Qigong, pronounced as either “chi kung” or “chee gong”, is an alternative therapy and is a method of managing health that has been practiced since ancient times in China, becoming a part of the traditional Chinese medicine. It exists in different forms, though the most common involves the correlation of a variety of physical postures and bodily motions with a variety of techniques, some employing the breath. It has become a tool in preventing or treating diseases and in maintaining and improving an individual’s health.
In addition to this, it is also a practice of purposefully accessing the energy of nature to accelerate natural healing, reducing the rate of aging and extending life, that seemed more promising than surgery that oftentimes include paralysis and radiation that could only postpone death (Kuei, 1993, p. 7). The most important thing or information found was the correlation of scientific methods of healing and Qigong. The combination of modern medicine and Qigong especially in treating diseases such as cancer and in reducing heart rate, systolic blood pressure, rate-pressure product and respiratory rate is very interesting.
Furthermore, the intimate relation of Chinese martial arts and Qigong to religion and how it is being practiced by individuals who are nearly 100 years old is also thought-provoking. Qigong is most beneficial or appropriate when practiced on a regular basis. Ideally, Qigong should be practiced daily. However, practicing it three times or even once a week is still beneficial (Katzman, 2003, p. 3). Qigong is appropriate for individuals of any age. The most credible piece of information obtained about self-healing Qigong were researches published by the Qigong Research and Practice Center directed by Kenneth Cohen.
Kenneth Cohen is a world renowned health educator. In addition to this, he is a scholar and the author of an internationally acclaimed book entitled “The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing”. In one of their experiments or studies, “Effects of Qigong on Preventing Stroke and Alleviating Multiple Cerebro-Cardiovascular Risk Factors” which is a follow-up report on 242 Hypertensive Cases for 30 years, the health benefits of Qigong is further supported.
It is a research conducted by the Shanghai Institute of Hypertension that aims to find the truth about the healing effects of Qigong through reliable data using scientific methods or experiments. There were two groups in their experiment, the control group and the Qigong group. The results of the 30 year follow-up showed that among the control group, there were 47. 76% death, 40. 83% stroke and 32. 50% death from stroke.
On the other hand, the Qigong group had only 25. 41% death, 20. 9% stroke and 15. 57% death due to stroke. Almost 50 percent on every aspect was reduced when medical care was combined with Qigong. There are more researches conducted and all proved the beneficial effects of Qigong. These include researches such as “Qigong for Cancer: Drugs with Qigong vs. Drugs Alone”, The Effect of Emmited Qi on Tumors in Mice” and “The Effect of Emitted Qi on Experimental Animals Infected with Pneumocystis Carinii (The Qigong Research and Practice Center, 2008).
The least credible piece of information regarding the health benefits of Qigong was found in Jahnke’s “The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong”. It was least credible because it only included testimonies from patients and some doctors. There were thought-provoking piece of information included in the book such as a successful surgery as testified by David. David had an astrocytoma, the derivative of astrocyte cells of the brain. More specifically, astrocytoma is a primary intracranial tumor that requires chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
In December 1998, David had a surgery and doctors were surprised to see that the inoperable, terminal, class two astrocytoma which David have, was converted to an operable, class one astrocytoma. This is a complete reversal at the cellular level and the patient was able to improve from having dangerous, rapidly dividing cancer cells to absolutely no sign of dividing cells. What is more astounding is that, David did not undergo any chemotherapy nor radiation treatment; all he did was practice Qigong (Jahnke, 2002, p. 5).
However, there are no actual scientific or recorded data that can be found in the book. As such, the health benefits or the effect of Qigong on David’s health is just a claim without enough or sufficient data to prove its credibility. There was no contradicting information regarding the researches. However, contradicting information about Qigong was found. There is a so-called “qi-gong psychotic reaction” or “Qigong-induced Psychosis” in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association (2000, p. 902).
It is a term that describes an acute, time-limited episode characterized by dissociative, paranoid, or other psychotic or non-psychotic symptoms after participating in qi-gong. On the other hand, this “Qigong-induced psychosis” is corrected by a study found in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, changing the term to “Qigong precipitated psychosis”. They believe that the relationship between Qigong and mental disorder are manifold. The psychosis from Qigong is only due to inappropriate practice of Qigong, especially those who are not practicing it in orthodox schools of Qigong (Ng, 1999, p. 06).
Questions such as “What are the learning media appropriate for beginners who want to learn and practice Qigong? ” arise. The health benefits and its indications of longevity are the things which make me inclined to use this therapy. I would recommend my clients to practice Qigong especially if it could decrease the chances that people would obtain cancers. I relied most on journal articles and books during my research because of their credibility. Furthermore, journal articles and books provide more relevant information as compared to other sources.