The following anecdotes show the power of intention; of meditative mind/body exercise and the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong.

 

Group Meditation Reduces Crime: (source: http://www.istpp.org/crime_prevention)

 

Following is a quote from a study reported by The Institute of Science and Technology. It details a 1993 study wherein 4,000 people collectively meditated to reduce the violent crime rate in Washington DC. This story is referenced in the film; What the Bleep Do We Know?

 

This study presents the final results of a two-month prospective experiment to reduce violent crime in Washington, DC. On the basis of previous research it was hypothesized that the level of violent crime in the District of Columbia would drop significantly with the creation of a large group of participants in the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs to increase coherence and reduce stress in the District.

 

Based on the results of the study, the steady state gain (long-term effect) associated with a permanent group of 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs was calculated as a 48% reduction in HRA crimes in the District of Columbia.

 

Given the strength of these results, their consistency with the positive results of previous research, the grave human and financial costs of violent crime, and the lack of other effective and scientific methods to reduce crime, policy makers are urged to apply this approach on a large scale for the benefit of society.

 

Dr. Masaru Emoto’s study of the affect of thoughts on water: (source: positive-thinking-principles.com)

 

This story is also referenced in the film, What the Bleep Do We Know, and in Dr. Emoto’s book: The Hidden Messages In Water.

 

In these studies, Dr. Emoto treated pure water from the Fujiwara dam to various thought treatments, and then photographed the changes which resulted using a dark field microscope. He found that in each case the water crystal structure was changed by the intent of the participant.

 

His central premise put forward is that human beings can affect the shape and molecular structure of water just through conscious intention. He demonstrates this in two ways: first by showing images of water molecules from the Fujiwara Dam, before and after they have been blessed by a zen Buddhist monk. He then shows the impact of labeling bottles of distilled water with thoughts. Some bottles feature positive thoughts, while others feature negative ones. He then freezes contents from each bottle and photographs them at sub zero temperatures using a high powered microscopic camera.

 

The Iceman: (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ötzi_the_Iceman)

 

We know that the arts like acupressure and acupuncture were the basis for the eventual development of Qigong, Tai Chi and perhaps even Yoga. There is a good deal of debate about the origins of these arts, and just how far back into our history they go.

 

This story confirmed the fact that acupuncture itself is over 5,000 years old, and was a very developed and globally practices art at that time.

 

In 1991 a body was found in  the Schnalstal glacier in the Ötztal Alps.  Closer examination revealed the fact that the man had been the victim of foul play ( a blow to the back of the head) and that the frozen body was 5300 years old.

 

Ötzi apparently had whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), an intestinal parasite. During CT scans, it was observed that three or four of his right ribs had been squashed when he had been lying face down after death, or where the ice had crushed his body. One of his fingernails (of the two found) shows three Beau's lines indicating he was sick three times in the six months before he died. The last incident, two months before he died, lasted about two weeks. Also, it was found that his epidermis, the outer skin layer, was missing, a natural process from his mummification in ice.

 

Ötzi had approximately 57 carbon tattoos consisting of simple dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle. Using X-rays, it was determined that the Iceman may have had arthritis in these joints. It has been speculated that they may be related to acupuncture.

 

The use of tattoos to mark the points for self administered acupuncture is very widely practiced today.

 

The two extraordinary things about this find is that it confirms that acupuncture is thousands of years old, and was so widely used in the ancient past that a fair skinned, fair haired northern European man; thousands of miles from China, was a self administrator of acupuncture.

 

 

The Power of The Mind:

Sources: DragonFly Qigong by Dr. Micheal Steward, Study of Tibetan Meditation” : openbuddha.com written by William J. Cromie of the Harvard Gazette:

 

As Dr. Michael Steward points out in his book, Dragonfly Qigong, the Qi is directed by the mind. The mind is called Yi in Chinese.

 

“There is an old saying that ‘Qi follows Yi’, meaning that Qi can b directed by the mind. Ancient practitioners of Qigong knew what modern western medical science is only discovering, that we can direct energy with our mind and affect the healing process.Experiements have been conducted in which practitioners send energy to a certain part of their bodies; that area is ten measured with heat sensitive instruments. Results have shown an increase in heat radiation in the area to where the practitioner has directed Qi.”

 

A classic example of this type of power is exhibited by contemporary Tibetan monks in a practice called “Tum-mo. Their deep meditative powers enable them to heat their bodies so much they can dry out a wet cold sheet.

 

From “Study of Tibetan Meditation” : openbuddha.com written by William J. Cromie of the Harvard Gazette:

 

In a monastery in northern India, thinly clad Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room where the temperature was a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a yoga technique known as g Tum-mo, they entered a state of deep meditation. Other monks soaked 3-by-6-foot sheets in cold water (49 degrees) and placed them over the meditators’ shoulders. For untrained people, such frigid wrappings would produce uncontrolled shivering.

 

If body temperatures continue to drop under these conditions, death can result. But it was not long before steam began rising from the sheets. As a result of body heat produced by the monks during meditation, the sheets dried in about an hour.

 

Attendants removed the sheets, then covered the meditators with a second chilled, wet wrapping. Each monk was required to dry three sheets over a period of several hours.

