Study Revealed That Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Associated with Tibetan Buddhism Can Enhance Brain Performance. Contrary to popular belief, not all meditation techniques produce similar effects of body and mind. Indeed, a recent study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has demonstrated for the first time that different types of Buddhist meditation – namely the Vajrayana and Theravada styles of meditation - elicit qualitatively different influences on human physiology and behaviour, producing arousal and relaxation responses respectively.
Amazing acupuncture: So many benefits of getting needled. The World Health Organization says acupuncture may help ease digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea, chronic sinus and lung infections, all sorts of pain from headaches and migraines to back pain and osteoarthritis, infertility, and even urinary and menstrual problems.
Pain and sensory detection threshold response to acupuncture is modulated by coping strategy and acupuncture sensation. The interaction between psychological coping strategy and acupuncture sensation intensity can differentially modulate pain and sensory detection threshold response to EA. In a clinical context, our findings suggest that instructions given to the patient can significantly affect therapeutic outcomes and the relationship between acupuncture intensity and clinical response. Specifically, acupuncture analgesia can be enhanced by matching physical stimulation intensity with psychological coping strategy to acupuncture contexts.
The Development of a Mind-Body-Spirit Certification Program in Nursing.
Stress and anxiety experienced by patients particularly during hospitalization can be positively affected by an approach to care that emphasizes the uniqueness of the patient, the patient-provider relationship, and mind-body-spirit interventions. Although patients seek care that addresses stress and promotes relaxation within the hospital environment, there is evidence that there are lost opportunities aimed at addressing these concerns within the current health care environment. Nursing leadership at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions recognized a need to address this gap in knowledge that exists in the practice setting. The purpose of this article is to describe and discuss the development and implementation of a program in mind-body-spirit nursing that was developed collaboratively between the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and the Benson-Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
How Does Qigong Work? One of the primary ways that Qigong practice affects us is through its almost immediate moderation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Breath practice alone will change the neurtransmitter profile from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode to slow breathing, enabling the wellness benefits of a relaxed, mindful state. Besdies its affect upon the ANS, Qigong affects us through modification of the expression of our genes. Epigenetics is a new branch of science which verifies that lifestyle, behavior, and environment have a major influence upon the expression of our DNA (There is a more complete discussion of lifestyle, behavior and enviornment on the Qigong Institute website: Epigenetics, Psychoneuroimmunology and Qigong). Researchers have just discovered that mice react differently to stress due to their life experiences, and these differences are programmed in to the expresssion of their DNA. Likewise, Qigong practice is the type of lifestyle that creates similar beneficial DNA expression. Earlier research confirms these changes. The newswise article for this research from Rockefeller University: Research Hints at Why Stress Is More Devastating for Some. The pubmed abstract is Mind the gap: glucocorticoids modulate hippocampal glutamate tone underlying individual differences in stress susceptibility.
Nontouch Biofield Therapy: A Systematic Review of Human Randomized Controlled Trials Reporting Use of Only Nonphysical Contact Treatment. The pilot study nature of essentially all the identified nonphysical contact biofield therapy (external qigong, Healing Touch, Johrei, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch) RCTs, as reflected by low sample sizes alone, precludes drawing robust conclusions. Given this perspective, the finding that two thirds of the higher-scoring trials demonstrated at least partial effectiveness favors a continued research effort, especially in light of the translational value of biofield clinical trials for studies exploring the nature and physiologic basis of biofield healing.
Mindfulness Training Benefits Patients With Progressive Cognitive Decline and Their Caregivers. New strategies are needed to help people cope with the repercussions of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Patients and caregivers face different challenges, but here we investigated an intervention tailored for this combined population. The program focused on training skills such as attending to the present moment nonjudgmentally, which may help reduce maladaptive emotional responses. Patients participated together with caregivers in weekly group sessions over 8 weeks. Pre-post analyses revealed several benefits, including increased quality-of-life ratings, fewer depressive symptoms, and better subjective sleep quality. In addition, participants indicated that they were grateful for the opportunity to learn to apply mindfulness skills and that they would recommend the program to others. In conclusion, mindfulness training can be beneficial for patients and their caregivers, and it can be delivered at low cost to combined groups.
Inhalation/Exhalation Ratio Modulates the Effect of Slow Breathing on Heart Rate Variability and Relaxation. This study determined that the ratio of inhalation to exhalation has a greater effect than respiration rate upon the autonomic nervous system. The study examined the effects of four ventilatory patterns on heart rate variability and self-reported dimensions of relaxation. Thirty participants were instructed to breathe at 6 or 12 breaths/min, and with an i/e ratio of 0.42 or 2.33. Participants reported increased relaxation, stress reduction, mindfulness and positive energy when breathing with the low compared to the high i/e ratio. A lower compared to a higher respiration rate was associated only with an increased score on positive energy. A low i/e ratio was also associated with more power in the high frequency component of heart rate variability, but only for the slow breathing pattern. Our results show that i/e ratio is an important modulator for the autonomic and subjective effects of instructed ventilatory patterns.
Randomized, Controlled Trial of Qigong for Treatment of Prehypertension and Mild Essential Hypertension. Hypertension treatments include sodium restriction, pharmacological management, and lifestyle modifications. Although many cases of hypertension can be controlled by medication, individuals may experience side effects or incur out-of-pocket expenses, and some may not comply with the treatment regimen. This randomized, controlled trial found Qigong to be an effective intervention in reducing blood pressure in prehypertension and mild hypertension. Qigong Institute founder Ken Sancier first explained the beneftis of Qigong for hypertension in his ground-breaking paper 'Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong', published almost twenty years ago.
Movement Therapies and Relaxation Techniques help manage health conditions among children. Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by children under 18 y of age in the United States is becoming more prevalent. According to an analysis of procedures in chiropractic practices in 2010, more than 96% of chiropractors in the United States recommended use of movement therapies (MT) and relaxation techniques (RT) to their patients. The current research suggests that early training on MT and RT can be seen as a useful tool that can help prevent or manage certain health problems, including anxiety, stress, and attention deficit disorders, asthma, and back/neck pain.
