A Harvard Doctors experience.
David Eisenberg M D, went to China on several cultural exchange visits between 1977 and 1985, describing what he saw as 'Encounters with Qi, exploring Chinese Medicine’ (ISBN is 01400.9427X). It is still available on Amazon and Bookfinder.com. A gentle account of how his worldview as a western physician was turned inside out. He came away knowing what he thought he knew, as is with most people, was nothing but a simplistic and often erroneous facsimile of what was actually happening.
A common feature of Eisenberg’s story, and not at all surprising to me, was that whenever he met people involved with Qi Gong, after being exposed to or taking up its practice they had invariably survived, what in the West would have been terminal illnesses. There is even a video clip of a woman apparently with a bladder tumour dissolving on an ultrasound display in minutes, as a Qi Gong practitioner focuses his 'Chi'.
Reality would prove to be far stranger than he could have imagined. Eisenberg now works at Harvard as head of an alternative medicine unit, and later returned to China to make a documentary video, with the veteran American Journalist Bill Moyers. Moyers was unfamiliar with anything he saw, and came away clearly bemused. ‘The Mystery of Chi’ is on YouTube, and is also an excellent starting point for further research.
On page 218 of his book Eisenberg describes in detail what it felt like when a Qi Gong master directed his ‘external Chi’ at him for the very first time. His observations tally with my own experiences, and that reported by many of the people I have had the privilege of working with; notably W.G., listed in the case histories section. Eisenberg says: ‘I was the next subject. Sitting in a chair ten feet in front of me was Dr. Zhao Jin-Xiang, the teacher of teachers of Qi Gong. Zhao’s Qi-emitting powers were reported to be among the most awesome in China. A bear of a man, Zhao had a big frame and brawny arms and neck. I sat in the chair with my hands in my lap, closed my eyes, and attempted to relax. I told Zhao not to instruct me as to what I might feel. He agreed that this was a good idea and said, ‘are you ready, Dr. Ai?’ ‘I am ready’ I replied ‘Blast me, won’t you? I don’t want any half felt sensations'.
As my eyes closed for the final time, I saw Zhao laugh behind a raised palm held on my direction. For the first ten or twenty seconds, I felt nothing. Then it was my turn to get a dose of subjective poison. I began to feel pins and needles from my shoulders down to my fingernails. The sensations intensified, the pins and needles changed to electrical impulses. It was as if my hands had been plugged into a low voltage socket. My fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders tingled and grew numb. I said nothing, trying my damnedest to decide whether this was an illusory and transient sensation initiated by me or some atypical response to the energy emitted by the popular Hero sitting before me. ‘I feel something’ I said to Dr. Zhao. ‘Give me everything you’ve got.’ In seconds the sensations of electrical impulses in my upper limbs grew in intensity. It was as though the voltage in the socket had been turned up to high. ‘Herb’ I said, calling out to Benson, ‘I feel this incredible sense of electricity shooting through my arms’ Benson said nothing. Seconds later Zhao stopped, and the abnormal sensations ended abruptly. I was exhilarated but had no idea what to make of this demonstration.’
Benson then attempts to dismiss everything that Eisenberg had described as a form of gullible suggestibility; a typical response from a mind of an ‘Expert’. As the crooked cucumber Shunryo Suzuki pointed out, ‘In the beginners mind there are many possibilities in the experts there are few’. Benson later wrote his own bestseller ‘The relaxation response’, a programme of adaptions of Eastern meditative principles in an easily digestible form for the American market.
For further reading I would also recommend Richard Gerber M.D.’s book ‘Vibrational medicine’, Michael Talbot’s Holographic Universe', Rupert Sheldrake’s ‘New Science of Life,’ and ' Morphic Resonance', Bruce Lipton Phd's 'Biology of Belief' and Robert Becker M.D.’s ‘The Body Electric’ as well as Gary Schwartz PhD’s ‘The Energy Healing experiments’ which details the research done by the University of Arizona, and explores the energy field concept in layman’s terms.