Qigong, an indispensible branch of traditional Chinese medical science

Author: Zhao Bangzhu
Guiyang College of TCM, Guiyang, China [1]
Conference/Journal: 2nd World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1993
Other: Pages: 151 , Word Count: 671

On the basis of a 10 year's study of Daoyin in Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun, one of the most important TCM classics, the author tries to make some analysis on the main problems in the development of medical qigong and proposes certain preliminary solutions to them.

To meet the needs of prevention and treatment of diseases and preservation of health, the ancestors of the Chinese people evolved medical qigong and made it a part of TCM science long ago, and ancient qigong exercisers and scholars contributed considerably in the development of TCM. Qigong was already a branch of TCM science as early as in the Sui Dynasty. However, why has it been neglected ever since and why is it today even still in want of common support from TCM doctors throughout China and official approval from authorities in charge of public health at all levels.

Apart from a brief review of the developmental history of medical qigong, the present article begins with an earnest study of Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun, discusses the academic level of medical qigong in the Sui Dynasty and analyzes the problems that hinder its application and development today.

In Zhu Bing Yuan Lun, an important TCM theoretic classic on syndrome differentiation posterior to Huang Di Nei Jin, the writer puts aside such topics as TCM prescriptions, acupuncture and moxibustion, but collects or records plenty of systemic Daoyin methods. This shows the great importance of medical qigong in TCM at the time of the Sui Dynasty and the writer's high evaluation of it.

There are 213 Daoyin methods recorded in the treatise. By descriptions of treatment of 113 diseases with these methods, the writer gives in the book an introduction to clinical application of medical qigong to internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, infectious diseases, parasitism, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, etc. This proves that medical qigong had long been widely used before the Sui Dynasty in TCM practice.

Academically, medical qigong recorded in the treatise includes not only three regulations (regulation of mental activities, regulation of breathing and regulation of posture) in modern qigong exercises but also methods of conducting and directing qi to travel along certain routes within the body.

In addition, treatments with medical qigong recorded in the treatise are all based on an overall analysis and differentiation of symptoms and signs, the unique excellent tradition in TCM practice.

These features have made it clear that medical qigong has proved itself a branch of TCM science. Long-term application with satisfactory results, has also provided enough convincing support to this argument.

However, most of the methods of practicing medical qigong in the treatise are given without proper terminological names and this gives rise to difficulties in application, inheritance and academic exchange. The author of this article has tried his best to supply proper names for these in his “Treatment of Diseases with medical Qigong in Ancient Times.” More over, there seems to be not enough successors today who are well learned in medical science, best skilled in practicing various qigong exercises and richly-experienced in giving qigong treatment on the basis of an overall analysis and differentiation of symptoms and signs. This lack of competent successors is the key problem that must be solved soon; it may also be the chief difficulty in management of medical qigong practice for related administrative offices.

The author, therefore, proposes that a one year program about Daoyin methods in Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun be opened for these promising qigong exercisers or doctors to learn to master all the methods described in the book to give qigong treatment based on an overall analysis and differentiation of symptoms and signs. This will enable them to become competent qigong masters capable of summarizing experiences and developing this unique therapy, thus enlivening medical qigong once again and restoring it to its due position at a branch of TCM science. The author of the present article will spare no effort to reach this goal and be delighted to cooperate with any colleagues who are willing to show the some enthusiasm.