Methodological Issues For the Research of First-Person Experience of Qigong

Author: Murakawa H
California Institute of Integral Studies. San Francisco, California, USA
Conference/Journal: 2nd World Congress Qigong
Date published: 1998
Other: Pages: 46 , Word Count: 270

In this paper I discuss the methodological issues for the research of first-person experiences of Qigong practitioners. Recently, the scientific studies of Qigong have been published increasingly in China, the United Stated, and Japan. However, those scientific researches have studied the various phenomena of Qigong mainly through the methods based on the Western biomedical model of human body, which is fundamentally different from that of Qigong. Besides that difference, what lacks in those researches based on such a Western biomedical model is that they have not dealt with the first-person experiences and their meanings. David Michael Levin and George Solomon points out this by outlining the seven models of the body in the history of Western medicine; the rational body, the anatomical body, the physiological body, the biochemical body, the psychosomatic body, the body of psychoneuroimmunology, and the body of experienced meaning. Most of the current researches of Qigong are based on the first six models of the body and few researches have been done based on the seventh model, that is, the body of experienced meaning. In order to study what Qigong can contribute to our modern daily lives, it would be necessary to explore this seventh body of experienced meaning in practicing Qigong.

Then, I suggest that recent development of Qualitative research methods in human sciences, psychology and anthropology, provide us with systematic procedures to collect the first-person experiences of Qigong practitioners and examines the meanings for their lives. What those qualitative research methods can enhance our understanding of phenomena of Qigong, and how they can be complementary to the existing body of researches of Qigong are discussed.