14 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Qigong Biological Benefits

“For clinicians, it shifts our focus from a battle with disease to a cultivation of health.”

“For practitioners of Qigong, it gives us an experiential understanding of greater balance within ourselves and the cultivation of our individual physical, mental and spiritual potential.”

– Kenneth Sancier, PhD

NOTE by Ricardo B Serrano, R.Ac.: I have chosen the following article by Dr Kenneth Sancier as the source of this Blogsite’s Manifesto because the Qigong biological benefits stated below I find are true through the years of my meditation, Qigong and Qi-healing clinical practice. With my thanks and acknowledgement to Dr. Kenneth Sancier for his article.

One of the authors has discussed the medical benefits of Qigong. (Sancier KM 1994; Sancier KM 1996a; Sancier KM 1996b; Sancier KM 1999; Sancier KM Weintraub 2000) Wang and Xu, two western-trained doctors in China explored some of the multiple health benefits of self-practice as summarized in the table (Wang CX 1991; Wang CX 1993; Wang CX 1995):

Activities of two messenger cyclic nucleotides
Anti-aging
Antithrombin III
Asthma
Blood flow to the brain for subjects with cerebral arteriosclerosis
Blood pressure
Blood viscosity
Bone density
Cerebral functions impaired by senility
Endocrine gland functions
Erythrocyte deformation index
Factor VIII-related antigen
Hypertension
Immune system
Longevity, 50% greater; after Qigong 30 min/twice daily, 20 years
Plasminogen activator inhibitor
Serum estradiol levels in hypertensive men and women
Serum lipid levels
Sexual function
Strokes, 50% fewer after Qigong 30 min/twice daily, 20 years

One of the prime benefits of Qigong is stress reduction, and a main ingredient of practice is intention (i.e., Yi) that uses the mind to guide the Qi. While Qi itself has not been measured, multiple types of measurements demonstrate the effects of Qi on the body. For example, simultaneous measurements of the interaction between a Qigong master and receiver included respiration, EEG, vibrations, blood pressure, skin conductivity, and heart rate variability. (Yamamoto M 1997)

Different physiological measurements have sought information about the effects of Qigong on the brain and emotions. These include measurements by high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG), functional MRI (fMRI), neurometer measurements, and applied kinesiology. Neuroimaging methods were used to study regional brain functions, emotions and disorders of emotions. Differences were found on the effects on the brain during meditation by Qigong and by Zen meditation.(Kawano K 1996)

The effects of emitted Qi (waiqi) has also been extended to cell cultures, growth of plants, seed germination, and reduction of tumor size in animals. (Sancier KM 1991) Spiritual healing, which involves the mind, has been the subject of two volumes by Benor.(Benor DJ 2001; Benor DJ 2002) His discussions also include scientific studies describing the beneficial effects of prayer on subjects’ health.

The work of Richard Davidson and Paul Ekman, researchers of the Mind and Life Institute, may go along way to illustrate the role of intention alone on the brain and body.(Davidson JD 1999) In current studies underway at University of California at San Francisco Medical School and University of Wisconsin, they are observing the electrical mechanisms in the brains of highly trained Buddhist lamas during various states of focused intention. Using functional, fMRI, high-resolution EEG and state-of-the-art reflex monitoring, their early results illustrate that electrical activity and blood flow in the brain can be directed by conscious intention.

Through systematic and repeated practice of intention, well-practiced lamas have succeeded in training the brain to direct electrical activity away from areas associated with the biochemistry of stress, tension and disturbing emotional or physical states (i.e., the amygdala and right prefrontal cortex) and increase activity in the area associated with the biochemistry of healthful emotional and physical states (i.e., the left prefrontal cortex).

Moreover, they have observed that the state of conscious intention on compassion engages a state of relaxation and well being which surpasses even that achieved during a state of rest. The early results of this research suggests that parts of the brain thought previously to be fixed in function, such as the stress reflexes of the reptilian brain, may in fact be plastic in nature, able to be changed, shaped and developed through ongoing practice of conscious intention.(Lama Dalai 2003)

Cost containment of healthcare is a subject of vital contemporary interest. For example, in the treatment of asthma self-applied Qigong led to significant cost decreases, such as reduction in days unfit for work, hospitalization days, emergency consultation, respiratory tract infections, and number of drugs and drug costs. (Reuther I 1998)

Recommendations

The vast research of medical benefits of Qigong offers a rich source of information for benefiting mankind. Medical cost containment is an attractive benefit of Qigong practice and should be further explored to provide healing potential without side effects.

The science and art of Qigong may open a window into new thinking about health, medicine, psychology and spirituality. It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that continuously supports our natural tendency toward homeostasis.

If that tendency is supported with regularity, allowing one to hover more closely to that point of balance, then the entire being can experience a tremendous evolutionary advantage.

Innate abilities have an opportunity to develop; the senses more keen, organ function more consistent and strong, the sympathetic nervous system relaxed, parasympathetic nervous system efficient, the mind relaxed, alert, clear, freely channeling messages in a multitude of new and diverse directions.

From a scientific point of view, the promise of Qigong practices provides new avenues for understanding some of the subtle aspects of human life and its natural inclination to strive for balance.

For clinicians, it shifts our focus from a battle with disease to a cultivation of health.

For practitioners of Qigong, it gives us an experiential understanding of greater balance within ourselves and the cultivation of our individual physical, mental and spiritual potential.

– Kenneth Sancier, PhD

Biography

Dr Sancier is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qigong Institute. He is a professor at the American College of Traditional Medicine in San Francisco. He received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and has carried out basic and applied chemistry research. As a research chemist he published 70 articles in scientific journals and holds 12 patents.

He is an editor of the Journal of the International Society of Life Information Science (JISLIS), Director of the California Information Center of ISLIS, on the Advisory Board of the Journal Of Alternative Therapies, and is on the Council of the World Academic Society Medical Qigong.

Since 1986, he applied his scientific background to study and evaluate reports on Qigong that claimed health and healing benefits. This evaluation depended on a series of activities including participating in international Qigong conferences in China, Japan, Canada and USA and sponsoring the First World Congress of Qigong in San Francisco.

See Tai Chi and Qigong for the Treatment and Prevention of Mental Disorders

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First published February 14, 2012 © Qigongmastery.ca

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