Dr. Leung YanKwai PhD (aka Shi DeLon) ACHE Ancient Chinese Human Energy research 11.2012
The 18,000 years old red-hematite stained ‘Upper Cave Man’ bones testified the earliest evident of Chinese ‘Spiritualism WuShu’.1 The ancestral worship ceremony indicated that specific type of spiritual ritual, which brought about ‘spiritual dancing WuWu’ and ‘spiritual healing WuYi’ had emerged. During the ‘spiritual dancing WuWu’, physical convulsions and emotional outbursts of the dancers taken part in the ‘spiritual healing WuYi’ shared great resemblances with the psychological and physiological reactions of ‘Spontaneous QiGong SQG’ therapy today. Therefore, it is safe to suggest that the natural, powerful form of human ‘self-healing’ therapy has emerged 18,000 years ago. Since then, people tried to mimic those natural spontaneous reactions in the hope to ‘re-activate’ the ‘self-healing’ ability at will. Such imitations slowly have formulated and evolved into many thousands of methodology GongFa over the millenniums. In China, archaeological evidences review that XingQiShu was actually the forebear of QiGong while DaoYinShu was TaiJiQuan of today. At the peak of XingQiDaoYinShu training, practitioners would drift into a ‘spontaneous reaction’ phenomenon. This ‘sub-conscious’ occurrence is named as ‘Spontaneous QiGong’, whereupon ‘selfhealing’ property of the human mental and physical health can be manipulated and induced via ‘conscious’ exercises.
Possible physiological mechanisms behind Spontaneous Qi Gong (SQG) therapy
The phenomenon of Spontaneous QiGong therapy involves the initiation of a reaction involving involuntary emotional and physical movement outbursts in patients, by an experienced practitioner. The theory behind this is that the practitioner is able to initiate such a reaction, by focusing his energy or intention and projecting a force towards patients, which in turn causes such a reaction. The susceptibility of patients to this is dependent on different factors (such as their ability to maintain a relaxed state of mind). The spectrum of reactions is wide, ranging from small uncoordinated swaying motions and tremors of the limbs, to violent convulsions associated with strong outbursts of emotion. There is also a wide spectrum of different levels of lucidity that patients experience, including alert waking consciousness, moments of quiet, relaxed states of mind to periods of REM and deep sleep.
The evidence from case studies of the use of Spontaneous Qi Gong (SQG) in the treatment for substance abusers has led to further investigation into its use as a means of detoxification therapy for drug addiction. After receiving Spontaneous Qi Gong therapy (SQGT), patients report “high”, euphoric feelings similar to what they associate with recreational drug usage. This has been described by the patients as the main reason for its effectiveness for detoxification as it is an appropriate, safe and renewable replacement for their substances. As patients progress with their practices of the XingQiDaoYinShu methodology, they are able to further understand the knowledge and learn appropriate meditations and exercises to control the emotional reactions that will come as parts of the detoxification phenomena. The possible release of hormones may act as replacements of toxic drug used for the practitioners. This is the key initiator of the cleansing process. The reactions will initially provide the euphoric feeling, which replaces the drugs used in the addiction. The SQG therapy works in two parallel processes as the patient is still able to “get high” by the use of a safe substitute, but also cleanse emotionally from any previous psychological trauma which could possibly be a contributing cause of addiction.
Possible physiological mechanisms behind Spontaneous Qi Gong
In order to analyse and hypothesise what processes may be occurring during the phenomenon of Spontaneous Qi Gong therapy, each area of observation must
be broken down and analysed. There are three main observations that are recorded in SQR which are as follows;
1. Involuntary physical movements 2. Emotional outbursts 3. Euphoric feelings
1. Involuntary physical movements
During SQG patients often exhibit spontaneous involuntary movements involving all parts of the body, ranging from small isolated movements of the limbs or facial
muscles, to large tremors or convulsions involving the whole body. An interesting observation is that the movements often occur in areas of the body, which patients
report as suffering from musculoskeletal injury. For example a short leg syndrome patient whom suffered from years of chronic back pain, exhibited violent
uncontrolled spinal movements and fast spasms of his short leg, somewhat similar to a convulsion. This could be from a range of different causes, for example a result of
spinal reflexes causing stimulation of the muscles, or top-down signals from the motor cortex that may have previously been inhibited due to injury.
--Neural Oscillation (brain wave activity)
Abnormal changes in neural oscillatory activity in the brain may account for various experiences that occur in SQG.
Abnormal changes in neural oscillation in the brain may be an explanation for such physical movements, as it would take account for the wide spectrum of apparent movement disorders that occur in during SQG. It is believed that, for example the resting tremor in Parkinson’s disease is multi-factorial, but is influenced by neural oscillation2.
During SQG many patients often display what appear to be movements similar, to the resting tremor seen in Parkinson’s disease, uncontrolled oscillations of
groups of muscles. These can be seen in the video evidence, as patients often appear to have non-intentional rhythmic movements of various different body parts,
including the limbs, neck and spine. If abnormal changes in neural oscillation were to occur in SQG, this could explain some features of such tremors. The tremors are
only temporary and often not as severe as those seen in Parkinson’s, which would be understandable as the underlying pathology isn’t present in such patients, just
temporary changes in neural oscillation.Larger changes in neural oscillation would also account for the convulsion-like
movements that occur in some SQG patients. These movements appear to be similar to those in epilepsy convulsions, which could be explained by a brief period
of abnormal hyper synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.
During SQG many patients often fall asleep during the therapy and often experience REM sleep, which is recorded as visual documentation of REM by other people witnessing the REM in partially opened eyes and by people reporting having dreams when they fall asleep during the therapy. There have also been a number of successful case-studies in which SQG has helped people with insomnia sleep, which could suggest that the SQG therapy has influenced the neural oscillatory activity of the brain. As a means of further investigating these theories on changes in neural oscillation and SQG, further investigation using EEG studies could prove useful in distinguishing specific changes in brain waves of patients during the treatment.
