Qi Questions

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Libraquan, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. fatb0y

    fatb0y Valued Member

    The knee thing - they didn't do "almost" as well, they did just as well as the actually operated on people.

    Link http://www.open2.net/alternativemedicine/programme2.html

    The Placebo effect turned out to be as valuable as the surgery, perhaps it's surgery that actually does nothing? Or perhaps it focuses our mind and intent on the damaged area - a bit like when you do Qigong ...nooooooo!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  2. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Thanks for the input!
    1) No, please don't feel as though you are discounting my exp. I believe it important to question all avenues. This is the best way imo to at least show charlatans from true teachers. Mayhaps you were right and this particular Sifu, had trained his physical abilities to such a degree for this strike.
    Though, I would like to share an interesting "Qi Exp." with you all, For those following the thread you all know I study with a TCM doc, whom is also a highly accomplished MA. The other day he had a new patient come in whom had never had acupuncture at all. The patient thought the idea of Qi odd and My teacher proceeded to "demonstrate" Qi. The female patient was asked to stand directly in front of her chair and he stood in front of her. He placed his arm on her shoulder and proceeded to push down on her with force. Asking her to resist. She was able to do fairly well and at least keep somewhat of a stance.
    Next though he simply rested his arm near her shoulder and she asked if he was going to push her again (as she readied herself for another push). My teacher said just watch, then she buckled down into the chair unable to even hold her stance. Her eyes were quite huge and she asked how the ---- he did that, she said he never even felt his arm touch her. All of the sudden her knees buckled under her and he destroyed her stance.
    A million things went through my mind, they did not know each other, other than patient doc relationship. She had no MA or acupuncture exp. I have not had the time to ask my teacher to demo it on me, it would be interesting, but not beneficial as I believe in Qi, so I could not do it so objectively. Though an interesting exp.
    This is the same Doc that has done acupuncture Anesthesia also.

    2) Yes, these exp. are interesting. They have been doing tests on animals for acupuncture, b/c of the ability of animals to not get persuaded so to speak. Many vets are finding acupuncture quite helpful for many common animal problems, IBS, some Diabetes, and the usual sprains etc. This will be interesting to follow I think, there was also one article...all be darned if I can remember where I saw it. But there was a chinese doctor doing acupuncture on plants, his results were that he was actually able to grow plants quicker and "bring them back" when malnourished with acupuncture. This is odd as well.

    3) I agree, though I am also a person that does believe in Qi. I hate how there are people out there that are making it difficult to find or fund true studies for Qi. I believe, but also understand we need to approach it with a rational side as well.

    4) This is a part we can both agree upon, while it is "part" of my training. I also don't need proof. I don't want to "convert" any non-believers, nor do I feel I do the Arts in a superior fashion, b/c of how I practice. There are practitioners out there that practice with Qi that are formidable MA, and vice versa, Qi does not define a MA.

    5) The power of the mind is quite impressive. Just to know we only use something like 10-15% of it or something like that, is even more astounding. So maybe for me the mind "makes" the Qi and this is what I experience, simply because of that power of the mind?
  3. thecycle

    thecycle Banned Banned

    "My teacher said just watch, then she buckled down into the chair unable to even hold her stance. Her eyes were quite huge and she asked how the ---- he did that, she said he never even felt his arm touch her. All of the sudden her knees buckled under her and he destroyed her stance."

    It is possession actually. Not the imposition of force. Although that can happen also.

    What your doctor did was possess the woman's body and buckle her muscles. Any kung fu man can do that if they practice long enough.

    The guys that tell you that Chi etc does not exist? Do not believe them. They either do not know what they are talking about, or they are purposefully lying to you to keep you powerless.