Learning to BREATHE: An intervention to foster mindfulness in adolescence. During adolescence, young people are traversing exciting and also challenging stages in their development. Mindfulness, if taught in a developmentally appropriate way, has the potential to be an asset in adolescents' lives. Developmentally appropriate approaches of mindfulness intervention during adolescence need to consider adolescents' social contexts (for example, school setting, peer group, family), their cognitive and emotional stages in development, and age-specific strength and vulnerabilities.
Breath meditation: A great way to relieve stress. One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is to simply focus your attention on your breath. It's a form of "entry level" meditation that anyone can do. You'll notice an immediate sense of relaxation that could help protect your health over time. If you enjoy it, breath meditation can be a gateway to a broader practice of "mindfulness," in which you learn to accept and appreciate what comes in life and stop fighting your own thoughts and feelings. "Many people take up mindfulness practices thinking they'd like to relax more, but where it leads is a very different approach to life and its inevitable challenges," says Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.
Tai Chi lowers depressive symptoms. This study demonstrated that long-term Tai Chi training is independently related to a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms. These results suggest that long-term Tai Chi training may have a beneficial effect on the prevention of depressive symptoms.
Tai Chi helps psychiatric patients to improve their health, healing, and recovery. Learning Taijiquan is highly challenging for the novice, especially those with chronic psychiatric illnesses. However, after familiarization with the postural actions and key concepts of this exercise, Taijiquan facilitated body relaxation, heightened perception, and postural balance. Consequently, this exercise stabilized the mood, disease status, and capacity for handling interpersonal relationships of participants and consequently may enhance their long-term life quality and disease recovery status. Results of this study recommend strongly that Taijiquan be included as a therapeutic activity for psychiatric patients to improve their health, healing, and recovery.
Tai Chi improves limits of stability in older adults. Limits of stability, defined as the ability to maintain the center of gravity within the boundary of the base of support, is critically important for older adults in performing their activities of daily living. However, few exercise programs specifically tailored to enhance limits of stability exist. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether a therapeutically designed intervention, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB), could improve limits of stability in older adults. A secondary purpose was to examine concomitant change in limits of stability and physical performance as a result of the intervention.
Transforming traditional Tai Ji Quan techniques into integrative movement therapy-Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance. Because of its roots in the martial arts, transforming traditional Tai Ji Quan movements and training approaches into contemporary therapeutic programs and functional applications is needed to maximize its ultimate utility. This paper addresses this issue by introducing Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, a functional therapy that involves the use of Tai Ji Quan principles and Yang-style-based movements to form an innovative, contemporary therapeutic approach that integrates motor, sensory, and cognitive components to improve postural control, gait, and mobility for older adults and those who have neurodegenerative movement impairments. It provides a synergy of traditional and contemporary Tai Ji Quan practice with the ultimate goal of improving balance and gait, enhancing performance of daily functional tasks, and reducing incidence of falls among older adults.
Swedish study finds Qigong helps patients on sick leave for burnout. Most rehabilitation studies on sick leave due to burnout have employed a rather short time to follow-up. Thus, there is less knowledge of longer-term affects on f post-intervention work ability. One of the few such investigations is a prolonged follow-up study three years after completion of an intervention comprising 1-year-long treatments with either Qigong combined with cognitive behavioral rehabilitation or Qigong only. After the 3-year follow-up, Return To Work rates from the original 1-year follow-up improved from about 60% to about 75% in both groups. However, those who had received the combined treatment had reduced burnout symptoms, were taking less anti-depressive medication, and had increased their use of cognitive tools learned in the program.
Tai Chi & Qigong as Modern Healthcare. A step-by-step instruction into how to expand
Tai Chi & Qigong into Mainstream Healthcare from Bill Douglas, founder of World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day and the author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Tai Chi & Qi Gong.
Chen Style Tai Chi body requirements. During the recent 2014 International Tai Chi Symposium, Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei shared the secrets of authentic Chen style Tai Chi (Taiji) by describing the detailed body requirements.
Acupuncture, Connective Tissue, and Peripheral Sensory Modulation.
Although considerable controversy surrounds the legitimacy of acupuncture as a treatment, a growing literature on the physiological effects of acupuncture needling in animals and humans is providing new insights into basic cellular mechanisms including connective tissue mechanotransduction and purinergic signaling. This review summarizes these findings and proposes a model combining connective tissue plasticity and peripheral sensory modulation in response to the sustained stretching of tissue that results from acupuncture needle manipulation.
When the Caregivers Need Healing - Qigong Provides a Solution. In a randomized controlled trial, mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder or other neurodevelopmental disabilities experienced significant reductions in stress, depression, and anxiety, and improved sleep and life satisfaction, with large effects in depression and anxiety in a six-week mindfulness practice. Effects were maintained in a follow-up six-months after treatment. The NY Times article describes the practice used as "meditation, breathing exercises, and qigong practices". Note that qigong includes the combination of meditation and breathing. MBSR is a wonderful treatment and tool, but people should be aware that its foundational practices are built into qigong. The article in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics is Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial. More information on mindfulness and meditation can be found on the Qigong Institute website: Meditation.
How nurses and their patients can benefit from Tai Chi. A mind-body health revolution is occurring in America, and Kansas health institutions are at the forefront of it. “ABC World News” reported that 40 percent of Americans have now turned to alternative and complementary medicine, primarily meditation. Tai Chi and Qigong are at the vanguard of this mind-body health revolution. This article which appeared in Kansas City Nursing News was written by Bill Douglas, founder of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.
