A Tentative Study on the Effect of Zhineng Qigong External Qi on the Microcirculation Impediment in Rats’ Brain

Microcirculation Research Institute of China’s Academy of Medical Science

Duan Chonggao (1) Wang Li Li Hongwei

BeijingZhinengQigongGeneralServiceCenter Li Shimin

Career Development Service of China’s Academy of Science of Human Body

Zhang Xuanxiang (2)


To explore the principles of Zhineng Qigong’s preventive and curative effect on some cerebral blood vessel diseases, we research with Laser Doppler Blood Flow Meter (Perflux PF2, Sweden), tape-record instrument, microelectronic computer and special-purpose data analysis software and investigate whether Zhineng Qigong can change the condition of impediment in rats’ cerebral microcirculation. In the experiment, we choose to use Wistar rats that are operated on the cranial bone with the acute open method. Noradrenalin is dropped on part of the open area to cause cranial microcirculation impediment in the animal model. Then the change in the cranial microcirculation is measured respectively before, when and after external qi is transmitted. The result of the experiment shows that Zhineng Qigong external qi has no evident influence on the blood flow perfusion of normal cranial microcirculation (P>0.05), but it has an improving effect on the cranial microcirculation impediment caused by noradrenalin and this is shown in the evident increase in the blood flow in the brain (P<0.05). The result of this research provides a preliminary theoretical basis for Zhineng Qigong external qi curing cranial blood vessel diseases. However, the nature of qigong and its principle of function still need further study.

Key words

Zhineng Qigong, rats, cranial microcirculation



Cranial blood vessel disease is a common and frequently-occurring disease that severely threatens people’s health. The death rate and the disability rate it causes are very high. Both China and other countries emphasize the research into the prevention and the cure of cranial blood vessel disease. Will qigong external qi have a preventive and curative function on cranial blood vessel disease? Some qigong masters have achieved a certain successful clinical effects. However, no report on the research of its theoretical basis has been found. Therefore, with the method and the instrument used in the research in modern medical science, we make an exploring research into whether qigong external qi can change the impediment condition in cranial blood vessel.


Material and Method

  1. Animal: We choose healthy Wistar rats, with no confinement to whether male or female. These rats are provided by the Medical Animal Research Institute of Beijing Medical Science University. They are divided into a normal control group (N group) and a microcirculation impediment therapy group (T group) in the experiment.
  2. Qigong external qi transmission:With the recommendation of HuaXiaZhinengQigongTrainingCenter, Qigong master Li Shimin is chosen to transmit external qi according to the theory and method of Zhineng Qigong.
  3. Instrument and index: Use Laser Doppler Blood Flow Meter (Mode Perflux PF2, made in Sweden). Experimental data are recorded with tape-record instrument. These data are analyzed with computer IBM PC486 using the special-purpose software developed by our institute. Microcirculation blood flow is chosen as the index of measurement and analysis. The result is statistically processed with T-test.
  4. Experimental method and procedure: The temperature in the laboratory is controlled within the range of 200C to 220C. The rats are injected with pentobarbital sodium (30mg/kg) in their stomach to make them become anaesthetized. Fix the rats lying prostrate on the small operation table. Prepare the acute cranial bone window with the routine method used in our institute. Expose the soft meninges of the rats. Continuously drop onto them artificial cerebrospinal fluid to maintain the physiological environment(1). Then gently attach the probe of the blood flow instrument to the soft meninges of the cranial bone window and fix the probe with brace. Wait until the blood flow has become stable for 20m to 30m and the experiment can be conducted.

The blood flow of the rats in Group N and in Group T has already been measured in their normal condition. Then the surface of the meninges of the cranial bone window in Group T are dropped with 0.01% levarterenol bitartrate (50ul) to cause local cranial microcirculation impediment. Group N is not treated by any special process. Five minutes later, they are treated with Zhineng Qigong external qi. The qi transmission process goes on for successively 15 minutes. The parameter of the microcirculation blood flow is measured respectively before external qi is applied, when the external qi is being transmitted (at the very beginning of qi transmission, 5th min, 10th min and 15th min), and when the transmission of the external qi is finished (at the 5th min and the 10th min after the qi transmission). Record and analysis are carried out at the mean time.