    After all, why would you bother learning something that everyone told you was impossible or not true?
  4. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Can you explain more? People hear possession and they think exorcist. What does this term mean that you are trying to reference here TheCycle??
  5. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I have to say Taoquan that doesn't sound so shocking to me. I've felt the difference between someone who knows how to throw a punch and someone who looks like the know how to throw a punch. If you teacher was toucing her Im betting its just to do with physical force. I also have quite a strong feeling that the same thing would not work against someone who was sceptical and stronger than the doc. I may be unduly sceptical of course... I probably am. But I've seen hypnotists do similiar things, just look at Derren Brown for some examples of how the power of suggestion can effect people. He had a Wing Chun student buckled over without touching him yet he clearly states its all to do with suggestion not magic.

    I know you will appreciate this TQ. The 10-15% of the mind thing is an urban myth. It's generally touted by pyschics or people who want to argue that the other percent would allow us to do amazing things if we could just harness the other 75%. I was surprised when I found out this was a myth too as I had swallowed it...

    I appreciate what your saying though even if Qi is a trick of the mind it's a damn powerful trick right? Well I can agree with that... the mind is a vastly underrated tool!

    However there is really no way to tell if the herbs worked and it's also worth noting that the article doesn't mention acupuncture just herbs. It also concludes with the following:

    While it seems reasonable for people already interested in Chinese medicine to make use of these herbs, the lack of evidence for their efficacy means that it would not be appropriate to recommend them to others.

    The point here I would think is that the article simply shows that people turn to what they know in an epidemic. It doesn't say anything about the efficacy of what they turned to. Though I am keen to point out I certainly would not dismiss herbs as useless I just think proper research needs to be done into herbs and their effects before they are promoted as effective.

    First I don't think it's ever 5% and second while that is the minimum a drug has to prove itself better than a placebo I don't think most drugs actually are on the minimum scale. If a drug company found a drug that was 80% better than a placebo I think they'd be alot happier.

    I agree totally with you here. I think there is an over reliance on drugs in Western society and I think alternative therapies could help someone recover- some alot more than others though. And again its much like swimming while I think swimming will aid most peoples recovery from illness I wouldn't advocate that swimming is therefore just as effective as drugs. There are times when drugs are necessary and it's not only when were dealing with major trauma- an infected wound is one such example.

    No I don't. I don't know about population trends in China but it's a massive place with alot of resources on top of this I'm willing to bet good money that the population has epxloded with the introduction of modern medicine and modern technology. In fact I'm pretty sure that's true otherwise China wouldn't have needed to instiagte the one child policy (which it didn't require previously!). Japan's population has also grown tremendously since being introduced to modern medicine and technology in 1900 it was 40,000,000 today it is around 120,000,000. What was different about these 100 years and the past say 1100? Why did the population not grow at such a great rate till Japan opened up? I wouldn't say it's all down to modern medicine but I would say that modern medicine is a strong contributor to why reason Japan now has the highest median age of any population in the world. If its nothing to do with modern medicine then why did Japan not have its population boom earlier? The population growing in the pre-modern period does not prove that the medicine back then was effective. If it did again medieval medicine must have been pretty good too.

    I don't debate Qigong might help people it's juts the claims of its efficacy that I question. As you have stated you don't make outlandish claims which is great but I do think someone claiming to be able to cure someone via transmitting some power from their body is overall quite outlandish. And as they say incredible claims require increidble evidence. Getting research published that shows results in credible journals does speak volumes to me though yes.

    Speaking for myself just credible studies conducted by credible teams that proved it worked. If it turned out that sceptical researchers were constantly being blown away by the effectiveness of this treatment I would wholeheartedly support Qigong. As it stands I do support it as a beneficial activity I just don't regard it as tested and proven to the extent that makes it a treatment comparable to modern medical treatments.

    Sorry for the jumpy around nature of the reply TQ but I was just looking through your replies and posts as I went plenty of interesting points you've raised so much obliged!
  6. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    First off, thanks for the site! really cool to dispel that urban myth, it always did sound a bit odd to me, otherwise why would they MRI the entire brain. :D

    1) As for the force thing, she even explained that there was no force involved, this is what made it credible for her. Also she was skeptical, she had doubt of Qi and Acupuncture in general. Which btw, you may be interested to look into some of the studies they are doing with animals. I think I mentioned some of that above, I have not found the sites (have not looked) with articles, but I will post them when I get a shot.

