An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

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An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:42 pm

I realize that this won't be popular, seeing as how I'm something of a dis-believer, but here goes.
Bear with me on this if you will.

I'm going to ask everyone a series of questions and then be so bold as to propose some answers that I would expect to get.
1.) Does anyone out there believe that a human being can levitate his physical body up in the air
a foot or so and hold it there for any length of time, more than a brief instant, by using mind control to refute the laws of gravity?
2.) Does anyone out there study this phenomenon, if you will, by either reading and or actual practice?
3.)If you don't study it - why not?
4.)What would it take for you to believe in this?
5.)Would you believe it if a close friend said they had witnessed it?
6.)Does this help anyone understand my reasons for questioning Qigong?

Remember now that I'm guessing at these answers.
1.)No
2.)No
3.)C'mon now, everyone knows it's a crock of ****.
4.)Gonna have to see it in person, at the very least.
5.)I would believe he or she had been tricked. Gotta see it with MY own eyes.
6.)No. It's two different things. Besides, you're simply trying to slam Qigong for your own reasons.

Thanks for listening. Try not to take this pesonally. It's not an attack on anyone or anything.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:38 pm

I think your premise is flawed. For a start you are comparing something that very few people accept with something that is accepted by quite a large audience. Secondly, there are many aspects of qigong practice that have been scientifically(1) shown to have either physical or mental health benefits or both. Admittedly some of the wilder claims of qigong are hard to accept, but that is not a good basis for discarding the whole field of practice.

Another point that comes to mind is that for lots of people the vehicle that conveys the message has particular relevance. What can this mean? Deconstructing a system of practice is a typically Western approach that often robs the system of its sparkle and allure. It becomes boring. People are not machines, and we often respond and understand better when presented with allegories and metaphors than we do with the cold, hard facts.

Lots of people want to take up taiji (for instance) because they are attracted to the mystique of it. Take that away and all you have (in their eyes) is a dry, repetitive exercise regime.

Pete, you may find that junking all the narrative surrounding taiji or qigong suits you, but for others this is not the case. If the narrative gets people practicing then that has to be a good thing, surely? On top of which, as I said earlier, there are proven benefits to many aspects.

(1) By scientifically I mean there have been academically driven rigorous studies.

I hope that helps in your journey. One thing though: asking questions is good only as long as the intention is good. There comes a point when questions are getting asked because the questioner is looking not to discover but to discredit. Asking questions can be the mark of an open mind, but also often of a closed one.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:56 pm

Monsoon wrote:I think your premise is flawed. For a start you are comparing something that very few people accept with something that is accepted by quite a large audience.


Not wishing to be arguementative but simply because only a few people believe in something does not make it false. Neither does it make it true. Same thing could be said for something that has lots of adherents. Just because a large amount of people believe in something doesn't make it a fact. And vice versa. Both large and small groups of people have been known to be taken in(if you will) by all sorts of ideas.

Besides, I'm always being told I need to look into this more. Practice it more. That kind of thing.
Then I would know the truth. Yet I'm betting that no one on this site is looking into levitation, practcing it, or trying to find the truth. So how can you say it's not real when there are people out there claiming it is?
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:42 pm

Not wishing to be arguementative but simply because only a few people believe in something does not make it false. Neither does it make it true. Same thing could be said for something that has lots of adherents. Just because a large amount of people believe in something doesn't make it a fact. And vice versa. Both large and small groups of people have been known to be taken in(if you will) by all sorts of ideas.


I understand your point, but in your original post you directly compared levitation with qigong, and I assume that you did so in the full knowledge that levitation is not accepted by anywhere near as many people as qigong. Therefore, unwittingly or not, you have introduced bias into your questionaire.

Also, you have ignored the scientific evidence. There is none, outside of some fairly specialised physics labs, for levitation, and there is heaps for various qigong practices.

This isn't just about believing in stuff. You are free to believe whatever you want. Nobody is saying otherwise. However, if you believe the Earth is flat, against all evidence that says it is a sphere, then you shouldn't be surprised when people get exasperated at your stance (no pun intended!), and you would do well to re-examine 'why' you do not believe something.

