What is Medical Qi Gong?
Widely understood in China but little known in the West, medical qi
gong is a modality of Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM). Qi gong is a way of affecting and
directing qi, or the life force, for various kinds of benefit. Rather than
using needles, herbs, or massage, medical qi gong relies on the
ability to direct qi with the mind, the hands, or a ritual object, but
without necessarily touching the body. Like its better known counterparts
acupuncture and herbal medicine, medical qi gong requires thorough knowledge of TCM
scientific theory in order to be used skillfully. A medical qi gong practitioner should be at least as
well-trained as an acupuncturist or herbalist. To develop skill with
medical qi gong, a practitioner needs to be highly disciplined, with a
very focused mind similar to that of a well-seasoned meditator. To
practice medicine as subtle as medical qi gong, a practitioner must have
unusual abilities of subtle perception. Ideally, a medical qi gong
practitioner should also be a skilled medical intuitive
in order to make the most accurate diagnosis as well as treatment. Any
practitioner's treatment is only as good as his or her diagnosis.
Types of Qi Gong
Confusion has resulted from the fact that there are two types of qi
gong--the "internal" kind which involves exercises a person does to
balance their own qi, such as Tai Ch'i; and the "external" kind where a
practitioner learns to work directly with the qi of other people. To
confuse matters more, there is overlap and fluidity between the internal
and external types of qi gong in some forms. Tao Fawu medical qi gong
includes both external forms where a practitioner treats a client, and
internal forms where the client learns to manipulate his or her own qi for
specific medical purposes using exercises designed especially for him or
her. Tao Fawu medical qigong is much more precise than "energy work," which often sets the standard rather low.
About Tao Fawu Qigong
Tao Fawu qigong was created to address modern problems. The plague tradition within traditional Chinese medicine has kept TCM relevant for thousands of years, by requiring philosophers within TCM to extrapolate the theory to treat new problems, or new plagues. Heidi M. Hawkins, MAc, LAc, has studied TCM since 1991 from the point of view of applied philosophy, and co-created Tao Fawu style qigong. Because Heidi is the only living master of Tao Fawu, her primary focus is on the teaching of others.
Who Can Perform Medical Qigong?
In the USA, medical qigong is not licensed or regulated. This means
theoretically that anybody can do it (or say they do it). However, to
practice medical qigong professionally and do it well requires years of
study and hard work. Choose your practitioner carefully--find someone
experienced and knowledgable. A license to do acupuncture assures you
that the practitioner has had several years of theory, but does not
guarantee that they can perform medical qigong at all skillfully. Studying
acupuncture alone does not lead to an understanding or ability to practice
medical qigong. Medical qigong requires additional study.
As a layperson, you can learn to do medical qigong on yourself, learning
exercises or visualizations that you can practice safely at home to
enhance your health. You can also learn to perform medical qigong on
others, but it is recommended that you have a medical license of some kind
before doing so, or years of intensive study and training from a skilled master.
How Does Medical Qigong Work?
Medical qigong cultivates and redistributes the vitality or "qi" of
an individual. This is the same way that acupuncture and other TCM
modalities work. The principles of treatment are the same, only the technique
varies. Medical qigong is well suited for highly sensitive people,
children, and people in frail health, but can be beneficial for absolutely
anyone. Medical qigong involves working directly and subtly with a
person's qi in preferably an ethical manner, and it is more gentle
than acupuncture, acupressure, or herbology. Medical qigong can be used
to treat many subtle and spiritual conditions that cannot be treated with
acupuncture, acupressure, or herbology. Tao Fawu qigong is especially good at treating brain and endocrine conditions, but is certainly not limited to such.
Who Can Benefit From Medical Qigong?
Medical qigong has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of difficult, stubborn, and life-threatening conditions that do not respond well to other types of medicine. Children, the elderly, people in frail health, and highly sensitive people tend to respond better to medical qigong than other modalities.
How Can I Learn to do Tao Fawu Medical Qigong?
Tao Fawu style medical qigong--a modern form of traditional medicine--is taught exclusively by Heidi M. Hawkins, the co-creator of this form. Classes are offered at Kulshan College of Intuitive Medicine. Tao Fawu includes an external qigong form as well as teaching the client to do his/her own internal qigong tailored to the client's needs. To learn to become a practitioner involves dedicated study and hard work. If you only want to practice medical qigong on yourself, you can attend a basic class.