Monday, June 22, 2009

Sensing the Qualities of Qi

There is evidence that qigong healers can sense the qualities of the energy field of cell cultures. In her book "Extraordinary Knowing", Elizabeth Mayer quotes from the article "The Qi Question: Is It More Than a Beautiful Form of Hypnosis?" by Garret G. Yount, Ph.D., (Spirituality and Health, summer 2001, 36-38). The quote describes an incident that took place during an experiment designed to measure the effects of qigong healing on cells in culture. Qigong healers were able to correctly sense that the cells in a culture were unhealthy despite being told otherwise.

We deal with all this so routinely in the lab, I didn't think to mention it to the qigong master in our first experiment. We simply handed him a dish with cells growing in it, and said, "There are normal cells in the dish. Please give them a healing treatment. We hope to see them grow well, even more than untreated control cells." That was the procedure. Seems straightforward, right? This qigong master had agreed to the task and I figured we'd let him take his time and do his thing with the dish. But after treating the cells he came out of the treatment room shaking his head. "Those cells are not normal," he said. "They are very abnormal, so I didn't try to make them grow. I tried to eliminate them."

I was feeling skeptical about the whole experiment and my first reaction was one of sheer irritation. I tried to be polite but I told the man he was frankly wrong. There was no question. These were normal brain cells. He came right back, just as confident as I'd been. He defied me outright. "No," he said, "they are not normal. I sensed an abnormal qi."

Well, at that point, it hit me. I realized there were in fact only one hundred normal healthy brain cells in that dish, and they were growing on top of ten thousand tumor cells in the process of committing cell suicide. So, if this healer could in fact perceive anything about the cell culture as a whole, we might perfectly well expect he'd take notice of the dying tumor cells, not just the much smaller percentage of healthy cells. At that point, I backed up and explained the nature of the culture to him. He nodded and let me know that now everything made sense.

That episode intrigued me. Maybe this man really was able to perceive something quite unknown to me. Our experiments have unfolded from there.

A reprint of the article can be found at National Qigong Association web site.

In "Extraordinary Knowing", Elizabeth Mayer Ph.D., describes some of the scientific evidence from parapsychology as well as personal experiences of psychic phenomena. I highly recommend it.