Qi Gong, Energy Medicine,
I am a young 15yr old follower in the world of martial arts. I
have read from many web sites on the healing and fighting power
of qi, so i would meditate and concentrate on my qi energy for
days. Finally yesterday i summoned my energy to my hands. It took
me about two minutes but i felt a small magnetic force pushing
my two hands apart. Which leads me to my questions, how can i
use this force to heal, and how ( if possible) can i use this
force in other unique ways like pushing people down with my mind
This question may sound silly! Because we are dealing with energy
medicine, is there an answer to this? In TCM, is there any thoughts
on the healer's own health or level of training in qigong as a
requirement in bringing successfuly healing to his patients, (i.e.,
specifically, is the accupuncturist's own qi level important)?
This question is brought on by the fact that often other means
of opening the channels can be assisted by moxa, heat and other
electrical stimulation devices. Is it possible that healer's own
qi deficiencies may impair his effort to unblock his patient's
energy stagnation? I've heard in external qi healing the flow
may actually reverse to the direction of the healer if his energy
level is drained or if overworked.
Sergio and David,
I think it's important to differentiate reality from fiction.
I have also experienced the magnetic repelling sensation, and
"energy" feeling in the hands. And I have heard stories
of qi gong practitioners pushing objects (paper lamps) from a
distance without touching them. It might be true.
However, I am highly skeptical of these things. Don't get me
wrong- just show me and prove it's not David Copperfield, and
I'll reconsider. Until then, I will assume it's either wishful
thinking or pure charlatanism.
Acupuncture, Qi Gong, & Healing Energy
As far as healing goes, many chinese medical practitioners believe
in practicing qi gong in order to increase their qi so that they
can pass this increase or finer quality qi on to their patients
for healing. Others say you can use your qi (instead of various
needle techniques) to supplement or disperse an acupuncture point
while needling. These same people say it may take 10-20 years
to achieve this ability.
I have a few questions about these ideas-
1. The basic scientific question- how do you know it was
solely your special qi that did the healing and not just the actual
acupuncture treatment? It has been shown through studies that
patients will often answer in such a way as to please their doctor...
I myself have felt the resistance to saying, "No, that didn't
do anything," during a treatment. Even though the doctor
needs the truth to help you, you don't want to shake their confidence.
2. If you believe it, you'll see it. If you tried to feel
anything for 10-20 years, isn't it possible you would finally
experience it? Does that mean it's real? Or did you make yourself
believe it? Many people believe they develop beliefs based on
what they see in real life. Research shows that people often see
and experience only those things that are consistent with their
3. Investing your time wisely. If it takes so long to
achieve this qi healing, is it really that much more effective
than just doing acupuncture? If not, why not spend your time pursuing
more time-efficient ways of healing your patients? Like learning
to do acupuncture better, for example, really getting to know
the classic texts, learning Chinese, learning more about musculsokeletal
acupuncture, psychology, or some other proven (and believable)
healing modality. You won't find me gambling two decades of learning
on a possibility.
4. If qi healing is so important and effective, why even learn
chinese medicine? If this state of our internal energy has
so much to do with the results patients get, then what do we do
with the therapeutic techniques which tonify or sedate? If a tired
person uses a tonifying technique, you're telling me that they'd
still sedate the patient? If both internal qi and technique are
involved, then which is paramount? But the experience of many
practitioners (especially of psychology) tells us that even when
we feel horrible, our patients don't always see it, and they can
get well despite us. Isn't it a little egotistical to think that
we practitioners have so much power in the process of healing?
We may facilitate healing, but we don't actually heal.
Some of our teachers at school said, "What really matters
is your intent." Students that bought this idea, when told
they had accidentally needled the wrong point, would say, "But
it was my intent to needle such-and-such point." As if that
made up for it. Haven't you heard that the road to hell is paved
with good intentions? This new age idea that our thoughts and
beliefs are more powerful and determinant than our actions is
obviously false. If it were true, why even learn any medicine?
Just go around and intend to heal people, and everyone will get
Breeding Ground for Cults
This kind of unverifiable knowledge that is passed on one-on-one
also makes for a situation ripe for arrogance and deception. Basically,
it is the stuff of cults. Be very careful in any master-apprentice
Prove Me Wrong about Energy Healing
Again, I must say I am open-minded if anyone has some answers
to the above questions or alternative perspective. I know that
not too long ago, the efficacy and mechanisms of acupuncture seemed
fantastic. So I hate to apply the same kind of skepticism to qi/energy
healing... but somewhere we will find the edge of what is real
and what is fantasy, and I don't know which side energy healing
will be on.
