Many people are aware of alternative ways of healing that exist outside of modern medicine. They may know someone who changed their diet or tried acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga, or ayurveda and found relief from many painful symptoms.
A less well-known practice is called “qigong,” but it is gaining popularity. Like tai chi, it involves slow movements that are designed to improve both the body and the mind.
Visit any Chinese neighborhood park early in the morning, and you are sure to find people of all ages practicing these gentle movements.
Chinese people are known to have “ancient secrets that help them look younger, live longer, and have wisdom. During the early 1990s, Falun Gong, a form of qigong, became the most popular form of qigong in the country.
Despite a brutal and heartbreaking persecution campaign by the communist government in mainland China since 1999, Falun Gong has continued to spread widely throughout the world, and many people have experienced incredible benefits.
Falun Gong consists of four standing exercises and one sitting meditation, and it requires that practitioners actively improve themselves through the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
Most people who have practiced these exercises and followed these teachings have reported improvement in their health, from better moods and deeper sleep to the disappearance of life-threatening diseases.
The precise way Falun Gong provides health benefits is not understood by modern science, but its effects can be measured.
A Chinese government census taken in 1998 indicated that at least 70 million people were practicing Falun Gong in China.
For those who initially had illnesses, health improvements were found in 99.1 percent, and complete recovery of diseases was found in 58.5 percent.
In general, 80.3 percent of people who practiced Falun Gong reported physical health improvements and 96.5 percent felt healthier psychologically.
“Only one month after I started to cultivate Falun Dafa’s universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, the disease [leukemia] that could not be cured by modern medicine, and that [had] cost my family hundreds of thousands of yuan [tens of thousands of U.S. Dollars] was completely gone,” said a Falun Gong practitioner in mainland China.
“I previously had second-stage osteonecrosis [bone tissue degeneration] in both hips and was practically paralyzed for almost a year. However, just three to four days after I started practicing Falun Dafa, I threw away my canes and was able to walk again,” said another Falun Gong practitioner in mainland China.
According to the Chinese report, Falun Gong practitioners saved the government 3,270 yuan, or $0.12 in medical expenses per person per year. For 70 million people, that is a savings of $8,400,000 per year.
In Taiwan, a survey found that Falun Gong had a remarkable effect on eliminated unhealthy habits and addictions. The study showed an 81 percent success rate for quitting smoking, 77 percent rate of abstaining from alcohol, and 85 percent rate for stopping gambling.
“Upon studying the teachings of Falun Gong and practicing the exercises, I have become very calm and very quite internally. I can now be objective about myself and things that would normally burden me. After reading the teachings I realized that I was not living my life the way I should, according to truth, compassion, and forbearance. The more I study the teachings, the closer to these three principles I get,” said Orysia McCabe from Canada.
Many testimonials by Falun Gong practitioners sound miraculous, and some may question the possibility that the health improvements can be credited to Falun Gong. Yet the fact that these reports have been so frequent warrants more scientific investigation.