You live your whole life accepting things that are true and yet which you will never personally experience or observe. It's hard to function without doing so.

Bottom line:
1. There are people claiming levitation is real, but there is NO physical evidence for it.
2. There are people claiming qigong has real effects, and there is lots of physical evidence for it.

The scientific and rational approach is NOT to dismiss theories until they have been tested. This does not mean just by yourself, but by other independent researchers.

Frankly, and I don't mean this unkindly, I think your extremely negative view of qigong is probably based on your own personal experiences of it. That's not a rational, nor enquiring position.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:43 am

Monsoon wrote:...I think your extremely negative view of qigong is probably based on your own personal experiences of it. That's not a rational, nor enquiring position.


I don't buy that, for the most part. You might say I've had NO personal experience with it. I've done the exercises, read a few of the books / articles on the subject, attended what I think was a seminar or two about it, listened to people try and explain it, heck I even gather up the chi at the end of each long form. In the end I have felt nothing, sensed nothing, not felt healthier or unhealthier. I other words I have felt I have not learned anything. Nothing seems to be happening. I am still slightly diabetic(if I don't watch my diet), my blood pressure is not overly high but high enough for me to need a drug(Qigong never helped that). I could go on but you get the picture.

As for personal experiences that I have had with Qigong I must say that it almost sickens me to listen to people complaining that "my chi is all messed up" and then hearing someone claim that they can "fix it". When I see and hear things like this I feel like I'm in the midst of a bunch of "born again Christians" all pushing something that, at best, they very vaguely understand.

To be honest there is more of a chance that I will believe in levitation(once I've seen it demonstrated-if ever) as opposed to Qigong(I don't even expect to ever see it demonstrated to my satisfaction).
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby caesar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:41 am

pete5770 wrote:I realize that this won't be popular, seeing as how I'm something of a dis-believer, but here goes.


Pete...

I don't think people are frustrated with you because you don't believe in the same thing. IMHO it's more the way you debate. Earlier you asked for proof and evidence...and when you were provided with it plenty of times (scientific studies), you replied you're not interested reading it because it "bores you like politics." How do you think that's fair? Do you think that's an ok way to have a discussion about any matter? You could read the old topics on this forum where you took a part and see the pattern you follow.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:22 am

caesar wrote:
pete5770 wrote:I realize that this won't be popular, seeing as how I'm something of a dis-believer, but here goes.


..and when you were provided with it plenty of times (scientific studies), you replied you're not interested reading it because it "bores you like politics." How do you think that's fair? ....


Yes, I do believe that's "fair". I don't believe anyone can be bored by something that they haven't tried. I'm bored with politics, Qigong, and other things because I HAVE tried them, read about them, participated in them, and found them mostly very lacking in what they claim(politics especially). I do understand though that others find these subjects much to their liking. I have no problem with that. I believe what I feel is right and others may believe in what they see as right.

One thing you'll notice about me is that I say I believe in this or that. This is not the same as claiming that this or that is TRUE. Beliefs may and can be changed and I leave it open for people to change my mind. Claiming something is true, on the other hand, is,TO ME, a very bold and actually dangerous statement to make as it can't be backed down from without admitting you were wrong, and that's tough for people to do.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby caesar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:59 am

But once again I'm only frustrated with your way of debating and not your believes or things you see as truth or false...you see, as you quoted me you left out an important part, let me assist you there...


Earlier you asked for proof and evidence...and when you were provided with it plenty of times (scientific studies), you replied you're not interested reading it because it "bores you like politics."


The part you left out is now also there.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:27 pm

caesar wrote:But once again I'm only frustrated with your way of debating and not your believes or things you see as truth or false...you see, as you quoted me you left out an important part, let me assist you there...


Earlier you asked for proof and evidence...and when you were provided with it plenty of times (scientific studies), you replied you're not interested reading it because it "bores you like politics."




