A Call for More Comprehensive, Systematic, and In-depth Investigation of the Health Benefits of Taiji and Qigong

By Don M. Tow.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Many medical research projects in the last 20 years have indicated that there are substantial health benefits from practicing Taiji or Qigong (a form of breathing, stretching, meditated exercise). We discuss how the fundamental principles of Taiji and Qigong could lay a foundation for such health benefits. These positive, preliminary results, so far mostly involving dozens or at most a few hundred people, definitely warrant a more comprehensive, systematic, and more in-depth investigation, especially related to Qigong. These results also lead to important but complex questions, e.g.: Are there manifestations of Qi that could be experimentally measureable with technologies like ECG, EEG, electromagnetic radiation detectors, and fluorescent dyes? Qi is supposed to flow in meridians and stored in reservoirs. What is the relationship between meridians and blood vessels, and between reservoirs and internal organs? Can Qi blockages be detected and any correlation of Qi blockages with illnesses? Such research programs are not necessarily new, especially in China. However, it is still in an early stage, and much more research is needed in this fertile field. The impacts from such study could be profound, providing better basic understanding of science, new methods to improve health, and significant healthcare cost reduction.

Keywords: Qigong, Taiji, Fundamental Principles of Taiji and Qigong, Health Benefits, Medical Research Projects, Manifestations of Qi, Relationship between Meridians and Blood Vessels, Relationship between Reservoirs and Internal Organs, New Methods to Improve Health, Significant Healthcare Cost Reduction

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.91-99. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 497.667KB).

Dr. Don M. Tow

Adjunct Instructor of Fitness, Division of Science & Health Science, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, USA

Dr. Tow received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Tow worked in academia for nine years, teaching and mostly doing research in physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Brown University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Paris VI and XI. Tow then worked 26 years as a systems engineer at Bell Laboratories, Bellcore, Motorola, Telcordia, and Raritan Computer, and retired in 2006. He has been teaching Taiji since 2004 and has written more than 30 articles on Taiji and Qigong in his website, www.dontow.com, including articles on the health benefits of Taiji and Qigong. He is especially interested in getting the larger scientific and medical community to pursue more comprehensive, systematic, and in-depth investigation of the health benefits of Taiji and Qigong. He has published a book entitled Mental Aspects of Youth Soccer: A Primer for Players, Parents, and Coaches. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Fitness at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey.