Qigong is said to be able to bring a person's physical and mental situation into a state of balance, so we are able to use this to diagnose.
Observe the person in a Qigong position. If the palms are in the same place as they started after about five minutes, and every other part of the body is in the correct position, then just performing T'ai chi and Qigong will be enough to bring that person back to good health provided the diet is healthy. However if the palms move independently, or the shoulders or arms, etc., then there is something wrong.
For instance, if the left palm drops to a lower position and the patient is unaware of this, there may be a yang deficiency somewhere in the left-hand side of the body. If the left palm rises then there may be a yin deficiency. The deficiency could be in any of the organs on that side of the body. Sometimes if the ailment is not too far advanced, simply righting the palms, shoulders, elbows, etc. will cure the disease over a period of time, but if not then we must use the T'ai chi form to diagnose which organ the deficiency or abundance is in.
Remember that every posture from the T'ai chi form relates to a certain organ in the body, so we are able to use this for diagnosis. Using the above case, if a person's left palm keeps dropping during Qigong we know this indicates a yang deficiency somewhere on the left-hand side. We then look at all the postures which deal with the organs of the left hand side such as 'Grasping Bird's Tail' or 'Fair Lady Works at Shuttles' etc. If the patient finds great difficulty in performing any one of these postures, and bearing in mind that most people find T'ai chi difficult at first, then the problem may lie in the organ that is related to that posture. If the extremely difficult posture is 'Grasping Bird's Tail' then this indicates a colon problem; if the posture is 'Fair Lady at Shuttles; a heart problem. My book Power T'ai Chi Ch'uan, No.1 covers most of the postures and their related organs.
Once the condition has been diagnosed we can then use the appropriate posture from the T'ai chi form as a Qigong stance to cure that organ.
It must be remembered that a patient in an advanced stage of illness cannot usually be cured with these methods, because it takes some time for the treatment to work. Firstly the patient must be well enough to perform Qigong and then the T'ai chi form, so in these cases the patient should be sent to a very good acupuncturist or to a western doctor who may have to use the only means left — the knife. It is our job as therapeutic movement practitioners to stop the patient from getting ill in the first place.
The natural therapist looks at the person as a whole —diet, lifestyle, sexual habits, and in fact everything that the patient does from day to day. We must look at why the condition has come about and then work out ways to break the cycle so that the disease does not recur. It is not enough to put a Band-Aid on a bleeding finger — we must stop the patient continuing to cut the finger.
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