Welcome to the MIT Qigong Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013

External Qigong Therapy in Treatment of Cocaine Withdrawal

Objectives: This pilot study examined the feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and determined the effect sizes of external qigong therapy (EQT) in reducing cue-elicited cocaine craving and associated symptoms among recently abstinent cocaine-dependent (CD) individuals.

Methods: This study randomized 101 CD subjects to either a real EQT (n=51) or sham EQT control (n=50) group. Subjects underwent a baseline assessment and a weekly cue-exposure session for 2 weeks. Total EQT or sham treatments ranged from 4 to 6 sessions in 2 weeks.

Results: EQT-treated subjects displayed a greater reduction in cue-elicited craving (p=0.06) and symptoms of depression (p<0.05) with medium effect sizes.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering EQT among CD individuals early in residential treatment. Future research should include a larger sample and examine the mechanisms and potential longitudinal benefits of EQT.