Dr. Lissa Rankin, "Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself" (YouTube video 54:29). Dr. Lissa Rankin was a skeptical physician, trained in evidence-based academic medicine and raised by a closed-minded physician father, but she had an epiphany: The body has an innate ability to heal. Since this revelation, she has been evangelizing this idea through such means as Ted Talks, PBS, and a book. In this video she discusses how everyone has the power to connect with and be the doctor within; the empowering of patients; and how to reduce the stress response and initiate the relaxation response so that the body can heal itself. Towards the end she leads a relaxation response practice and urges listeners to add more relaxation response to their lives. This talk at Google was last year. It is a precursor to her PBS special which is airing now on some stations, e.g. KQED in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although it's wonderful that there's this charasmatic and energetic western MD having an epiphany and introducing new audiences to the idea that the mind can heal, it would be more wonderful if she would get turned on to Qigong. Everything she advocates is basically Qigong. She could name this talk "Mind over Medicine: Scientific Proof that Qigong Can Heal Yourself". Dr. Rankin is yet another person who has rediscovered Qigong and the practices that the Qigong community has been promoting for millennia.
Maori healers' views on wellbeing: The importance of mind, body, spirit, family and land. From an indigenous and holistic perspective, the current dominant biomedical model of health and illness has a limited view of people and their wellbeing. This study explores Ma'ori spiritual healers' views on healing and healing practices, and the implications of these for conceptualisations of holism, health and wellbeing.
Many ancient non-Western cultures embrace a holistic approach to health and illness which includes a focus on inter- connections between the mind, body, and spirit (MBS). Cultures around the world offer perspectives on the relationships between spirituality, healing and illness that differ from perspectives in mainstream Western culture. However, although some literature has shown how different understandings of health might be important for Western medicine, these ideas have had relatively little impact. This paper reviews ideas about the MBS and the nature and importance of holism in indigenous worldviews on health and wellbeing. In addition, it explores M'aori spiritual healers' views on healing and healing practices in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ), and the implications for understandings of MBS, health, illness and wellbeing.
This paper was published in 2010 and the abstract for it is in the Qigong and Energy Medicine Database™. A more recent article based on this same research was just published in Explore - The Journal of Science and Healing: Conceptualizing Mind, Body, Spirit Interconnections Through, and Beyond, Spiritual Healing Practices.
Arousal vs. Relaxation: A Comparison of the Neurophysiological and Cognitive Correlates of Vajrayana and Theravada Meditative Practices. Consistent with Tibetan scriptures that described Shamatha and Vipassana techniques as those that calm and relax the mind, and Vajrayana techniques as those that require 'an awake quality' of the mind, this research shows that Theravada and Vajrayana meditations are based on different neurophysiological mechanisms, which give rise to either a relaxation or arousal response. The authors conclude that it may be more appropriate to categorize meditations in terms of relaxation vs. arousal, whereas classification methods that rely on the focused vs. distributed attention dichotomy may need to be reexamined.
THE MYSTERY OF QIGONG. This succinct article introduces Qigong through the observations of someone taking his first course in Qigong. The description of the introductory course reveals an effective way to introduce people toQqigong.The author became acquainted with Qigong over fifteen years ago at a Unitarian Universalist church service, and has some key advice to novices: mastery of this discipline takes years and it is wise to seek a practitioner who has years of experience. The author recommends learning and practicing with practitioners with years of experience (as opposed to say "masters" or "teachers"). The 2005 The National Expert Meeting on Tai Chi and Qi Gong Consensus Report concludes that there is a need to train basic lay leaders who can provide introductory Qigong programs. More information on the National Expert Meeting can be found on the Qigong Institute website: http://qigonginstitute.org/html/taichihealth.php.
Spinal FMRI of interoceptive attention/awareness in experts and novices. Interoception is the sense of the physiological condition of the body derived from sensitivity to stimuli arising from within the body and external to it. In other words, interoceptive attention/awareness (IAA) depends upon the evaluation of sensory input. Interoception is fundamental to Qigong practice. These research results showed that neural activity in the spine increased in experts when they practiced IAA and that this increase was significantly larger for experts versus novices in each of the sessions. The significant effects of IAA and expertise on spinal neural activity are consistent with and elaborate on previous reports showing similar effects on cerebral neural activity. As the spinal cord directly innervates body parts, IAA has an instantaneous and beneficial effect on the physical body after extended training. This research confirms how some main benefits of Qigong practice are derived, especially due to the fact that the IAA in this research was combined with constant deep breathing.
Do side-effects/injuries from yoga practice result in discontinued use? Results of a national survey.
Less than 1% of individuals who had ever practiced yoga (n = 2230) reported an injury from yoga that led to discontinued use. Of those reporting injury, less than one-third (n = 4) reported seeking medical attention. The most common side-effect was back pain. Approximately, half of those reporting back pain sought medical attention. Injury due to yoga is an infrequent barrier to continued practice and severe injury due to yoga is rare.
NQA 2014 Conference - Online Registration Ends Midnight, Tuesday July 22! OVER 20 Workshops and Presentations taught by leaders in the world of Qigong and Taiji... This year's Conference Keynote Presenters: Li Junfeng (Friday Evening) and new for the NQA, Saturday evening entertainment with cosmic comic, Swami Beyondananda Other presenters include: Michael Winn - Shoshanna Katzman - Mark Johnson - Jianye Jiang - Vicki Dello Joio - Mark R. Reinhart - Rona Cordish Saten - Yuanming Zhang - Jampa Mackenzie Stewart - Cari Shurman - Paul Martin and many, many more!
Acupuncture improves menopause symptoms. This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials confirms that acupuncture improves hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life (in the vasomotor domain) in women experiencing natural menopause.
Yoga reduces PTSD symptoms. Yoga significantly reduced PTSD symptomatology, with effect sizes comparable to well-researched psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic approaches. Yoga may improve the functioning of traumatized individuals by helping them to tolerate physical and sensory experiences associated with fear and helplessness and to increase emotional awareness and affect tolerance.