    2) This was actually really informative and cool, thanks! Though I am curious here, even though we use more than the fabled 10% of the brain it does say:

    1) Brain imaging research techniques such as PET scans (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) clearly show that the vast majority of the brain does not lie fallow. Indeed, although certain minor functions may use only a small part of the brain at one time, any sufficiently complex set of activities or thought patterns will indeed use many parts of the brain. Just as people don't use all of their muscle groups at one time, they also don't use all of their brain at once. For any given activity, such as eating, watching television, making love, or reading, you may use a few specific parts of your brain. Over the course of a whole day, however, just about all of the brain is used at one time or another.

    Then my question is what if we learned to be able to activate more than a few areas at one time. Much like in Tai Chi you are not just using one muscle, but a combination of muscles. You are learning perfect body coordination, what if the same could be done with the brain to produce unique effects?

    3) I agree with you here, there is no way to tell if the herbs worked. Though the same can be said for a lot of western meds. They are merely hypothesized to work a certain way, Kill certain bacteria, viruses, etc...when they may also effect certain healthy cells that they did not know about. Knowing this danger alone speaks on an ethical level for use.
    While, there are studies being done on many traditional herbs in their entire natural format. They are finding, like Ban Lan Gen for example, has actually a very high rate of being a bactericidal, viricidal and even an extent of being a paracidal. http://alternativehealing.org/ban_lan_gen.htm
    This is one reason some drug companies are pouring money into "alternative" herbs because they realize their efficacy and how effective they are turning out to be. While they are rumors (I cannot find anything to the effect, though it does not mean it is being done) some drug companies are trying to combine numerous natural herbs for a so called "super pill"

    4) These statistics are fairly close, while I admit I may be off on the 5-10% better. I believe they are still relatively miniscule considering the overall pop.
    here are interesting sites I found while looking for stats:
    This is from wikipedia:
    Controversy about drug development and testing
    There have been increasing accusations and findings that clinical trials conducted or funded by pharmaceutical companies are much more likely to report positive results for the preferred medication[3].

    Between 1980 and 1997, drug industry funding for academic research rose eight fold, as research costs rose, and the rate of federal support fell. Drug researchers not directly employed by pharmaceutical companies often look to companies for grants, and companies often look to researchers for studies that will make their products look favorable. Sponsored researchers are rewarded by drug companies, for example with support for their conference/symposium costs. Lecture scripts and even journal articles presented by academic researchers may actually be 'ghost-written' by pharmaceutical companies [4]. Some researchers who have tried to reveal ethical issues with clinical trials or who tried to publish papers that show harmful effects of new drugs or cheaper alternatives have been threatened by drug companies with lawsuits. [5][6]

    While I do personally acknowledge that western medicine has its uses. I am simply saying that even if Qi does not exist and exercises like Qigong are nothing more than exercises and they are merely placebos. If they are helping people stay healthy and "curing" some diseases why should these not be implemented?

    5) Thanks mostly to rural regions of Asia and temples with MA, TCM has a plethora of herbs that can treat such infections. Yunnan Baiyao is a great example of this, the problem is TCM trauma medicine isn't largely known, i.e. bonesetting, cleansing wounds, dressing wounds etc...

    6) Good points!

    7) I agree with you here, however, even in the medical world there are outlandish claims. I have had family members that have went through experimental surgeries based solely upon theory (much like Qigong) where the MDs basically said: "We won't really know that this will work unless you live." This was said to my father-in law who underwent experimental heart surgery 6 months ago. So this is rampant is all medicine's and healing not just the esoteric healing.
    For the same reasons both of these seem less credible as well, b/c most of these theories are put forth by Qigong practitioners or Western MDs, how can you not have bias?

