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Home > Newsletters > February 2003

Report from the Fifth World Congress on Qigong

by Dr. Effie Poy Yew Chow

Over 400 Qi enthusiasts from many countries as well as throughout Canada and USA attended The Fifth World Congress on Qigong and The Fifth American Qigong Association Conference that took place from November 1st to 4th, 2002 in San Francisco. The Theme of the Congress was "Medical Qigong in Self-Care and Healing: Giving the Individual the Power to Help One's Own Healing". The Congress presented Qigong as one answer to the exorbitant cost of America health care and a possible solution to the challenges that still face Western medicine, especially chronic degenerative conditions.

They heard lectures and discussions and experienced demonstrations by over 50 world-renown Qigong masters, scientific researchers, and other mind-body medicine practitioners. Dr. Deepak Chopra, a world leader in the field of alternative medicine, said at the kickoff luncheon on the first day that "a revival of ancient wisdom" offers hope in a world of turbulence and chaos.

In his opening remarks, Chopra said: "There has been a fundamental shift in the premise of science. The essential nature of the material world is that it is not material….The human body is as proportionately void as intergalactic space….We are not in the world, the world is in us." Chopra, who attended the luncheon along with Jerry Brown, Mayor of Oakland and former Governor of California, was presented the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Congress.

Healing Highlights

One of the healing highlights of the Congress was when attendees witnessed Grandmaster Dr. Effie Poy Yew Chow, enable a U.S. veteran who was wheelchair-dependent for twelve years, not only to stand but also to dance, walk and climb stairs, after only eight minutes intentional Chow Qigong therapy.

"Bill" is a Vietnam War veteran who suffers from dystonicchorea symptoms such as non-stop uncontrolled arm motion. A brain operation in May had caused a stroke that reduced him to total dependency upon a wheelchair. Two weeks before the Congress, his doctor and physiotherapist had told him he would never walk again and ordered him a power wheelchair. After eight minutes of Dr. Chow's "Chow Qigong" treatment he got up, walked, encircled her in his arms and danced with her. Then he walked halfway around the large room. Three weeks since the Congress, "Bill" continued to be mobile.

They saw two nurses (from a major New York hospital) who suffered from severe fibromyalgia and had been in constant pain for about fifteen and twenty-five years find relief after only ten minutes of Qigong therapy. They witnessed other dramatic demonstrations of healing and extraordinary physical feats.

Other renowned Qigong masters demonstrated and taught their skills in workshops. For example, they taught exercises for immediate release from pain and long-term immobility, relief from serious fibromyalgia and chronic life-threatening asthma, relief from cancer symptoms and the side effects of cancer treatment (Yoshiaki Omura, M.D.), anti-aging and wellness (Janet Wu, PhD, and Tom Wu, M.D., PhD.), virility and sexual qi enhancement (Master Tu Chin-Sheng), rehabilitation from neuromuscular and other degenerative conditions, weight-loss and skin conditions (Wang Yan, M.D.), special blood conditions (Kangmin Shu, MD), significant improvements in intelligence and memory (Master Gao Zhi Xiang) and more.

Qigong Masters Perform Spectacular Feats

To the launch the Children and Youth Project for Healing and Peace, qigong masters demonstrated the skills they had perfected over years of training. Some performed outstanding, superhuman feats of strength, agility, concentration and balance. Performances included Master J.D. Zhang, (MD-China) picking up a pail of water with the long thread held by one eyelid; Master Tu Chin-Sheng painting a beautiful large art-piece in less than two minutes while standing on raw eggs, then pulling a truck containing ten people with his Qi empowered male appendage; Young Jack Tu (training for the World Olympics in Beijing 2008) demonstrating professional agility and dexterity with the Broadsword Wushu; and much more.

Scientific researchers attended these demonstrations and measured and documented the levels of Qi, or vital energy, in the masters before and after their performances. Among these scientists was Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, a leading physicist and mathematician from St. Petersburg, Russia, who discussed his latest techniques and instruments for measuring and analyzing energy fields.

Western Researchers Weigh In

At a forum Sunday morning, November 3rd, Rustum Roy, Ph.D, a leading American materials scientist who had been honored by the Emperor of Japan and the Russian Academy of Sciences, said to supporters that "the public's acceptance of alternative healing will not come from research but from clinical outcomes." Roy, the founder of Friends of Health, a non-profit organization promoting holistic healing, added: "We should go where the public wants: and the public wants healing, not theory." "I'm a strategist", he explained. "In science, policy has nothing to do with research." Roy urged the group to focus on its natural community- a public disenchanted with a costly and frequently failing medical system- rather than trying to convince physicians of the efficacy of such treatments as Qigong.

Others at the forum, however, pressed for further Western-type research. Beverly Rubik, Ph.D, a biophysicist, President of the Institute for Frontier Science USA, and member of the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, suggested that scientists and Qigong practitioners develop clearer terms for basic theories to bridge the gap between Western and ancient Chinese medical concepts. "Nothing is fresh in the scientific terminology", Rubik said. "Even the term `energy' has been mechanized. (But) Qigong energy is a special kind of intelligent information that facilitates healing."

Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology, Surgery, Medicine, Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson and a leading researcher in energy medicine called for further hard scientific data to convince Westerners of the efficacy of Qigong. He asked: "Is it possible for us to come up with some agreed-upon language we can all comfortably embrace in the healing community worldwide? Can we come up with a collection of demonstrated phenomena that are dramatic and repeatable that can stand up to scrutiny?"

Shin Lin, Ph.D, Professor of Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics and Associate Vice-Chancellor of Biomedical Initiatives at the University of California, Irvine, reminded his colleagues that until recently scientists who explored Qigong found themselves labeled quacks and their reputations suffering. Lin is now leading a multi-million dollar Qigong research effort at Irvine. Schwartz remarked that those working in Qigong now had "critical mass" and added, "They can't do that to us anymore." We can move forward!

At the final closure on Sunday, Dr. Evelyn Lee made a rousing presentation on the Policy considerations for the future of Qigong, especially regarding reimbursement, and Dr. Rustum Roy delivered on the Research considerations. The Masters' Healing Energy Closure Circle sent everyone home with optimism for the future of Qigong, and the importance of intentional Qi and love for the healthy status of the world's future.

Dr. Effie Poy Yew Chow is the founder and president of East West Academy of Healing Arts (EWAHA), American Qigong Association (AQA), American Medical Qigong Association (AMQA) and World Qigong Federation (WQF). EWAHA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating holistic alternative and western medicine with a special focus on Traditional Chinese Medicine and qigong.

This Month's Articles

February 2003
Volume 1, Number 2

Dr. Mao's Prediction for 2003, the Year of the Black Sheep

Report from the Fifth World Congress on Qigong

Book Review: The Everything Tai Chi and Qigong Book

Ask The Doctor


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