2009, Volume 5, Issue 1

Metabolic effects of a zen meditation and qigong training program on sedentary people

Alexander Kormanovski1, Eleazar Lara Padilla1, Rafael Campos-Rodríguez1, Jan Harasymowicz2

1Higher Medical School, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, Mexico
2Paweł Włodkowic University College, Płock, Poland

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Background and Study Aim: We have reported that zen meditation with sessions of 1.5 hours increases the parameters of the lipid profile in the blood of experienced meditation instructors and that qigong exercises revert this effect. To evaluate the metabolic effects of combined meditation (zen + qigong) in sedentary people by using different durations of qigong exercises for two experimental groups.
Material and Methods: Two groups of 20 sedentary people (average age: 29) practiced combined meditation during 5 days with sessions of 1.5 hours. The blood parameters for metabolism were determined before and after the course. Within these 1.5 hour sessions, group 2 practiced qigong exercises only half of the amount of exercises as group 1.
Results: A drastic increase in CK activity in the blood (587±430 u/l) was observed in group 1, without any significant difference in other blood parameters. In the men this increase was 10 fold, whereas in the women it was 4.5 fold in relation to the basal level. The increase in CK activity in the blood was less in group 2 (123±58 u/l), and very similar in the men and women. In this group there were other gender unspecific changes, including an increase in the glucose level and a decrease in urea, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol.
Conclusions: The metabolic response of sedentary people to combined meditation (zen + qigong) was determined principally by the duration of the qigong exercises. The CK activity increase inhibited a positive change in lipid parameters.

Key words: metabolic effects, qigong, zen meditation