 

Why would anyone do this? Herbert Benson, who has been studying g Tum-mo for 20 years, answers that “Buddhists feel the reality we live in is not the ultimate one. There’s another reality we can tap into that’s unaffected by our emotions, by our everyday world. Buddhists believe this state of mind can be achieved by doing good for others and by meditation. The heat they generate during the process is just a by-product of Tum-mo meditation.”

 

Dr. Benson is an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and resident of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

 

Health Boosted by Tai Chi and Qigong (Source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving)

 

Researchers in Arizona, California, and North Carolina analyzed 77 studies related to Tai Chi and Qigong. Their review indicated the two practices can have a positive effect on bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, balance, accidental falls, and psychological benefits (presumably stress reduction).

 

Arizona State Professor Linda Larkey said, “We see this as moving the understanding of the potential of Qigong and Tai Chi forward, with an emphasis on combining the evidence across these practices.” The studies they reviewed focused on psychological symptoms, cardiopulmonary effects, quality of life, immune function, accidental falls, bone density and physical function. They were conducted between 1993 and 2007 in thirteen different countries. The number of participants in all the studies was 6,410.

 

Their study says, “The strongest, most consistent evidence is demonstrated for effects on bone health, cardiopulmonary fitness, some aspects of physical function, QOL, self-efficacy, and factors related to falls prevention.” Other good news is that the health benefits can be achieved even with the less complicated Tai Chi routines . Said Dr. Shin Lin, “The research studies reviewed here showed that simplified routines that are more practical…are in fact quite effective in health enhancement.”

 

Stress Tips: Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body (Source: Mark Hyman, MD on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markhymanmd)

 

“If it is missing from your life, it causes or worsens 95 percent of all illness. It has been associated with dramatic reductions in disease and increased longevity.”

 

“And it is more important than cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, or any other risk factor in determining whether you will live a long and healthy life. But it doesn't come in a pill, and it can't be found in a hospital or in your doctor's office.”

 

“What is this critical factor that determines so much about how healthy or how sick you are?”

 

“Your attitude, your social networks, your community, and your spiritual beliefs.”

 

 

Vigorous Exercise Increases Risk of Heart Disease (Source: by Dr. Mark Wiley)

 

It is widely asserted by the Tai Chi and Qigong community, that forceful and vigorous exercise return only short tern results, and that excessive exercises of this type are injurious to health.

 

While studying a method of qigong known as zhan zhuang (pile standing) in Asia, my teacher told me something very strange. He said: “This qigong exercises forces you to stand still and not move for a long time. Because of this, your energy will increase, your body will warm, and your muscles will strengthen. But you will not damage your joints from excessive movement, nor tax your heart through robust movement, nor damage the lungs through too rapid respiration.”

 

“…the leading cause of exercise-related death among high-level athletes is coronary heart disease.”

 

“No wonder slow-burn exercises like walking, yoga, tai chi and qigong are considered as the safest and most effective exercises around the world. And the world is a whole lot bigger than the “experts” in the United States that get all the press.”

 

—Dr. Mark Wiley

 

Meditation Slows Aging and Strengthens the Immune System

 

Recent published studies illustrate the great benefits of meditation in reducing stress, improving overall health and slowing the aging process. This is a paragraph from Science Daily article: Positive Well-Being to Higher Telomerase: Psychological Changes from Meditation Training Linked to Cellular Health

 

We have found that meditation promotes positive psychological changes, and that meditators showing the greatest improvement on various psychological measures had the highest levels of telomerase," said Clifford Saron, associate research scientist at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain.

 

Elizabeth Blackburn, professor of biology and physiology at UCSF, is a co-author of the paper. Blackburn shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for discovering telomeres and telomerase. Other coauthors include UCSF colleagues Elissa Epel, associate professor of psychiatry; assistant research biochemist Jue Lin; and Owen Wolkowitz, professor of psychiatry.

 

Telomeres are sequences of DNA at the end of chromosomes that tend to get shorter every time a cell divides. When telomeres drop below a critical length, the cell can no longer divide properly and eventually dies. Telomerase is an enzyme that can rebuild and lengthen telomeres. Other studies suggest that telomerase activity may be a link between psychological stress and physical health.

The research team measured telomerase activity in participants in the Shamatha

 

From the article: We’re Only Human, appearing at psychologicalscience.org, and the Association For Psychological Science.

 

Less expected is the recent finding that intense meditation may also have anti-aging effects. Tonya Jacobs, a scientist at UC—Davis’s Center for Mind and Brain, has just reported (on-line in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology) that meditators show improved psychological well-being, and that these improvements lead to biochemical changes associated with resistance to aging at the cellular level. Specifically, an analysis of meditators’ white blood cells showed a 30 percent increase in an enzyme called telomerase, a chemical essential to the long-term health of the body’s chromosomes and cells.

 

Link:

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/mindfulness-at-the-cellular-level.html

 

“Tonya Jacobs, a scientist at UC—Davis’s Center for Mind and Brain, has just reported (on-line in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology) that meditators show improved psychological well-being, and that these improvements lead to biochemical changes associated with resistance to aging at the cellular level. Specifically, an analysis of meditators’ white blood cells showed a 30 percent increase in an enzyme called telomerase, a chemical essential to the long-term health of the body’s chromosomes and cells.”

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103171642.htm  Link to Science Daily article.