  1. Influence of qigong external qi upon normal cranial microcirculation: The blood flow of the normal cranial microcirculation in the rats is comparatively stable. Slight change takes place in it after qigong external qi is applied but it has no statistical significance. The blood flow is restored to the normal level after external qi transmission is over.
  2. The therapeutic effect of qigong external qi on cranial microcirculation impediment: When noradrenalin (NA) is dropped onto the surface of their brain, severe local cranial microcirculation impediment is immediately created in the rats, which is mainly shown in the decrease of the blood flow in their local cranial microcirculation. Transmitting external qi at this moment can immediately make the microcirculation impediment condition caused by NA change for the better. The blood flow of cranial microcirculation is raised. The amplitude of the diastole and the contraction motion of the capillary blood vessel are increased. But stop the transmission of external qi and the blood flow goes down (See the figure at the end of the article). The experimental result stated above shows that Zhineng Qigong external qi does not have evident influence on normal blood flow of cranial microcirculation. Yet it has evident improving effect on the cranial microcirculation in a pathological condition (See the table below).
Normal Microcirculation Group (n=12) Microcirculation Impediment Therapy Group (n=10)


External Qi Transmission

5th min during qi transmission

10th min during qi transmission

15th min during qi transmission

5th min after qi transmission is over

10th min after qi transmission is over















397.5±79. 8



#p<0.05, compared with the normal control group

*P<0.05, compared with the microcirculation impediment group



Brain is the most exuberant part in metabolism in an organic body. The amount of its oxygen consumption constitutes about 20 percent of that in the whole body. Many a pathological foundation for the cranial blood vessel disease or its pathogeny link is related to the cranial microcirculation impediment. Impediment in the provision of blood and oxygen in part of the brain or the whole of the brain can cause the increase in CO2 and in acid metabolite in the brain tissue. Then the cerebral blood vessel will dilate and the function of the brain tissue will be damaged. Therefore, to improve cerebral microcirculation during the process when the cerebral blood vessel disease is coming on can break the vicious circle of the impediment in microcirculation, abnormality in metabolism, functional impediment and aggravation in microcirculation impediment, and this has great significance for the treatment of some cerebral blood vessel diseases.

The result of this research shows that qigong external qi can evidently change for the better the condition of cerebral microcirculation impediment in the rats in an anaesthetized state. This is a discovery that is of great significance. Qigong curing disease is part of Chinese traditional medical science and has a very long history. In the past, it was believed by some people that in the process when diseases were being cured there must be the involvement of the mentality of the patients who were being treated. Thus qigong is considered to belong in “hint therapy”. The experiment in this research shows that qigong external qi can directly function on an organic body and change the functional state of some tissues and organs in it, without necessarily requiring the cooperation of the consciousness of the patients who are being cured. The experimental result of this research provides an important theoretical basis for qigong external qi to cure some cerebral blood vessel diseases.

The reason why NA causes the impediment in cerebral microcirculation is that it functions on the αreceptor in the cerebral blood vessel. It causes the contraction and the convulsion in the cerebral blood vessel and reduces the blood flow of cerebral microcirculation. There are many ways to change this microcirculation impediment for the better, eg., the effect to antagonize the αreceptor, to directly dilate the involuntary muscles in the cerebral blood vessel, to influence the ion transfer in the cells of the involuntary muscles, etc.. In recent years, there is a new research achievement: the endothelial cells of the cerebral blood vessels have an important adjusting effect on the dilation and the contraction function of cerebral blood vessels. Through which channel qigong external qi improves the blood flow of cerebral microcirculation—this is a new topic worth further exploration.


Fig. Influence of Qigong External Qi on the Blood Flow of Cerebral

Microcirculation in Rats (Laser Doppler Blood Flow Curve Chart)



1. Qigong external qi has no evident effect on normal cerebral microcirculation. It has an evident improving effect on the impediment in microcirculation caused by NA, as is shown in its increasing the blood flow in local cerebral microcirculation. This research provides a theoretical basis for qigong external qi to cure some cerebral blood vessel diseases.

2. The mechanism of how qigong external qi improves cerebral microcirculation is worth further exploration.


  1. Duan Chonggao, Li Hongwei, The Influence of Puerarin on Golden Ground Hamster’s Cerebral Microcirculation, Journal of China’s Medical Science, 1991, 71(9): 516
  2. Duan Chonggao, Xiu Ruijuan, Endothelial Cell’s Adjustment of the Involuntary Muscles of the Blood Vessel, National and International Development in Medical Science, 1990, p24


Duan Chonggao: Associate professor

Zhang Xuanxiang: Assistant researcher


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