Richard G. Petty, MD

Qigong Therapy at a Distance

I just had a very nice question from someone who had seen my article in which I commented on the way in which I had seen qigong masters treat patients without touching them.

Dear Dr. Petty,
That’s really interesting, and if it’s true, it would be very important for the future of therapy. Is that actually any scientific evidence to support what you said?

Good question, and yes, there is. But not very much of it.

A recent study from South Korea examined the effects of Qi therapy, also known as external qigong. During the study they looked at the effects – if any – of touching the patient. The researchers examined the impact of treatment on anxiety, mood, several hormones and cellular immune function. Whether or not they were touched, the patients showed improvements in anxiety, alertness, depression, fatigue, tension and cortisol levels. Treatment at a distance was just as good as hands-on treatment with one interesting exception: treatment at a distance caused the white blood count to rise slightly, while the effect wasn’t seen in people who were touched.

There is also another type of research in which qigong practitioners have tried to influence either animals or cells in culture. In one recent study practitioners directed their intention toward cultured brain cells for 20 minutes from a minimum distance of 10 centimeters. The first study seemed to show an effect on the proliferation of the cultured cells, but the second did not, showing the difficulty of doing experiments like these.

More experiments like these are underway in centers throughout the world, and I shall continue to report on both the positive and negative studies.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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