    8) Unfortunately, I don't think this could ever be achieved. Even Modern medicine requires a certain amount of "Faith" in proposed theories and ideas. Then you run into the problem of self-funded tests, of course if you dumped tons of money into your own theory you would want it to come out.
    I think the old Taoist saying fits well here:
    If I think I am right and you are wrong, who is right and wrong?
    Do we get someone to agree with you? This is not fair,
    How about someone to agree with me? Not fair either,
    How about someone that agrees with both? Then we are back at the beginning
    How about someone that disagrees? Then we have a new problem and the original answer is still unresolved.
    What is the difference between right and wrong, or a yes and a no?

    Though, the discussion is great! :D
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2007
  7. thecycle

    thecycle Banned Banned

    Just what it sounds like. Control of another person's body.

    The exorcist or any other hollywood stuff is garbage of course. What can you do with a human body? A possessor can do any of that. A human body cannot fly though, so of course a possessor could not make it fly.

    And for future reference? I personally would relate your story as "I witnessed someone doing....", "I saw a demonstration where.....".

    I am not certain the person you are describing would appreciate being held up for attention. For you, it is an interesting and mind boggling story that you wish to discuss. You may not have thought through all of the ramifications of what could happen if people believe you.

    He may not wish to the focus of attention. Using the sentence constructions above, you still can tell your story, but he remains relatively anonymous.
  8. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Look forward to having a look!

    I don't know enough about the brain to answer confidently but I have a feeling that the answer would be somewhere between yes and no :D. Yes in the sense that Im sure a Chess masters brain lights up differently than a normal persons when playing Chess but no in that perhaps the opposite might be true for physical activities you perform alot as 'muscle memory' might mean you have to actively think about things alot less. Just my guess though.

    Wouldn't you agree though that the most common and heavily used drugs are generally understood in terms of how and why they work and their side effects are equally commonly known? I'm not saying no side effects are ever found out later into a drugs use but there is a reason why such stories make it onto the news i.e. they are not common! There was a case last year of a clinical trial whereby the drug taken had a very bad effect on the volunteers... this was in all the newspapers and everyone was discussing how clinical trials are extremely dangerous. Now the fact is though that the evidence doesn't support this conclusion- this is the only clinical trial in the last 20 years or so that has had an outcome like this despite probably hundreds of thousands being conducted. On top of this all of those involved recovered. My point here is in the same way that you may be able to find some instances of drugs that have been discovered to have unknown negative effects this is very rarely the case because any such effects are generally discovered in stages I,II,III or IV of clinical trials.

    And I fully agree. Though the same kind of argument could be used by any alternative medicine group including people like 'crystal healers'. To me this makes me slightly uncomfortable if anyone can argue that anything should be allowed on the basis you state that also means no-one should challenge people like faith healers and Im not so sure thats a good thing. Alot of people are making alot of money out of people's gullibility... and while I'm not saying all Qigong practitioners do this you yourself have recognised that there is hardly any regulation at all in alternative medicine. So what standard should we hold people to if not proving what they are promoting actually works?

    I remain healthily sceptical that any herbal treatment would be as effective as something like penicillin. My reason for such scepticism is that herbal treatments exist in pretty much every country with herbs and yet I don't know of any such country that has found antibiotics to be of the same effectiveness as their traditional herbal treatments.

    I do have a bias towards what can be proven to be correct. If someone claimed that they can cure cancer it's not bias that asks them to prove it, it's scepticism. The burden of proof lies on someone making a claim.

    With your fathers heart operation the experimental surgery will have been based on modern scientific knowledge relating to the body. This is somewhat different than say a crystal healer saying that their crystals will create an energy field that cures the cancer. One is supported by science, one is a matter of faith.