Let me try and clarify what I meant by that. I think I'm saying that I have already read all I care to read on the subject. Now I most likely haven't read as much as some and maybe more than a few but there is a limit to the amount time I have to read and I tend to read what interest me and things i believe in. Much like you might read an article about levitation and decide that it's a load of ****, then never read anything about it again. Why would you? It doesn't interest you, it doesn't deliver on it's promises, and until someone convinces you of it's validity you most likely will simply file the matter away in your head, to be brought up again at various times. Still you won't believe it because whatever, so called, new information that you may read over will most likely simply be recycled stuff that you remember from days gone by. And there still won't be what you might call "proof", that satisfies you.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby caesar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:00 pm

Then why keep on going with your statement? Everybody here already knows your believes or non believes. It feels like you are treating people who practice Qi Gong as bad as scientologists, why not bash their forum instead? Almost everybody here states that diet comes first. In the topic where one asked help for knee injury, the first reply from a user was "GO SEE A DOCTOR". A person came to ask help, and he was answered "GO SEE A DOCTOR!" Then you stated that one shouldn't ask medical help here at all, although the place immidiately replied "GO SEE A DOCTOR."

In your previous post you left an important part of mine unquoted. You have been doing the same thing on this forum on and on. Why? It only makes things more complicated, do you get satisfaction from that? It's terribly annoying, seeing people giving you reasonable and clarifying answers and then you usually pick on one tiny sentence where it is easy to hit (taking the sentence away from the bigger picture, which literally kills the user's point.) You should really read the older topics and you would see that once again this topic you felt is important to ask has been debated over and over with you...feels like you're afraid to look in the mirror.

It also feels as you have strong prejudice on things and want to state that all the time...over...and over...and over...
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:06 pm

caesar wrote:Then why keep on going with your statement? Everybody here already knows your believes or non believes. It feels like you are treating people who practice Qi Gong as bad as scientologists, why not bash their forum instead? Almost everybody here states that diet comes first. In the topic where one asked help for knee injury, the first reply from a user was "GO SEE A DOCTOR". A person came to ask help, and he was answered "GO SEE A DOCTOR!" Then you stated that one shouldn't ask medical help here at all, although the place immidiately replied "GO SEE A DOCTOR."

In your previous post you left an important part of mine unquoted. You have been doing the same thing on this forum on and on. Why? It only makes things more complicated, do you get satisfaction from that? It's terribly annoying, seeing people giving you reasonable and clarifying answers and then you usually pick on one tiny sentence where it is easy to hit (taking the sentence away from the bigger picture, which literally kills the user's point.) You should really read the older topics and you would see that once again this topic you felt is important to ask has been debated over and over with you...feels like you're afraid to look in the mirror.

It also feels as you have strong prejudice on things and want to state that all the time...over...and over...and over...


A person writes in asking for medical advise. First of all this is a Tai Chi forum not the AMA's website. The AMA's website would have said "GO SEE A DOCTOR". Secondly none of you are qualified to give medical advise. None, Zero, Nada, to put it bluntly. As far as I'm concerned people who write into forum's asking advice on what could be a serious condition NEED to be yelled out, told exactly what to do. i.e. "GO SEE......".

Why would you say I'm afraid to look in the mirror? I'm not following that line of logic.

As for prejudicial views. Are mine any more prejudice on the subject than yours? I'm simply one person questioning the validity of Qigong yet the fear that I seem to instill in everyone for even hinting that it's not all it claims really makes me wonder about the faith you all profess to have in it. The old saying "he doth protest's too much" come to mind. Doesn't make any sense that one person could shake your beliefs that much, unless......
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:10 pm

Thank you caesar for backing up my point.

Pete, reading about qigong in the texts that are promoting it is one thing, examining scientific research is a totally different animal. If research conclusively proves that something is effective then it would be extremely unwise to take your position - that you do not believe it.

You have read about qigong, been to some seminars and tried the exercises, but didn't feel like you benefitted from any of this. However, this does not automatically lead to the conclusion that the interventions are ineffective, anymore than it could equally be that you haven't used them for long enough, diligently enough, or are even doing it properly.

What I see is someone who didn't get immediate results and thus relegates the whole thing to the trashcan. And regarding my previous comment about negative views, I most definitely did not say you had NO experience with these practices. That's you deliberately misreading what I wrote. I said:

I think your extremely negative view of qigong is probably based on your own personal experiences of it.


This means I think you have had some experience, NOT NONE!