And please understand I am voicing not only my own questions,
but also the ones I expect would be raised by conventional MD's
and other skeptics - questions I can't answer myself!
The Responsibility of the Healer
I do believe, however, that healers must be in good shape to
help their patients. By that I mean at least these 5 things:
- Physician Heal Thyself. Commit to your own physical
health. The healthier they are the better example they are to
their patients. Of course, no one is perfect, and a healer
that tries to appear perfect will inspire guilt and emotional
distance in their patients.
- Know Thyself. Commit to your spiritual, psychological
and emotional growth. When it comes to helping patients understand
their motivations and internal blockages, a healer must have
gone through some internal process of inventorying, confronting,
and changing their own baggage. This is why psychologists are
required to get counseling during their training. If you don't
know how to be healed, you can't heal.
- Walk Your Talk. Authenticity is indispensable. If you
don't live the way you ask your patients to, you lose their
trust. I find it much easier to just "Talk My Walk"-
that means I talk about what my life is really like.
- Be Willing to Be Wrong. You don't know everything,
and you never will. You're not perfect. That means knowing that
your emotional and mental reactions may be wrong. Listen to
your patients with an open mind. Learn lessons from them.
- Real Love. We have a skewed idea of love. The best
model of love is parent-child. To raise a kid well, you have
to be supportive and encouraging. Plus, when they do something
that's bad for them or someone else, you have to confront them.
Love means to both support and rebuke. It's hard to tell someone
they're wrong, but we don't love someone if we don't try to
stop them from going down a destructive path. Finally, we have
to let go of them. Whether they heal and grow up and no longer
need us, or stay hooked in to destruction, we can't control
them. Let go. Love requires compassion, courage, and humility.
This is how God loves us.
Hope this helps, and all the best!
Find a licensed acupuncturist here: "Resources
for Finding Acupuncturists and Herbalists"
An interesting article.
I am a TCM practitioner and "feel" that qi gong does
aid in the regulation of the body, and currently am wondering
how much and or little it might improve patients' situations.
Your article is food for thought indeed.
My personal impression is that intent and qi gong and needle stimulation
are intertwined to a certain level and may be different aspects
of a similiar if not the same process.
In recent years I have observed that some very "gentle"
needle forms (mainly Japanese) do have an influence on the treatments
and I hope to do long-term follow ups.
However, I just wanted to say that like your article, maybe some
more articles in the future on Qi gong and healing with cautionary
words as this article has done...
Marco, thanks for your feedback.
I've come to believe that chinese medicine generally does not
share quite the same burden of proof that western medicine does-
that is, anything that has stood the test of time and has significant
clinical evidence already carries some weight. (That is not to
say, of course, that more research is not needed- it certainly
I also believe that the ways that acupuncture and chinese herbs
might work (within most people's world-view) makes sense. It's
easier to see how a needle going through the skin affecting specific
nerves, or various phytochemicals might change the body's activites
in a specific direction.
It's not so easy to see how touching the skin, or just touching
the needle, plus a change in the practitioner's intent can have
specific effects. This requires a specific belief- namely that
qi exists as an electrical-like energy that can leave the body,
travel through the needle, and then enter the other's body while
retaining its integrity and the "message of intent."
For me, that's a little far-fetched.
I know all kinds of people have used the ideas of quantum physics
to come up with explanations... but again, if those ideas were
true, we wouldn't even need the needles or the herbs. And everyone
would be getting well. Unless there are other blocks to this kind
of healing and it requires training etc.
But again, it's not all that believeable, nor does it sound like
a good gamble t to spend all that time learning it when we haven't
seen a lot of convincing evidence that it works. I'd be happy
to let someone write qi gong articles if they shared my interest
in evidence-based medicine. But I personally don't have enough
interest in it at this time to investigate it further.
All the best!
Let's say that Qi Gong per se existed before the so-called"energy"
model. I agree this does not mean it is right or wrong, but qi
and energy are not synonyms at least not from a lingustical nor
philological view (nor cultural, probably not even a practical
However do not get me wrong; I am certainly not sure about the
worth of qi gong transmission... but as a medium for self-healing
and work that patients can do in their own time it is certainly
worthwhile. I find Chinese medicine so vast that to try to master
and grasp "all" aspects would be slightly "big
headed" indeed. That is why I felt your article was/is good
and food for thought.
Thanks for the hard work you are doing by publishing Pulsemed.
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