The Challenge and Promise of Scientific Qigong Research

Excerpted from Professor Lu Zuyin’s “Scientific Qigong Exploration”, a survey of qigong research experiments conducted in China between 1978 and 1992.

Scientific research in the last ten years has captured many external qi phenomena and qualitatively recognized certain characteristics of external qi. On the whole, research on external qi is still at a qualitative stage. It is not easy to establish quantitative laws and phenomenological theories thereby moving to a quantitative stage.

The difficulty is mainly due to insufficient investigation of external qi and the resulting lack of scientific means to express the level of external qi. With more than a thousand qigong schools and numerous different qigong methods, it is difficult to establish common standards.

In addition, a qigong master’s qi-emission power is closely related to his own physical, mental, emotional state at the time of qi emission. As a result, each external qi emission is at best only roughly the same, and it is not as precisely reproducible as an instrument. Experiments seeking basic laws of external qi are not easy to accomplish because they require tens or even hundreds of strictly repeated experiments.

[As demonstrated by our previous experimental results,] qigong is more advanced than contemporary science, thus it is difficult to fit into the framework of contemporary science. However, like all fields of scholarship, if qigong research does not pass strict scientific examination, it will not survive in contemporary society, let alone be accepted in international academic circles. This is a fundamental contradiction. Continue reading The Challenge and Promise of Scientific Qigong Research

Qigong and Energy Arts Forum – July 2008

Welcome to the fourth edition of Qigong and Energy Arts Forum, a regularly updated collection of the best new articles on qigong (chi kung), reiki, ayurveda, kundalini yoga, and other related disciplines.

Why Energy Healing Is Often Considered “Woo-Woo” by Loolwa Khazzoom (Dancing with Pain)
The vast majority of people who would say that energy work or energy medicine is “woo woo” are also people who hold strong religious beliefs. For example, Christians believe that there was a man who lived in a whale…

The Key to Natural Healing by Anmol Mehta (Mastery of Meditation, Enlightenment and Kundalini Yoga)
The key to natural healing is to be positive, relaxed and at peace mentally. The concepts of you are not your body, and the body’s fantastic inbuilt healing capacities greatly help facilitate this state… Continue reading Qigong and Energy Arts Forum – July 2008

The Rise and Fall of Mesmerism

The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine

The following passage is excerpted from “The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine” by Anne Harringtona recent addition to my recommended reading list.

The End of Medical Exorcism in Europe

Appreciating the interweaving religious, philosophical and political stakes [in 18th century medicine] is important, because it can help us make sense of an episode whose significance we might otherwise misinterpret: the showdown between the German exorcist Father Johann Joseph Gassner and the Viennese physician Anton Mesmer.

Johann Joseph Gassner

Gassner was an exorcist whose ability to cast out devils was legendary. People came from all over to be healed, and in dramatic public performances—witnessed by crowds from all sectors of society—Gassner would oblige. Official records were made; competent witnesses testified to the extraordinary happenings. All agreed on the basic facts. On being presented with a supplicant, Gassner would typically wave a crucifix over his or her body and demand in Latin that, if the disease he was seeing had a “preternatural” source, this fact must be made manifest. The patient would then typically collapse into convulsions, and Gassner would proceed to exorcise the offending spirit.

Sometimes he added flourishes to this basic routine: in one dramatic instance, for example, he ordered the demon inside a woman to increase the poor woman’s heartbeat and then to slow it down. Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Mesmerism