Some profound questions answered here…
This is a part of an interview with my first teacher, Rodger Jahnke who is an OMD in Ca. Your teachings are grounded in the following paradigm and I do my best to represent these goals and philosophies.
RM: Please give us some details about qigong and t’ai chi.
RJ: Though they are often referred to as exercises, qigong and
t’ai chi are more like mindfulness in motion, action meditation,
mindful movement, dynamic meditation, meditation in motion,
et cetera. This is the radical breakthrough of qigong and its most
popular offspring, t’ai chi. The intentful integration of body focus
and movement, purposeful breath awareness, and meditation
optimize what Norman Cousins called the “healing system,”
which is the integrated function of all body–mind systems—
including the nervous, endocrine, immune, circulatory, and
digestive systems—with the psyche.
Qigong and t’ai chi have triggered an outpouring of research
in Asia, Europe, and the United States. It has become apparent
that these gentle self-healing and health-enhancement methodologies
trigger a wide range of natural, physiologic mechanisms
of self-repair that help to restore more healthy function in people
with numerous diseases. A recent Wall Street Journal article10 stated
that the National Institutes of Health has funded $500,000 in
research on qigong alone.
The gentle body–mind practices of qigong and t’ai chi can be
implemented by anyone, even those in wheelchairs or hospital
beds. No matter what disease one has, what medicine one takes,
or what sort of physician is managing the case, mindful and
relaxed body movement with breath practice and a focus on present-
moment awareness make medicine within.
RM: What is the focus of integral qigong and t’ai chi?
RJ: Integral qigong and t’ai chi are only unique in that we
focus on allowing the simple and the profound to coexist and
we have carefully distilled and integrated the essence from 5000
years of history, tradition, and theory along with hundreds of
specific schools, styles, and traditions. Much of qigong and t’ai chi is esoteric, hard to learn, and bound up in the politics of religious sects and the martial arts in Asia. There is too much need for healing in our contemporary culture to allow something so radically wonderful, useful and cost efficient to remain inaccessible.
China has given qi cultivation to the world, it deserves to be honorably embraced to heal and empower—that is the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi’s focus.
Integral means “whole, complete, unified.” In the programs of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi, we work from the principles of harmony and balance—the essentials of qigong and t’ai chi—to unify the traditions, biases, and lineages of many eras into a highly refined distillation that is easy to learn and use today. Integral qigong and t’ai chi integrate what Chinese medicine calls the Three Treasures—body/mind, emotions and spirit (Jing, Qi and Shen in Chinese). The integral model integrates ancient qi sciences with contemporary physiologic and quantum sciences.
The practices are integrated so that, in the beginning, it is very easy, accessible, and fun with gentle progress toward deeper practice states and more subtle levels of healing. So, the program is integrated in many of its components and in many ways.
The Three Treasures of cultivation (or the three levels or stages) start at body healing, progress to longevity and vitality enhancement (which science has discovered is largely related to the state of the heart and mind), and, ultimately, evolve to sustained awareness of one’s eternal nature. This is spiritual realization, the highest form of personal integration, also called “healing,” which was held in high esteem in China even by politicians and military leaders, and called “immortality” by the ancients because it implies that the life of our eternal self is boundless—immortal.
RM: What is the role of the health care practitioner in this
emerging new era of medicine?
RJ: It is important to recognize two logical, but entirely
unmentioned, aspects of health care: the “first party” and the
“first resort.” We always hear about the third party and the last
resort. Paraphrasing from conventional health care: “We will
have to see if the third party (insurance company) will reimburse
for this alternative method as a last resort.” Everybody knows
what the third party is; however, the first party is unknown and
unmentioned. It turns out that the first party is the most significant
participant in health care—the customer, the citizen, theindividual. Everyone has heard of the last resort but what about
the first resort? What should be the first action in caring for
health? How about simply caring for health!
With this said, my response to your question is very direct.
Every health care practitioner is a citizen and an individual—a
first party. Each health care practitioner would optimally model
the solution to the health crisis by personally implementing the
first resort. He or she would refine personal nutrition, manage
stress, live a health-enhancing lifestyle, and have a robust healthmaximizing
practice like qigong, t’ai chi, or yoga as part of a body–mind fitness program.
By living in this way, having a personal practice like t’ai chi
and qigong, health care practitioners become the models for the
solution to waste and error in health care. Such practitioners are
in an excellent position to assist their patients in awakening their
own healing capacities in conjunction with their chosen medical
treatment. And, by doing so, they assist in resolving the cost and
quality crisis in health care. . .seems rather idealistic but, at their
entry levels, t’ai chi and qigong are amazingly easy to learn and