Since 1980 there has been a renaissance of External Qi Healing in China. It is often used both to reduce pain during or after many kinds of surgery, as well as to speed up recovery on post-surgical patients; and has gained in credibility and respect because it is capable of being measured and tested scientifically. The effects of Qigong work on laboratory animals, cell cultures, and even skeptics allay concerns that it only produces a placebo effect. When animals with broken bones are treated with External Qi, they heal more quickly than control groups.
The link between Western and Chinese medicine is created by the discovery of neuro-peptides (described as chemicals of consciousness and emotions), which are synthesized in response to thinking and feeling and can influence the health of internal organs. Neuropeptides flow through the body like Qi and carry information to and from the brain, nervous system and other parts of the body. They bond to receptor sites on various tissues virtually everywhere in the body, especially in the immune cells. Physical sensations such as pain, hunger, and so forth can stimulate the production of neuro-peptides.
The best known neuro-peptides are endorphins. Endorphins stimulate the immune system and reduce pain. Western scientists studying Chinese acupuncture practices attributed the reduction of pain as merely the direct result of an increase in endorphins released during acupuncture treatment. The Chinese point of view, however, states that pain results from Qi blockages or from Qi stagnation; and when the Qi flows free, and the Qi blocks are removed through needle manipulation and placement, the pain diminishes or disappears. Qigong does not use needles; instead it generates and transmits energy to release or remove the blockages. Moreover, research laboratories have tested and substantiated the effects of Qigong.
For centuries, many Qigong techniques and practices have been cloaked in secrecy and only passed down within the family. For thousands of years, millions of people have benefitted from Medical Qigong practices and believed that improving the quality and function of Qi, maintained health and healed disease. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, our total health and well-being depends upon the strong, balanced and smooth flow of Qi within our bodies, and that Qi blockages, Qi disharmony and Qi not flowing smoothly are the fundamental causes of most illnesses, body discomfort and pain. When a meridian is blocked, we experience a cessation or a lessening in the flow of the stimulating and nourishing Qi to the cells whose cellular functions begin to deteriorate that will eventually lead to the formation of diseases and symptoms. The blockage of Qi to the meridians also causes Qi to pool and stagnate (like stagnant water) which also acts as a breeding ground for diseases. Medical Qigong is a holistic means of cultivating high-quality Qi, removing energetic blocks and Qi stagnation, rectifying illness, cleansing the body of Qi toxins, restoring energy, reducing stress and anxiety, ensuring a balanced body, mind, and spirit, and helping individuals maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Beginning about 1980, extensive clinical and experimental research on medical applications of Medical Qigong was carried out by scientists in China. Vast amount of research on Medical Qigong in China has shown that external Qi of a Qigong master could produce significant structural changes in water and aqueous solutions, DNA & RNA, alter the phase behavior of certain liposomes called dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl choline or (DPPC), alter cell cultures, kill bacteria and cancer cells, enhance the growth of mushroom and tomato, and enable the growth of Fab protein crystals (Yan et al. 1999). It has been said that Medical Qigong is one of the most powerful healing traditions ever developed in human history. Most of these studies were reported only at international conferences, and only a few were published because suitable scientific journals are not available in China. While few research studies on Qigong conform to strict scientific protocol, the collection of research is too large and convincing to be ignored.
Ancient Chinese Qi Gong masters realized that the human body is sustained by the life force of the Universe, Qi (energy), which is present in everything, animate and inanimate. These healers knew that mind, body and spirit are inseparable, and that life energy plays a fundamental role in maximizing our body's healing ability and its potential for recovery. We are multi-dimensional beings having different levels of energy fields, including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, which interpenetrate the chakras (energy centers).
How Illness Develops
If we are out of balance on one level, it affects us on other levels; and the reverse is also true. An emotionally upset person will not think straight, because the emotional imbalance affects the mental level, which also gets unbalanced. If the imbalance becomes powerful enough, it eventually manifests as physical and mental disease or sickness. It is at this point that conventional doctors intervene with drugs and scalpels to treat symptoms, yet they do not explore the energetic roots of disease. On the physical level, all living cells are filled with energy (Qi). Different groups of cells form group-specific cellular-Qi pools for specific structure and function, such as respiration, immunity, and regeneration. The entire Qi field of the body forms a Qi field that envelops the body as the "aura".