    Your less optimistic than me then... Qigong and alternative medicine in general is already a big bucks industry in alot of the world especially in North America and Western Europe. I also think if a treatment is effective it wont really matter how much faith the researcher has in it because it will consistently cure people.
  9. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Thanks for the info Thecycle, also I had thought I was anonymous enough. Thanks for pointing this out to me and I will keep it in mind for future reference. Though, if any believe everything they read on the internet they themselves imo would have their own problems. :D
  10. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    1) maybe if we did use our entire brain at once we would not be needing to have this discussion :D

    2) Well with this you have to remember stage IV clinical trials are what they release to the public. The patents last for so long and during this final few years the drug is then released to the general public for "testing". If found effective the drug will continue to be on the market, this is one reason you do hear of lawsuits from new meds. because they technically are STILL in testing.

    3) I agree with your statement here, there are a lot of people being duped into spending their hard earned money on people that make truly outrageous claims. This is very unethical and one of the main things that destroys the credibility of Qigong and other alternative therapies. I agree that they should be held to being able to do what they claim, this is the easiest standard to hold people to.
    It is just difficult because, most people that can do this healing don't want to be associated with the charlatans. If a true master came out making these claims he would be shuffled into the same sea of other frauds out there, this would be a difficult decision for practitioners to make. To me it does take a certain amount of faith in anything we do in order to make it credible, for example what makes Holy water "holy"? Is it b/c of the faith of the person that blessed it, or the faith of the user? This is difficult to answer and this is why such things as Qi and energy healing are hard to prove imo.
    Because if you have a person that believes in spirit healing etc, would it matter than if the person performing the healing is a fraud? Or would the faith of the healee be enough?

    4) I agree with you to an extent, my teacher has often told me, if he can use herbal medicine and antibiotics he will. However, there are instances when modern penicillin and morphine are needed. He often stresses there is no ego or pride in healing.

    5) Yeah, but, the reason there is big bucks in the alternative medicine industry also brings about "the sharks" that care little for promoting knowledge and gaining only monetary funds. Money is the almighty motivator! (unfortunately) :D
  11. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Well Taoquan if it's any consolation for all the charlatans you've quite thoroughly convinced me that you are a very honest Qigong practitioner. If all alternative medicine practitioners were to be as honest and critical in their assesments I don't think we would find the gulf we often do between those who respect alternative medicine and those who are sceptical.

    Enjoyed the discussion and certainly has changed my opinion somewhat favourably towards the rationality of Qigong advocates, I'm actually feeling sorry that rational people can be lumped together with people who make outlandish claims now! Anyway I basically agree with all of your last post so that's me out for now. Much obliged.
  12. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Well met *bows* if you find any cool info btw pass it my way :D
  13. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    I'm just really glad that a proper debate was able to be had. :)
  14. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Ooh is that one of those taoist riddles ?
  15. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    As MA I feel we should have a mutual respect for each other :D
    Otherwise how can we learn?
  16. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I bet you're wondering how i did that..

    See that, that's qi that is. :D
  17. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOO *points to Cloudz* QI MASTER!
  18. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    "he moves, I arrive first"

    it's tai chi101
  19. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Personally I would be really impressed if you could figure out how to redirect 1000 lbs with 4 ozs. on a forum now :eek:
  20. thecycle

    thecycle Banned Banned

    "Pearls before swine" ;)

    Did you ever wonder if maybe your cynicism stops you from learning? Your certainty that something is or is not possible prevents your mind from critical study of new information, or the same information from a new source?

    If you retain this mindset, you will limit what you can learn. If you disbelieve something, you will ignore the evidence that might prove that something exists.

    If you truly want to be a high level kung fu man, you are going to have to throw away the things you have been told by popular culture, your school, your family, your religious figure and anyone else you admire.

    Most of what is possible in kung fu is derided as silly or outright lies by common culture. If you were a thinking person, you would wonder why that is. I will give you a hint. It is to keep you a common person, to prevent you from becoming a kung fu man.

    Don't let the bad guys limit your horizons. ;)

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