April 8

Qigong exercise can reduce pain and other symptoms in people with Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a condition that 2 to 4 percent of people suffers from. Patients with the condition experiences widespread pain and tenderness which could change on the body. Fatigue, sleep, memory and mood are also common symptoms. The condition is diagnosed based on the painful areas out of 19 parts of the body (see picture below) plus intensity of symptoms in fatigue, waking unrefreshed and cognitive (memory or thought) problems.

Criteria worksheet in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia

The triggers for Fibromyalgia can include spine problems, arthritis, injury, other physical stress and emotional stress that can result in the communication dysfunction between the spinal cord and the brain. Symptoms can be managed with medications and research shows regular physical exercise, preferably aerobic and low impact ones, is the best treatment.

In 2019, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) showed that patients with Fibromyalgia can benefit in doing the Ba-duan-jin Qigong exercise routine. Ba-duan-jin (8 section brocade) is the most researched set of ancient exercise routine that is easy to learn and practice. In this research study, 62 patients were randomised to do Ba-duan-jin or to the control group. Significant improvement in patients’ self-scored pain level, the impact of Fibromyalgia, stress, depression and tender spots were observed after 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks in the exercise intervention group. No change were observed in the control group.

The 8 main postures of Ba-Duan-Jin routine

PEP Health Rehab is an exercise physiology clinic that applies evidence-based practice. Ba-duan-jin is taught to clients and supplemented with mobility exercises to warm up and move the body in ways that gym equipment and conventional exercise programs often lack. Send us an email at admin@peprehab.com.au or call us to find out more.


Physiopedia, The American College of Rheumatology 2010 preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, <https://www.physio-pedia.com/The_American_College_of_Rheumatology_2010_preliminary_diagnostic_criteria_for_fibromyalgia>, assessed on 8/4/2022.

Jiao J, Russell IJ, Wang W, Wang J, Zhao YY, Jiang Q. Ba-Duan-Jin alleviates pain and fibromyalgia-related symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia: results of a randomised controlled trial. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2019 Nov-Dec;37(6):953-962. Epub 2019 Feb 15. PMID: 30789154.

Wolfe F1, Clauw DJ, Fitzcharles MA, Goldenberg DL, Katz RS, Mease P, Russell AS, Russell IJ, Winfield JB, Yunus MB. The American College of Rheumatology preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia and measurement of symptom severity. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010 May;62(5):600-10.


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