Exploring Shamanic Journeying: Repetitive Drumming with Shamanic Instructions Induces Specific Subjective Experiences but No Larger Cortisol Decrease than Instrumental Meditation Music. A significant decrease in the concentration in salivary cortisol was observed across all musical styles and instructions, indicating that exposure to 15 minutes of either repetitive drumming or instrumental meditation music, while lying down, was sufficient to induce a decrease in cortisol levels. However, no differences were observed across conditions. Significant differences in reported emotional states and subjective experiences were observed between the groups. Notably, participants exposed to repetitive drumming combined with shamanic instructions reported experiencing heaviness, decreased heart rate, and dreamlike experiences significantly more often than participants exposed to repetitive drumming combined with relaxation instructions. The findings suggest that the subjective effects specifically attributed to repetitive drumming and shamanic journeying may not be reflected in differential endocrine responses.
25 Minutes of Meditating Eases Stress. The researchers speculate that there's the possibility that "mindfulness can become more automatic and easy to use with long-term mindfulness meditation training". Clearly they need to get turned on to Qigong.
NQA Qi Talks - Cari Shurman Thursday, July 10, 2014. 8:30-9:30 EST. Shurman has developed a simplified form of Qigong, the Tai Chi Moves program, for schools. Her dream is to give children everywhere the opportunity to experience inner peace, focus, and relaxation. Tai Chi enables students to improve their physical health, balance, flexibility and muscle tone as well as improve their self-control, concentration, compassion and self-esteem. Note that the link to the Registration form is for the talk this week. Shurman's talk is next week. The link should be changed sometime after Thursday to point to the Shurman talk.
You can be a SilverSneakers Tai Chi instructor too. Based on the principle that the benefits of prevention through exercise over treatment, Healthways SeniorSneakers is a leading provider of specialized comprehensive health solutions to help millions of seniors maintain or improve their health and as a result, reduce overall health care costs.
National Qigong Association Qi Talks: Swami Beyondananda - Monday 6/30 - 8:30 -9:30 PM EDT. Qi Talks host Vicki Dello Joio and NQA President Mark R Reinhart will be speaking with Cosmic Comedian, Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda) on Monday, June 30 at 8:30 PM EDT. Billed as "one of the biggest names in comedy" ("Beyondananda" alone has 12 letters), Swami keeps the audience in hysterics with his mixture of word play, seriously funny political and spiritual commentary, and playful silliness. Talks are free, but you must register.
One thing at a time. Dr. Yang Yang explains that by following Laozi’s advice, to improve one's taiji form it is more efficient to focus on one aspect of the movement rather than to confuse ourselves by trying to master the complexity all at once. Taiji is profound, but if practiced with the principle of "one thing at a time" it is simple. However, it can be very confusing if many principles of movement are attempted to be learned at the same time.
Researchers find that Tai chi helps reinvigorate stem cells. The researchers concluded that the tai chi practitioners saw their individual stem cell counts increase by increments of three to five times. Regular tai chi exercises helped the subjects with heart function, reinvigorated neural cells in the brain, balanced excitement and inhibition controls, and helped with mental trauma and nerve exhaustion.
Meditation helps patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Awareness and acceptance of painful symptoms and emotions are key factors in the process of change in patients with persistent medically unexplained symptoms. Change of unhelpful behavioral patterns and increased self-care and self-compassion can also result from this process.
Stanford engineer invents safe way to transfer energy to medical chips in the body. A wireless system developed by Assistant Professor Ada Poon uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. The technology paves the way for new "electroceutical" devices to treat illness or alleviate pain. Electroceuticals will make it possible to replace some pharmaceuticals. After focusing on Qigong for more than a decade, Qigong Institute founder Ken Sancier expanded the mission of the Qigong Institute to promote the scientific understanding of the basis of other aspects of energy medicine besides Qigong. As a result, there are postings on topics like acupuncture, yoga, biophotonics, laser therapy, ..., and electroceuticals that don't involve Qigong per se. Although electroceuticals as envisioned transfer energy to the body through devices that in turn receive energy via wi-fi (as opposed to the electromagnetic pulse acting directly on cells, tissues, organs, bones, etc., like laser therapy, for example), this research helps in the mainstreaming of energy medicine. For more information on energy medicine see The Scientific Basis of Qigong and Energy Medicine.
The BRAIN Initiative: A Grand Challenge for Science and Technology.The BRAIN Initiative is one of the White House’s “21st Century Grand Challenges,” which are “ambitious but achievable goals that harness science, technology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and that have the potential to capture the public's imagination.” The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) ,and the National Institutes of Health(NIH) which includes the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) are the funders for this initiative. NIH has released the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, the inaugural set of NIH BRAIN Initiative projects which contains six funding opportunity announcements. This expected initial investment of $40 million will be focused on advancing technological capabilities for understanding how circuits of interacting neurons function. Awards are expected to be announced in September 2014. The advancement of medical science, the understanding of healing and wellness, and the ongoing treatment of chronic diseases and conditions would have been better served if the government had launched 'The Human Energy Project' to research the more fundamental relationship between bioenergy and physiology. The current project as envisioned is simply too narrowly focused on neural pathways (connectomics). Nonetheless, the BRAIN initiative may actually result in some research into bioenergy that is so fundamental to human function and mind-body/energy medicine. For more background seeThe Bioenergetic Basis of Qigong and Energy Medicine.
Russell Simmons makes meditation into mainstream magic. If you think of meditation as something reserved for a small fringe element, Russell Simmons has a message for you: Meditation is for everyone. He talked with Queen Latifah on her Monday talk show about how you can change your own life through the power of meditation.
