There are two major similarities between qigong and Native American healing.
First, both qigong and Native American medicine are ancient and indigenous healing systems.
Second, people who pay close attention to their bodies and to nature discover similar things.
Thus, both cultures recognize the existence of subtle, invisible life currents, connected with the breath.
They independently create similar methods of balancing these life currents with acupuncture and massage.
The Native American and Chinese healing systems are complementary.
Native American healing is truly holistic.
It examines not only the energetic components of disease-- the specialty of qigong and acupuncture-- but also the emotional, mental, spiritual, and environmental. It also places a strong emphasis on the intuition, visions, and dreams of the healer.
WESTERN AND NATIVE AMERICAN MEDICAL ETHICS
adapted from Kenneth Cohen's Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing (New York: Ballantine Books, 2003)
NATIVE AMERICAN MEDICINE
|"Sick-care," focus on pathology.||Health-care, focus on healing person and community.|
|Adversarial Medicine, Divide and Conquer Attitude: "How can I destroy the disease and cure or manage each individual sign and symptom?||Teleological Medicine, Emphasis on Wholism: "What can the disease teach the patient? Is there a message or story in the disease? Is there a greater meaning, beyond the personal?"|
|Physician is an authority who may attempt to coerce patient into compliance.||Healer is a health counselor and advisor.|
|Fosters dependence on medication, technology, and other aspects of the medical system.||Empowers patients with confidence, awareness, and tools to help them take charge of their own health.|
|Subject to review, regulation, and sanctions by licensing boards and the State.||Based on patient's right of access to healing; healers accountable to Native American communities.|
|High medical costs.||Healer achieves status throughgenerosity, no fixed fee for services.|
|Dangerous and invasive medicine, adverse effects common.||Safe, promotes harmony and balance, adverse effects rare.|
|Malpractice defined and litigated in a system of hierarchical justice that punishes offenders.||Healers accountable to Native communities and their consensual justice systems, designed to restore harmony rather than to punish.|
|Physician's lifestyle not considered a significant factor in his or her efficacy. Legitimacy based on credentials (academic degrees and license).||Healer is expected to model healthy behavior; efficacy depends on healer's insight, spiritual power, and grace of the Creator. Legitimacy based on behavior and reputation.|
The Way of Qigong
Qigong (ch’i kung, chi gong), China’s ancient system of energy medicine, consists of exercises and meditations that stimulate the flow of qi, life energy. Qigong Master Kenneth Cohen personally teaches both the theory and practice of qigong and related arts such as Tai Chi (Taiji Quan) and Chinese tea culture and ceremony.
Qigong has many applications. As a healing art, sometimes called “medical qigong,” it includes exercises for personal wellbeing as well as “External Qi Healing” to transmit healing energy to clients or patients. Qigong is a powerful and enjoyable way to improve health, increase vitality, and develop a “contagious” healing presence.
As sports training, qigong improves strength, stamina, coordination, and other skills necessary for peak performance. As a spiritual art, rooted in Taoism, it deepens awareness of self and nature and creates a wonderful feeling of harmony, tranquility, and peace.