapidly, making it difficult to learn this condition and its consequences.
However, even in such conditions, people need some means of protection, treatment and recovery from COVID-19. While Western medicine offers few specific approaches or drug solutions, Eastern medical practitioners can have a compelling answer.
Qigong is a traditional Chinese technique aimed at maintaining good physical shape, improving health and getting rid of existing diseases. This presentation seeks to investigate the potential benefits of this set of exercises in preventing, treating, and rehabilitating COVID-19.
Speaking of diseases, people first look for ways to protect themselves from them.
At the moment, for most people, there are only two options. Without exception, all people must comply with safety requirements, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distance. In addition, there is the possibility of obtaining a vaccine that protects people from the disease, according to the assurances of the creators.
Neither the first nor the second method gives a one hundred percent guarantee of preventing the disease. If even one item among the safety requirements is missed, the risk of getting sick increases dramatically. On the other hand, taking a vaccine is a highly radical measure that not every person can take, for example, because of medical contraindications.
Consequently, some third intermediate option is necessary, increasing the chances of staying healthy.
Studies show that qigong can allow people to protect themselves from the spread of the disease effectively. This technique has several types of effects on the human body.
Strengthening the immune system is one of the main focuses of the qigong technique, which empowers the body to more effectively resist and adapt to pathogenic microorganisms (Peng et al., 2020).
In addition, this technique helps improve the respiratory system since breathing exercises are one of the foundations of qigong. Given the damaging effects of COVID-19 on the lungs, strengthening the respiratory muscles is exceptionally beneficial.
Finally, qigong helps stabilize the mental and psychological state, reducing a person’s stress, which improves both the quality of life and health, allowing one to better cope with the problems caused by the pandemic.
According to research, combining these factors makes it possible to effectively use qigong to prevent the emergence of COVID-19, especially among older people who need additional protective equipment (Feng et al., 2020).
The immediate process of COVID-19 disease is perhaps the most challenging stage of interaction with this virus. The symptoms of this condition are similar to those of a cold or flu, except for a few additional points.
However, COVID-19 has a much stronger effect than these common diseases, and with a high probability, it can lead to rather severe conditions.
Nevertheless, there are minimal recommendations for immediate treatment. Apart from specific directions from doctors, most of the recommendations are reduced to using approximately the same set of drugs and actions used to treat colds and flu.
As practice shows, the process of illness in COVID-19 is much more difficult in many patients, which makes it necessary to apply some additional measures. At the same time, these additional measures should not potentially harm the body, such as, for example, the independent use of drugs without the supervision of a doctor.
In this context, qigong is best suited as an additional technique for combating COVID-19.
The most important feature of this Chinese technique is enhancing the body’s immune response and influencing the inflammatory process.
First of all, the active use of qigong allows for an increase in the number of immune cells, which helps the body to resist various third-party microorganisms more effectively.
However, research shows that using qigong can reduce the factors leading to inflammation and the inflammatory response (Feng et al., 2020). Since the process of COVID-19 disease is directly related to such factors, their reduction can shorten the duration of the infection.
Studies support the finding that regular qigong practice increases the number of immunoglobulins in people’s bodies, which shortens the duration of respiratory infections and makes it easier to tolerate COVID-19.
One of the main problems of COVID-19 is the complexity of the course of the disease itself and the syndromes and complications that arise after a person recovers.
Often, this disease reduces respiratory function, causes complications associated with the lungs, which leads to the need for rehabilitation. In addition, people often need psychological support due to all the difficulties associated with the course of COVID-19.
Qigong, in turn, is a technique that combines many exercises for the respiratory system with mental and psychological practices that allow a person to improve his or her moral qualities through meditation.
Therefore, the use of such a technique is justified since it affects exactly those problematic factors that arise in people who have recovered from COVID-19.
The application and research of qigong in a post-covid context are extremely limited; however, several studies exist. This technique should be carried out in cases where there are no severe contraindications to this. In addition, consultation with a specialist is required to assess the patient’s condition. However, with the correct selection of the necessary set of exercises from the whole variety of qigong techniques, they can positively affect a person.
First of all, studies have documented a significant improvement in the psychological state associated with an increase in the number of endorphins and a decrease in adrenocortical hormone levels (Sun et al., 2020).
In addition, with careful application of the technique, the function of the lungs gradually increases and is restored.
Finally, general statistics state that qigong is an adjunct technique that can reduce the length of hospital rehabilitation.
Thus, the general analysis shows that using qigong as an additional technique in a pandemic effectively improves the quality of life, the body’s immunity, and the treatment of certain specific symptoms.
These techniques primarily focus on improving lung function, enhancing immunity, and providing excellent mental stability. Three key components can play an essential role at all stages of interaction with COVID-19: from preventing disease by strengthening immunity to psychological rehabilitation.
However, the effect of qigong on the human body in the context of such respiratory diseases is still poorly understood.
Therefore, its use can only be considered an additional measure introduced after careful consultation and consideration of individual characteristics.
Feng, F., Tuchman, S., Denninger, J. W., Fricchione, G. L., & Yeung, A. (2020). Qigong for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of COVID-19 infection in older adults. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28(8), 812-819.
Peng, J., Wu, Z., Zhong, H., Zhou, Y., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Luo, W., Liu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2020). The effect of qigong on pulmonary function and quality of life in patients with covid-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Medicine, 99(38).
Sun, T., Guo, L., Tian, F., Dai, T., Xing, X., Zhao, J., & Li, Q. (2020). Rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 14(12), 1249-1256.