National Qigong Association Qi Talks - Rona Satten - June 12, 2014 - 8:30 - 9:30 PM EST. This ongoing Qi Talks series is free, but you must register. Rona is a Professional Member of the National Qigong Association and a Certified Level III Instructor. She is certified by Master Li JunFeng to teach Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong, and is a certified Healing Tao Instructor. Rona is a lifelong shamanic qigong student of Master Zhongxian Wu. She is a Medical Qigong Therapist through the International Institute of Medical Qigong, has a healing practice combining qi healing with other energy modalities, and teaches qigong and meditation throughout the greater Philadelphia area.
Endogenous bioelectrical networks store non-genetic patterning information during development and regeneration. This research explores the relationships between bioelectrical networks and cell behaviors, morphogenesis, regeneration, and cancer. The body's bioelectric signaling is an autonomous layer of control not reducible to a biochemical or genetic account of cell state nor is the real-time dynamics of bioelectric communication among cells fully captured by transcriptomic or proteomic analyses. This is a strong scientific validation of TCM Eight Extraordinary Vessels theory which "provides a blueprint of understanding how energy is formed and flows in the body (Fabric of the Soul: 8 Extraordinary Vessels)
". This research provides direct verification of our intrinsic energetic nature (More: The Bioenergetic Basis of Qigong) as well as new insight into the relationship between physiology and bioelectricity, for which there is no current theory.
The vestibular system: a spatial reference for bodily self-consciousness. Proprioception and interoception fans should enjoy this research finding. In Qigong and Tai Chi practice we're always adjusting our posture. One such adjustment is having the head "dangling from a string" to have it centered, upright, etc. to improve structure and energy flow. This research provides a very interesting view of why this adjustment is so important and has such an impact upon our energy and practice.
Yoga Regulates Stress Hormones and Improves Quality of Life for Women with Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy. Researchers found that while simple stretching exercises counteracted fatigue, patients who participated in yoga exercises that incorporated controlled breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques into their treatment plan experienced improved ability to engage in their daily activities, better general health and better regulation of cortisol (stress hormone). In other words, when they started doing Qigong in addition to yoga they got the additional benefits.
Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. Epigenetics: The science of Human Empowerment. -- How does Qigong really work? A large part of why Qigong is such a profound health practice is explained by epigenetics. Epigenetics defines how the environment (e.g. thoughts, emotions, life experience, and the practice of Qigong) affect gene and protein activity. The person most responsible for bringing epigenetics to public view is Dr. Bruce Lipton. His book Biology of Belief has become a classic. One of his newest videos summarizes how epigenetics works. After you see this video (maybe a couple of times :-), you will be able to explain to someone how Qigong works at the cellular level. Lipton clearly explains why the accepted genome and gene functional paradigm is simply incorrect and out of date. Epigenetics is the most important revolutionary discovery in biology tantamount to the discovery of quantum physics as opposed to classic physics. More on Qigong and Epigenetics can be found on the Qigong Institute website: Psychoneuroimmunology, Epigenetics, and Qigong.
The Qigong Institute will be at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration.
The event is Saturday May 17, 2014 11AM - 6PM in San Francisco. The Qigong Institute booth will be on McAllister Street between Larkin and Polk. The event will feature some amazing Tai Chi and Kung Fu by various masters, experts, and groups.
International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association publishes Free online Tai Chi Journal - Tai Chi Chuan Masters and Methods (PDF 17.02MB).
This is the first time that the Association has published a digital edition. One of the Association's main contributions to Tai Chi is the sponsorship of the International Tai Chi Chuan Symposiums. The Second International Symposium is being held July 6 - 11 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. The world's foremost authorities on the five traditional Chinese family schools of Tai Chi will attend. The Journal provides information on the Association, a preview of the upcoming Symposium, as well as articles by the experts on the art and practice of Tai Chi.
The impact of Tai Chi on cognitive performance in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Harvard Medical School researchers find that Tai Chi shows potential to enhance cognitive function in older adults, particularly executive functioning in individuals without significant impairment. As a multimodal mind-body exercise that incorporates physical, cognitive, social, and meditative components in the same activity, Tai Chi may impact cognitive function via a diverse and potentially synergistic set of mechanistic pathways.
FREE BOOKS to Celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2014
Khadi Madama, Founder of
Fa Shen Training Arts, is giving away copies of his book " Taoist Alchemy and Chi Gong." You can download it in PDF at his site:
http://www.yourstrulyyogatv.com/BOOKS-BY-KHADI.html [Scroll to bottom of homepage.]
Also, Just for the asking, everyone can receive a digital copy of Sifu Richard Kosch's
Tai Chi Principles for Massage Therapy, as his gift for participating in the event. His book was very well received last year. All they have to do is simply email Khadi at:
YoursTrulyYogaTV@aol.com and put Tai Chi Massage in the subject and the digital copy is theirs.
Experiencing Wellness Within Illness: Exploring a Mindfulness-Based Approach to Chronic Back Pain. This article explorse how mindfulness-based techniques affect perceptions and management of back pain and discuss these findings in relation to embodiment theory and liminality. Sixteen volunteers attending Breathworks for persistent back pain took part in this study. The theme of "embodied awareness" formed the core category, as all participants reported a change in their experience of pain. Such embodied changes are described in relation to five subthemes: unpacking the pain experience, changing relationship to pain, letting go of the label, self-compassion and acceptance, and wellness within illness. Learning to respond rather than react, and living moment by moment enabled participants to replace a cycle of suffering with one of acceptance. Rather than fearing pain, participants found ways to move through it and live with it. Although some expressed finding a sense of wellness despite ongoing pain, all participants reported greater acceptance and a better quality of life.
Qigong presents a potentially effective and safe method to reduce fatigue in haemodialysis patients. Fatigue is a debilitating symptom in haemodialysis patients. A 6-month non-randomized control trial with six measurement periods was conducted. The qigong group was taught to practice qigong three times per week for six months. The control group received usual routine care. Fatigue in the qigong group showed a continuous decrease, which was maintained until the end of data collection at 24 weeks.
