Wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar de effecten van Qi-training (qigong en tai chi) bij parkinson

Door Robberto Bos

Vraag: Wat vind de wetenschap van qigong bij parkinson? Is er onderzoek naar de effecten op de ziekte van parkinson?

Antwoord: Meerdere onderzoeken beschrijven o.a. deze effecten van van qi of chi training (qigong, qi gong, tai chi, taiji, of daarop gebaseerde methoden):

  • Beter evenwicht, toegenomen houdings-stabiliteit, minder vallen
  • Grotere stappen, grotere reikwijdte, makkelijker veranderen van richting, toegenomen mobiliteit
  • Verbeterde functionele fitness
  • Meer energie, c.q. verminderde vermoeidheid
  • Grotere lichaamsbeheersing, betere coördinatie
  • Sterkere benen
  • Verminderde parkinson symptomen
  • Toegenomen welzijn/levenskwaliteit (Quality of Life), minder depressie
  • Verlangen om ermee door te gaan
  • Veilig om te beoefenen

Aantekeningen bij de onderzoeken

  • Critici kunnen argumenteren dat de onderstaand onderzoeken en publicaties niet degelijk genoeg zijn, en dus weinig bewijzen. Ze vinden wellicht: de (controle)groepen zijn klein, blind onderzoek ontbreekt, het placebo effect (positieve verwachtingen) speelt een rol, de toegepaste methoden zijn niet gestandaardiseerd (allerlei vormen van qigong en tai chi kunnen flink van elkaar verschillen), enzovoorts.
  • Onderzoek naar de beoefening van chi kung en tai chi is nou eenmaal iets anders dan onderzoek over het innemen van gestandaardiseerde pillen. En natuurlijk is er veel minder geld beschikbaar voor dit soort onderzoek, dan voor onderzoek dat wordt gesponsord door de farmaceutische industrie. Maar… zoals je ziet, bestaan er wel degelijk onderzoeken, gepubliceerd in wetenschappelijke tijdschriften. En de conclusies zijn overwegend positief.

Factoren die de effecten kunnen beïnvloeden

  • De methode en docent. Niet alle vormen van qigong en tai chi hebben hetzelfde effect. Speciaal op mensen met parkinson afgestemde lessen werken wellicht beter dan standaard trainingen voor iedereen, of trainingen gericht op vechtkunst (martial arts).
  • Deelname in een groep waarin je de enige bent met parkinson, kan zowel motiverend als demotiverend werken (als iedereen beter lijkt te bewegen dan jij).
  • Je gezondheidstoestand.
  • Hoe, hoeveel en hoe lang je het beoefent. Als je 3 lessen per week volgt, en elke dag gemotiveerd thuis oefent, ervaar je waarschijnlijk meer positieve effecten dan als je het alleen een uurtje doet tijdens een wekelijkse les, en verder het grootste deel van de week zit te zitten. De meeste onderzoeken beschrijven positieve resultaten bij beoefening meerdere keren per week.

Hier de referenties:

Wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar de effecten van Qi training (qigong, qi gong, chi kung, tai chi, taiji) op de ziekte van parkinson:

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