By analogy, if I tell you that with enough lessons you will become a good tennis player, and then after a few lessons you decide that your results do not measure up to your expectations, do you think it would be fair to say that tennis lessons are an ineffective waste of time? Because this is precisely the position you are arguing from on qigong.

Let me say now though, some of the wilder claims made by qigong and other complementary medicine approaches need to be viewed with some scepticism. Yet, there is much of value there too.

You wrote:

... it doesn't deliver on it's promises, and until someone convinces you of it's validity you most likely will simply file the matter away in your head, to be brought up again at various times. Still you won't believe it because whatever, so called, new information that you may read over will most likely simply be recycled stuff that you remember from days gone by. And there still won't be what you might call "proof", that satisfies you.


Scientific evidence doesn't require your belief, it doesn't care whether you believe, it simply is what it is and is repeatably testable. It is a kind of concrete proof that you cannot argue against just because you don't believe it. Denying the 'proof of scientific research' in this way is a truly medieval way of thinking.

Let me give you a well-known example: the placebo effect.

Do you believe that it works?

Actually, from an academic perspective it does not matter whether you believe in the placebo effect or not. It has been conclusively proven to work. Yet from a practical perspective, if you tell the patient (i.e.you) that the treatment is a placebo then it tends not to have any effect.

You are convinced that qigong doesn't work. Have you ever considered that this conviction now stands between you and getting it to work?

You talk about your blood pressure. And you talk about 'gathering qi' at the end of the long form. Is your blood pressure better since you took up taiji? TJQ is known to lower BP in practitioners: here's a Harvard link - http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbea ... ai-chi.htm - you would do well to read it. Considering that these type of benefits are attributed to the qigong aspects of taiji it seems odd that you are so anti-qigong.

On these forums we understand that you don't 'believe' in qigong, qi or virtually any other TCM. That's okay though, nobody is telling you what to believe. However, if you persistently interject into threads that are discussing these matters, by people who happen to believe they DO work, then you have stepped over the line of personal belief into the world of evangelism, where you are now trying to convince other people that they are wrong and you are right.

And you wonder why others are frustrated at times by your constant diatribe on the (your) perceived ineffectiveness of qigong?

You really need to stop and reconsider this. There is nothing shameful or weak in reexamining one's motives.

edited: for some truly atrocious spelling!
Last edited by Monsoon on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:14 pm

Addendum

Secondly none of you are qualified to give medical advise. None, Zero, Nada, to put it bluntly.


I was just looking at my professional medical qualifications and you know what? I now realise that they are just so much scrap paper, I might as well toss them into the garbage. :roll:

Thanks, Pete, for such a forthright an unerring service that you have provided.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:26 pm

Monsoon wrote:Addendum

Secondly none of you are qualified to give medical advise. None, Zero, Nada, to put it bluntly.


I was just looking at my professional medical qualifications and you know what? I now realise that they are just so much scrap paper, I might as well toss them into the garbage. :roll:

Thanks, Pete, for such a forthright an unerring service that you have provided.


I have no problem with you being an MD or whatever. I'm going to assume that you are in the medical field. In which case you should know better than to give any kind of advice, for what may be a serious condition, over the Internet(other than "...SEE A DOCTOR").
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby caesar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:32 pm

Oh boy Pete...you truly are an anti-everything dude. :D
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:22 pm

Indeed!

And Pete, I thought we were discussing qigong, not 'serious medical conditions' (that was the other thread, let's try and keep them separate for the sake of clarity).

Incidentally, giving general health advice via the internet is perfectly acceptable. In fact, the internet as a medium for such dissemination is currently in vogue. And you should have noticed that nobody has given anybody specific medical advice on this forum - only general health practices that you can easily find yourself.

Back on topic.

As for prejudicial views. Are mine any more prejudice on the subject than yours? I'm simply one person questioning the validity of Qigong yet the fear that I seem to instill in everyone for even hinting that it's not all it claims really makes me wonder about the faith you all profess to have in it. The old saying "he doth protest's too much" come to mind. Doesn't make any sense that one person could shake your beliefs that much, unless......


There is no fear instilled. You are over-reaching and reading way too much into this.
The only concern is because while you, quite rightly, question the validity of qigong, you also seem incapable of accepting that there is scientific validity available. Not for everything, obviously, but enough for people to seriosuly consider the merits of its practice.