A Close-up Look at Acupuncture for Pain. A growing number of Americans would prefer to stop popping pills and avoid going under the knife to treat a bum knee, achy lower back or sore hip. Instead, they’re turning to the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture to help ease chronic joint pain.
Core muscle function during specific yoga poses. This research assesses eleven yoga poses in specific training and rehabilitation programs via examination of the muscle activation patterns in selected trunk and hip muscles.
Variations in core muscle firing patterns depend on the trunk and pelvic positions during these poses. Training programs can be developed by choosing particular poses to target specific core muscles for addressing low back pain and declines in performance. The High plank, Low plank and Downward facing dog poses are effective for strengthening external oblique abdominis, Chair and Warrior 1 poses for targeting gluteus maximum, and Chair and Halfway lift poses for strengthening longissimus thoracis. And these three muscles could be strengthened by the Upward facing dog pose.
Meditative analgesia: the current state of the field.
This review focuses explicitly on experimental pain studies of meditation and attempts to draw preliminary conclusions based on the work completed in this new field over the past 6 years. Dividing meditative practices into the broad categories of focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) techniques allowed several patterns to emerge. The majority of evidence for FA practices suggests they are not particularly effective in reducing pain. OM, on the other hand, seems to influence both sensory and affective pain ratings depending on the tradition or on whether the practitioners were meditating. The neural pattern underlying pain modulation during OM suggests meditators actively focus on the noxious stimulation while inhibiting other mental processes, consistent with descriptions of mindfulness.
Tai Chi helps older patients with anxiety disorder. After the elder patients suffered from the anxiety disorder are treated with Tai Chi exercise in addition to the drug therapy, their effect is more significant than those who only are treated by the drug. Meanwhile, if the patients are only treated by the drug, their disease is easy to reoccur after curing. However, if they insist on Tai Chi exercise, the recurrence rate is low and the effect is significant.
It's a Gut Feeling - how the gut microbiota affects the state of mind.
The gut microbiota is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem and forms a symbiotic relationship with the host. This research describes the components of the gut microbiota and mechanisms by which it can influence neural development, complex behaviours and nociception. Furthermore, the authors propose the novel concept of a "state of gut" rather than a state of mind.
Music helpls cancer patients. Music interventions significantly ameliorate anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue in cancer patients, especially adults. Music interventions were more effective in adults than in children or adolescents and more effective when patients, rather than researchers, chose the music.
The perceived effects of qigong and exercise therapy on aging as reflected in standardized outcome reporting surveys. This study found that the effects that exercise therapy and qigong have on an elderly population cannot be captured by health-related quality-of-life measurements, such as the standardized Short Form (36) Health Survey. Broader concepts of quality of life that include the concepts of self-efficacy and positive affect may be more appropriate. The authorsreport themes that emerged in the exercise-therapy group related to difficulties associated with aging and staying physically active while emergent themesin the qigong group related to qigong as a method that improved bodily experiences and influenced daily activities.The results presented in this study suggest that for this population group, the approach of patient-centered outcomes is especially pertinent in order to design meaningful intervention studies in the elderly. This means that research questions, interventions, and outcome measurements need to take into account the special situation of elderly people.
Acupuncture for chronic pain.
Acupuncture is associated with improved pain outcomes compared with sham-acupuncture and no-acupuncture control, with response rates of approximately 30% for no acupuncture, 42.5% for sham acupuncture, and 50% for acupuncture. What may be most interesting about this article is that it was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
NQA Qi Talks with Bill Douglas - March 13, 2014. World Tai Chi & Qigong Day founder, Bill Douglas, will paint a vision of where our planet is headed and how Tai Chi and Qigong will play a crucial role in our getting there, by examining the mounting medical research, neurological and genetic research, and the sociological data that indicates mind-body techniques such as Tai Chi and Qigong may be part of a global transformation that will dwarf any of the great leaps forward humanity has ever seen in history. Register for Qi Talks.
3rd International Symposium on Qigong in Italy - October 18-20, 2014. The "NeiDao - The Inner Way" Association is preparing and organizing the Symposium, as the third Conference dedicated to Qigong. The first and second events were held in Rome in October 2010 and October 2011. Renowned and famous presenters from all over the world will be meet and share their experience at the Symposium, coming from China, Japan, USA, Canada, the Netherlands, England, Germany and Switzerland, as well as presenters from all over Italy.
Evidence Map of Acupuncture. The Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development Service Evidence-based Synthesis Program was established to provide timely and accurate syntheses of targeted healthcare topics of particular importance to VA managers and policymakers, as they work to improve the health and healthcare of Veterans. The ESP disseminates these reports throughout VA. This report provides in-depth information on acupuncture derived from systematic reviews.
Happiness Tools: Tai Chi and Qigong. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was an exercise out there that would bring vibrancy and good health to the body, increase stability and improve the quality of life? Well, this actually is the case in regards to the practice of Tai Chi and Qigong.
Historical consciousness and traditional Buddhist narratives. Fascinating exploration of the origins of Mahayana Buddhism in the context of how mythic accounts can be interpreted symbolically and that symbols should not be considered as less important or real than facts. Only those who buy completely into the model of scientific materialism provided by the European enlightenment would not understand that in religions, symbols are as meaningful as facts.
16th Annual International Energy Psychology Conference. This conference is the pre-eminent training opportunity in the field of Energy Psychology and Mind-Body approaches to healing. This year’s theme: A t ACEP we have known for some time that we can go deeper and broader than just talk. The rest of the therapy world is now catching up. The cutting edge of treatment now is learning about bottom-up approaches and other body based modalities. Qigong will be well represented this year by Dr. Roger Jahnke and Dr. Ted Cibik and several others.