The body also provides vital-Qi (Qi from food, genetic factors, and environment) that flows through the meridians (energy channels) to stimulate the cellular-Qi for its optimum functional activities. When one's Qi is in balance, plentiful, clear, flowing smoothly and in harmony with the Qi of the environment and the Universe, one enjoys good and vibrant health. Qi disharmony, or Qi not flowing smoothly, is the fundamental cause of most diseases, body discomfort or pain. Disease is usually symptomatic of Qi blockages, damming vital-Qi flow to affected areas, resulting in the disruption of cellular stimulation and organic dysfunction. If not corrected, the body begins to lose its healing and regenerative capacity and gradually symptoms and illness begins to develop. Qi-disharmony results when: (1) body Qi (energy) level is low, (2) toxic Qi is taken into the body by poor diet, unbalanced lifestyle, and toxic environments, and (3) negative emotions and undue stress induce imbalances.
In the last 20 years, a great number of people in China started to gain knowledge of this ancient Medical Qigong healing system and now it has spread to the West where it is beginning to be widely practiced. The New York times article, The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2003, describes people standing at bus and subway stops in New York City practicing Qigong. Medical Qigong is particularly effective with chronic diseases and pain that have their root problems due to energy disharmony or energy blockages within the body. We now know why our modern medicine is relatively ineffective and inadequate to treat these chronic illnesses and pain. Medical Qigong is of increasing interest in the West as a complementary approach for treating medical problems in a cost-effective way.
The existing primary energy problems cannot be ignored and must be resolved if patients are to recover to normal health. There is definitely an inter-connection between energy disharmony, energy blockages and physical symptoms. Just treating symptoms alone, without eliminating the energetic imbalances that are the source of the symptoms, only leads to a recurrence of symptoms. The absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of disease or illness. Frequently, energy disharmony occur long before physical symptoms appear. By correcting these imbalances early on with medical qigong exercise or treatment, serious conditions, diseases and symptoms will be prevented. So far, mainstream medicine offers very little in illness prevention. Our Western exercise programs are geared to the training and strengthening of body muscles. Our nutrition program stresses the importance of good nutritious food and calories. Clearly, the knowledge and the understanding of the importance of the affect of energy harmony towards human health is lacking.
Medical Qigong is responsible for a multitude of health benefits, including illness prevention, health promotion, healing and significant medical cost reduction. These benefits are just too large and too powerful for allopathic or western medicine and the public to ignore.
Therapeutic Energy Treatments:
We have seen many healers and massage therapists becoming ill. The more work they do, the more energy they use and the more ill they become. This can be prevented and reversed with daily medical Qi Gong practice, and by diligently cultivating and maintaining a high and purified Qi-level, so that their Qi reserves will not be drained during therapeutic work. During therapeutic energy treatments, Qi is transmitted into the patient's energy system to expel ill-Qi, to clear Qi blockages and to rebalance the entire Qi system, thereby restoring normal health.
Today, science, especially quantum physics, is starting to recognize the fact that energy, not matter, is the basis of all reality. Science is realizing that the world is not really made up of liquids or solids, but of intangible energies and forces. What we experience as matter is really energy moving in stable, predictable patterns. Sometimes these forces express themselves in material form, but more often they remain outside the realm of our five senses.
Holistically, we are multi-dimensional beings having different levels of energy fields, including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual that inter-penetrate through the body's energy centres. A person's words or thoughts can actually affect the energy field around them. Ancient healers knew that the mind, body and spirit are inseparable and must be brought into total harmony to achieve "ease" instead of "dis-ease". They recognized that the mind, body and spirit are at their best when Qi is strongly present, clear, flowing unblocked, and in a state of balance; and that energy plays a fundamental role in maximizing our body's health, healing ability and its potential for recovery. We can be taught to help our own healing by the ancient Chinese energy healing practices, called Medical Qigong (or Healing Qigong). Mentally and emotionally, human beings have always been subject to various emotional conditions. In an emotional or stressful situation, negative energy can be internalized by transmuting body Qi. This sets up an imbalance and sluggish flow of Qi within the body's energy system, which can cause a general state of mental and physical tension, exerting harmful effects on physical and mental health. Scientific evidence has proven that prolonged stress is a contributing factor to most of the "diseases of civilization:" increased blood pressure, digestive, heart and respiratory disorders.
Medical Qigong has long-lasting effect and great penetrating ability in healing that cannot be matched by most other healing modalities. Its effectiveness and the documented health benefits, both preventative and as treatment for many illnesses, have been analyzed and calibrated by contemporary medical studies and researchers in China. Because of these, it has gained credibility and respect in China. Since 1982, Medical Qigong therapeutic Qi projection treatment has become a standard treatment technique used in Chinese hospitals and clinics. There are now Medical Qigong hospitals in China that specialize in using Medical Qigong to treat patients as well as to train Qigong MDs. The integration of both the Western and Chinese systems in China has proven that it will not only reduce anguish and suffering of patients, but will also reduce health-care costs significantly. It is only a matter of time before integration of both systems will occur in the West.