Some aspects of qigong have measurable and repeatable health benefits. If you still don't believe this (and you really should read the link I provided) then you are truly sticking your head in the sand.

People bring argument and counter-argument to a thread debate. It would serve you well to read carefully both what you have written and what others have, and not simply jump onto your soapbox as soon as a contrary opinion shows itself.

A considered response is preferred to a knee-jerk one.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:29 pm

caesar wrote:Oh boy Pete...you truly are an anti-everything dude. :D


Interesting that you would say that. Seems like people are trying to make me out as some sort of demon. What kind of forum would this be if no one questioned anything that anyone said? It might be interesting to look back and see the many different explanations, of Qigong, that (I And yourself and most likely others) have heard and seen over the years(and on this forum). Not to mention all the myriad claims of healing that seem to come at us from all angles and in all kinds of media.

In any case, I would argue that one of the main purposes of a forum is to challenge other peoples beliefs. Debate the issue's. Someone says something, you disagree, you challenge that idea, back and forth, back and forth = FORUM.

Some time back there was a post about a study that said Qigong could help with Parkinsons. I looked into the study and found that the person in charge of it all was a Qigong instructor. To say that an alarm bell went off in my head would be putting it lightly. When I brought this to the attention of the OP it was simply considered meaningless. I found that kind of thinking just a little strange.

Ahhhhh, but I rant on. Sorry :oops:
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby pete5770 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:34 pm

Monsoon wrote:
People bring argument and counter-argument to a thread debate. It would serve you well to read carefully both what you have written and what others have, and not simply jump onto your soapbox as soon as a contrary opinion shows itself.


Do you "not simply jump onto your soapbox"(just like myself) to defend your ideas? I think that's a pretty normal reaction. And I do read the other persons posts. I'm not the type of person to spend hours contemplating and formulating my response's. I guess you could say I live in the moment.
Last edited by pete5770 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:39 pm

Here you go, to save you time. This study showed a clear link between qigong and improvement in people with Parkinson's disease. The study is scientific and reputable. The journal is reputable.

Will you now accept at the very least the notion that some of these practices may very well be beneficial?

By the way, I don't think anyone is suggesting that you should take up qigong for a medical condition WITHOUT consulting your own medical practitioner first. Just to be clear.


Schmitz-Hübsch T, Pyfer D, Kielwein K, Fimmers R, Klockgether T, Wüllner U.
Qigong exercise for the symptoms of Parkinson's disease: a randomized, controlled pilot study.
Movement Disorders. 2006;21(4):543-8.

Abstract

Irrespective of limited evidence, not only traditional physiotherapy, but also a wide array of complementary methods are applied by patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). We evaluated the immediate and sustained effects of Qigong on motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD, using an add-on design. Fifty-six patients with different levels of disease severity (mean age/standard deviation [SD], 63.8/7.5 years; disease duration 5.8/4.2 years; 43 men [76%]) were recruited from the outpatient movement disorder clinic of the Department of Neurology, University of Bonn. We compared the progression of motor symptoms assessed by Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor part (UPDRS-III) in the Qigong treatment group (n = 32) and a control group receiving no additional intervention (n = 24). Qigong exercises were applied as 90-minute weekly group instructions for 2 months, followed by a 2 months pause and a second 2-month treatment period. Assessments were carried out at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. More patients improved in the Qigong group than in the control group at 3 and 6 months (P = 0.0080 at 3 months and P = 0.0503 at 6 months; Fisher's exact test). At 12 months, there was a sustained difference between groups only when changes in UPDRS-III were related to baseline. Depression scores decreased in both groups, whereas the incidence of several nonmotor symptoms decreased in the treatment group only.
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Re: An explanation of my beliefs(and maybe yours)

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:41 pm

Do you not get on your soapbox(just like myself) to defend your ideas?


Of course, when they are just my opinions.

In this case though they are not opinions, but scientifically verifiable results. As such they do not require any soapboxing.

I guess you could say I live in the moment.


Being intractable in the face of overwhelming counter-information is not 'living in the moment', it is sign of being obtuse.
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