THE MiNDFULNESS MOVIE Trailer (YouTube 2:56). THE MiNDFULNESS MOVIE. The documentary collects an unprecedented group of 35 world-renowned experts in the fields of psychiatry, relationships, sports, psychology, quantum physics and neuroscience from around the globe, as well as major bestselling authors. The goal of the documentary is simple—to redefine "mindfulness" for the average person as an accessible and powerful training and educational tool for living a full life with less strife. More: themindfulnessmovie.com.
More Mindfulness, Less Meditation. Don't expect more than meditation can deliver. In the modern world, meditation is far more effective as a technique of self-management than as a means of personal transformation, much less enlightenment.
There is a difference between mindfulness meditation and simple mindfulness. The latter isn’t a practice separate from everyday life. Mindfulness just means becoming more conscious of what you’re feeling, more intentional about your behaviors and more attentive to your impact on others. The real challenge isn’t what we’re able to do with our eyes closed. It’s to be more self-aware in the crucible of our everyday lives, and to behave better as a result. That’s mindfulness in action.
The International Tai Chi Chuan Symposium - Louisville, Kentucky -- July 6-11, 2014. In July of 2014, the world’s foremost authorities on the five traditional Chinese Family Schools of Tai Chi Chuan, as well as other top Tai Chi Chuan practitioners and scholars will come to Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky for an international level Tai Chi Chuan Symposium. The theme of this Symposium will focus on bringing together the wisdom of Chinese culture with the precision of modern science through evidence-based literary review sessions, Master’s workshops and other special events designed to foster an exchange of knowledge and cultures. This Symposium will be the second time this event will be held in the United States. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to study with five of China’s top Masters along with respected scholars carefully selected for their unique and highly professional level of expertise in the scientific study and examination of Tai Chi Chuan.
Yoga Accessible for the Blind with New Microsoft Kinect-Based Program. A team of University of Washington computer scientists has created a software program that watches a user's movements and gives spoken feedback on what to change to accurately complete a yoga pose. Researchers hope this will allow people who are blind or low-vision to participate more fully in yoga.
UCLA study finds meditation and imagery therapy helps dementia caregivers. Family dementia caregivers are at high risk of depression and burnout. Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers is a feasible intervention for dementia caregivers. Results suggest that this therapeutic technique can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and increase levels of mindfulness. Early response to meditation practice predicted those with the greatest short-term benefits.
Effect of Meditation on Cognitive Functions in Context of Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases.
Reviewed studies suggested a positive effect of meditation techniques, particularly in the area of attention, as well as memory, verbal fluency, and cognitive flexibility. These findings are discussed in the context of MRI studies suggesting structural correlates of the effects. Meditation can be a potentially suitable non-pharmacological intervention aimed at the prevention of cognitive decline in the elderly.
Lama Sakyong Mipham on Meditation (YouTube video: 14:24). An introduction into meditation with some deep insights from his book Turning the Mind Into an Ally. Strengthening, calming, and stabilizing the mind is the essential first step in accomplishing nearly any goal. Growing up American with a Tibetan twist, Sakyong Mipham talks to Westerners as no one can: in idiomatic English with stories and wisdom from American culture and the great Buddhist teachers.
Is it possible to bridge the Biopsychosocial and Biomedical models? The author writes: To some of us it is obvious that biological, psychological and social factors are in reality integrated and that biopsychosocial medicine seeks to elucidate this reality. The biomedical, organ-based perspective focuses on disease mechanisms and assumes that the psychological and social are not essential to understanding and treating patients, although humanism in patient care is of course endorsed. Bridging these perspectives is important because the biomedical is the predominant model adopted by those who decide how to allocate health care dollars in the United States and many other countries. This in turn determines what clinical care is provided at the bedside.
Proteomics & Personalized Medicine (YouTube video 59:56). Scientific medicine is beginning to revert back to more ancient, ayurvedic lessons about healthcare. The approach is to treat the body as a system, where balance is the foundation for good health and disease and sickness are the externalities of imbalance. With advancements in proteomics and computing we can begin creating models of what a healthy bodily state looks like. In the same way we might use environmental models to analyze the global climate, we can isolate specific variables that can inform the larger picture. As the data piles up, preventative medicine will become a quantitative endeavour. Hillis believes the doctors visit of the future will be a simple blood test that measures proteins, lipids and some other key signals, which can then be plugged into a systematic database to help us treat diseases long before any symptoms arise. It is a huge upgrade in efficiency, one that could save millions of lives and alleviate the indebted healthcare system in the process. Now if he'd just integrate this approach with bioenergy…. Related info: Qigong and Gene Expression.
Effect of meditation on neurophysiological changes in stress mediated depression.This paper reviews many of the physiological abnormalities found in cytokine & stress mediated depression and the reversal of these anomalies by different meditation techniques.This is another research result that points to the relationship between stress and the immune system (cytokines are cell signalling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma.).
The Cultural Relevance of Mindfulness Meditation as a Health Intervention for African Americans. African Americans experience a disproportionate rate of stress-related health conditions compared to European Americans. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be effective for managing stress and various stress-related health conditions. This study explored the cultural relevance of mindfulness meditation training for African Americans adults. By implementing minor adaptations that enhance cultural relevance, mindfulness meditation can be a beneficial therapeutic intervention for this population.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Combines Mind/Body Practice and Nutrition for Cancer Therapy. At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the centuries-old practice of yoga is combined with nutrition education to help young cancer patients manage their disease today and lay the foundation for a healthy future. “We’re focusing on all of the benefits of yoga, which include balance, coordination, a decrease in pain and improving quality of life,” said Jessica Sparrow of St. Jude Rehabilitation Services and an occupational therapist trained in providing yoga for children.