2. Spontaneous emotional outbursts
Patients often exhibit and report emotional outbursts during SQG, including happiness associated with laughter, grief associated with crying, as well as anger
associated with screaming. Such outbursts occasionally occur in cycles in which one type of emotion will follow another and will almost always be finished with a sense of
tranquillity and stillness of emotions. On further investigation through interviewing patients after treatment, there appears to be a correlation between past life events
and emotions released, for example people who tend to cry often report either recent or past psychological trauma that they feel is being expressed and released
by the SQG therapy. This could possibly be a result of a subconscious stimulation of various pathways and areas in the brain associated with storing the memories of
past traumas, causing a physical reaction expressed through random crying and grief.
The wide spectrum of different emotions and the complex causes of each type of emotion, mean that it would be difficult to accurately predict which type of neurotransmitters may be released. Fluctuating levels of Dopamine, Serotonin and Noradrenalin may be responsible for the wide range of emotions and cycle of different emotions. Investigation into which areas of the brain are stimulated would be suitable and may possibly show stimulation of different areas of the limbic system (at the same time of the motor cortex) during the therapy, which would explain the spontaneous emotional outbursts. As the energy or stimulus of such outbursts moves to different areas of the brain, different emotions and physical movements may be released in a cycle or pattern.
Physical and emotional phenomena often occur together highlighting the fact that several different processes might be occurring at the same time and therefore it may be difficult to pinpoint one effect that occur with such a phenomena.
3. Euphoric feeling soon after the practice of SQG
A powerful euphoric feeling accompanied by a sense of tranquillity and peace is often described by the patients usually after their sessions of SQG therapy.
It has been described as the same “high” feeling that is associated with recreational drug use, by various different drug users, using a variety of different types of drugs.
This has been reported to be the main reason for its success in the detoxification of drug users, especially in the case of a heroin addict whom described it as “an even
greater high than heroin”. A possible cause of such a phenomenon could be the stimulation of reward pathways (e.g. mesolimbic pathway) in the brain and
subsequent release of serotonin, endorphins or dopamine in the reward centres (VTA and Nucleus Accumbens) of the brain, by SQG therapy. When the practitioner is
able to induce a reaction in the patient, a change in neural oscillatory activity or general brain activity may cause the reward centres that are usually stimulated by
drugs, to be stimulated. This is what would mimic the same high feeling and would also account for the success of SQGT in the detoxification of different drugs users
using different types of drug, all of which have different mechanisms in which they work. The stimulation may initiate the firing of reward pathways that have changed
and adapted through chronic substance abuse.
Alternatively SQG therapy may just initiate a generalised stimulation of the reward pathway as opposed to specific areas that have been subjected to chronic abuse by drugs. Such a general stimulation could be similar to those associated with the release of endorphins, like that in runner’s high. This would account for the tranquil feeling expressed by many patients, not just those who are substance abusers.
Looking at the initial observations of SQG therapy, some possible physiological mechanisms can be hypothesised. The main observations include: 1.
the fact that Spontaneous QiGong therapy has been successfully used in the detoxification of various substances abusers. 2. The patients report a sense of
Euphoria similar to that caused by their drugs. These two observations can lead to the hypothesis that SQGT is able to stimulate the same endogenous opioid pathways
that are affected in the use of drugs. If this hypothesis is true this could possibly provide a means of quantifying and measuring such a phenomenon that before
may have seemed to be immeasurable.
In order to test the theory that SQG therapy can be used as an effective means of drug detoxification and to compare its effectiveness with conventional drug detoxification programmes a randomized controlled trial is necessary. This could also be used as an opportunity to investigate the phenomenon in more detail and record evidence of its existence and use. In order to do this the following outlines have been proposed:
Title: Clinical trial comparing the use of Spontaneous Qi Gong therapy with standard drug detoxification programmes in the treatment for heroin (substance) addiction.
patients receiving standard drug detoxification therapy with spontaneous Qi Gong therapy twice a week and taught QiGong meditation and exercise routines to practice daily.
Patients receiving standard drug detoxification therapy with no QiGong therapy.
The group using SQGT will have a higher success rate of detoxification and a lower rate of relapse.
The intervention group will be given the standard therapy with the additional use of SQGT. This group will receive three sessions of SQGT a week as well as being taught a meditation and exercise programmes that they can practice every day in order to develop a system of independent replacement. The control group will receive just the standard treatment. Other considerations for such a trial.
- A Placebo practitioner could be used and an extra control group could be set up with an actor pretending to perform SQGT. This would possibly eliminate any psychological factors of the procedure that may affect such results.
- Measuring endorphin levels in patients undergoing SQGT by taking blood samples in each group before and after the therapy, in order to test the hypothesis that it will lead to an increase in plasma endorphin levels.
- As this is the first documented clinic trial, interviews with patients will be of extremely high value in order to document their experiences of spontaneous QiGong therapy and help build an overall picture of the phenomenon.
- Video recordings of patient’s reaction will be useful in documentation of the phenomena and further research. It can be used as a means of quantifying the phenomena, e.g. will there be trends in the reactions (patients that react more strongly will have a higher rate of detoxification and decreased risk of relapse.
- In order to eliminate the possibility of patients acting or mimicking other reactions, they must not have seen any reactions or experienced spontaneous Qi Gong before.
Future studies - Studies using brain scans (PET or MRI) in order to test the activity of the brain before during and after SQGT in order to accurately investigate the neural physiological effects.
- PET imaging using “ligand activation” techniques could be used to see if the is an effect on the endogenous opioid system as a result of SQGT.
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