UCSD Brings Mindfulness to the Workplace. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness has launched a WorkLife Integration Program for companies that would like to help their employees reduce stress, increase focus and improve productivity. The convenient in-house training program is designed for companies of all sizes and for employees of all organizational levels. Program options include lunch-and-learn presentations, introductory mindfulness training workshops, the flagship 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction experience and programs customized to specific organizational goals. The Center for Mindfulness is a division within the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry. Since 2000, the Center has taught the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness. The Center is a multi-faceted program of clinical care, professional training, education, research and outreach intended to further the practice and integration of mindfulness into all aspects of society.
Breathing In vs. Spacing Out (NY Times). Are mindfulness and creativity mutually exclusive? Implicit learning underlies all sorts of acquired skills and habits, but it occurs without conscious awareness. The trick is knowing when mindfulness is called for and when it's not. We know that being mindful is really good for a lot of explicitly cognitive functions. But it might not be so useful when you want to form new habits.
2014 SUMMIT OF QIGONG MASTERS - Free online event January 21 - 25, 2014. Lama Tantrapa has organized an online Summit of Qigong Masters bringing together and educating thousands of people about using Energy Arts to help them dramatically improve the quality of their lives. The summit that is coming up next week – January 20 to 25 – will be unique, because it will consist of video interviews with some of top Qigong experts in North America, unlike most summits that have only audio content. The event is free of charge. You will be able to watch the video interviews of two presenters a day, as well as check out their books and multimedia materials, and ask the presenters questions. The presenters featured in this event will be sharing their authentic perspectives on the theme of Abundance through Being in the Flow. The roster of presenters includes:
- Dr. Effie Chow – the founder of the World Qigong Federation
- Bill Douglas – co-founder of the World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
- Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson – the founder of the International Institutes of Medical Qigong
- Mark Johnson – one of the founders of the National Qigong Association
- Dr. Pedram Shojai – producer of the documentary film Vitality
- Dr. George Love – the lineage holder of the Blue Dragon Qigong
- Dr. Philip Yang – the founder and president of the Nine Star University of Health Sciences
- Cathy “TianJia” Mu – the founder of the PureBeautiful Healing Foundation
- Dr. Stanley Ngui – the grandmaster of the Ngui style of Qigong and Kung fu
- Teja Bell – Zen master and founder of Qigong Dharma organization
- Dr. Nadia Linda Hole – a Medical Doctor specializing in Qigong
- Lama Tantrapa – the founder of Academy of Qi Dao and creator of Qigong Coaching, who produces The Secrets of Qigong Masters talk show
The American Tai Chi and Qigong Association (ATCQA) is launching 3 contests and the prizes include ATCQA membership and popular gift certificates. In addition, to show ATCQA's support for the 2014 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQD), the prizes will also include the WTCQD official T-shirts (valued at $23.50 each). The deadline for entering any of the 3 contests is Feb 15, 2014. Contest information.
Music helps people with dementia. The effects of music go beyond the reduction of behavioural and psychological symptoms. Individual preference of music is preserved throughout the process of dementia. Sustaining musical and interpersonal connectedness would help value who the person is and maintain the quality of their life.
This Ancient Martial Art Can Fight Disease, Calm The Mind And Slow Aging. Americans have no difficulty adopting ancient practices into their health regimens. Take yoga, the ancient mind-body practice and contemporary fitness craze (and $27 billion industry), which continues its prominence in the mainstream -- even after decades of increasing popularity. Many forms of meditation, likewise, have been touted for stress-relieving, health-promoting benefits by prominent leaders in business, media and the arts. And then there's tai chi.
Navy doctor branches out with deployment medicine. Cabrera has been practicing acupuncture alongside traditional medicine for nearly two years now. He’s sold on its effectiveness. The trick is to let the patients try it out and experience the results for themselves. Regardless of the underlying explanations, he’s seen it work firsthand.
Society’s focus on disease is bad for our health. One of the difficulties in writing about wellness and prevention is that our health-care system — in fact, our whole society — is focused on disease. Television shows like House M.D. and ER show dramatic, extreme examples of patients with life-threatening problems. Wellness care just isn’t that dramatic. I doubt there will ever be a TV drama about the chiropractic patient who didn’t need back surgery because of his care, and also didn’t get an ulcer because he was able to stop taking his ibuprofen. Or about the acupuncturist who saved a patient from a hysterectomy because the treatment balanced her hormones naturally. True wellness and prevention restore health and function without serious side effects, or causing other health problems. When a person’s overall health is restored, seemingly unrelated conditions may resolve.
Research partnership brings mindfulness/yoga practices to schools in Middle East. Palestinian educators, health professionals, social workers and refugee service providers recently received training in Transformative Life Skills (TLS) -- a social-emotional learning program that aims to reduce students’ stress and promote social-emotional health and physical wellness through mindfulness and yoga training -- from a team of trainers and researchers from Penn State, the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and the Oakland-based nonprofit Niroga Institute.
Recent Findings from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Provide New Insights into Neurobiology. "Acupoint specificity was regarded as one of the core scientific issues with respect to acupuncture practice at the Society for Acupuncture Research international symposium held in 2007. In this chapter, we reviewed the recent development in basic science and clinical studies on the role of acupoint specificity. The evidence cumulated from brain imaging and many biological studies showed that the point specificity in acupuncture does exist, although acupoint specificity-related issues such as sham acupoint and placebo phenomenon need to be seriously considered." According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "How to optimize the efficacy of acupoint and minimize the impact of sham acupuncture is an urgent issue faced by acupuncture community, and more studies are warranted on the subjects."
Bio-effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) in context of cancer therapy. The therapeutic advantages of EMF could be effectively harnessed for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. This review examines recent findings relating to the mechanisms of action underlying the bio-effects induced by non-ionizing EMF. It's encouraging to see that the study of the use of electromagnetic fields in healing, especially for cancer, is coming out of the closet. Too many tens of billions of dollars have been misappropriated on the pursuit of ineffective genetic and pharmaceutical treatments for chronic conditions instead of more promising energy-based treatments. More information on electromagnetic fields for cancer can be found on the Cancer page on the QI website.