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On Chi.

  1. Oct 17, 2005 #1
    Do you really think there is a mythical force called Chi? The Chinese said it was electricity flowing through our bodies down channels called meridians.

    While electricity does flow through our bodies it's not down meridians but nerves. Do you think that the chinese were really taping into our nervous system not knowing it's just neurons recieving elevtrical transmissions from the brain?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2005 #2
    I don't know too much about it, but I don't think they believe it is electricity, rather, they characterize it as "life force". In addition, I don't think the alleged paths for it correspond enough to nerves to say they mistook nerve impulses for something else. I saw a chart of the flow of "chi" somewhere, and it didn't seem to overlap with nerve paths.
     
  4. Oct 18, 2005 #3

    somasimple

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    Hi,

    There is no electricity along nerves!

    Chi is simply the blood/breathing beat exciting our terminal C fibres. you may experience it very easily if you focuse your awareness on the forearms while breathing deeply and slowly.
     
  5. Oct 19, 2005 #4
    Huh, hello our nervous system is totally based around nervous impulses.
     
  6. Oct 19, 2005 #5

    SGT

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    Meridians are not connected to any structure in the human body. Meridians and chi have as much credibility as the theory of humors accepted by ancient western medicine.
    Real medicine, occidental or orienal has progressed and those theories are not accepted anymore by serious doctors, but quackery still exists and finds many satisfied customers.
     
  7. Oct 19, 2005 #6
    The 'quackery' appears to work:

     
  8. Oct 19, 2005 #7
    I've read things saying that accupuncture was shown to release endorphins, which make people feel better. I tried it once, and it seemed to make my extremities feel warmer and more " alive" for a week or so. There is no way to tell if that is a placebo effect, though. I was fully expecting it to do something because of the endorphin thing I'd read.
    I would reccomend accupuncture to anyone, just because it was such an unusual, interesting, off-the-beaten-path experience: fun in the same way trying some strange foreign food is fun.
     
  9. Oct 19, 2005 #8
    Somasimple is correct, though. The impulses that travel along nerves aren't "electricity", in the conventional sense at all. It's a very different process than EMF and voltage developing in a conventional conductor.
     
  10. Oct 20, 2005 #9

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    First of all, 12 subjects constitute a universe too small o have statistical significance. Further, the article you linked to does not give numbers. How better did the test group perform than the control group?
    Finally, how the tests can confirm the conclusion that Qigong practice may exert transcriptional regulation at a genomic level?
    I hear a band of ducks quacking.
     
  11. Oct 20, 2005 #10
    I also think it has to do with the placebo effect. Maybe 'chi' is an effective way of controlling the effect, or focussing it on specific locations in the body.
     
  12. Oct 20, 2005 #11

    SGT

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    I don't think placebo effect could alter DNA. To my knowledge, DNA can be altered by ionizing radiation, by chemical reactions or by virii. The result is almost allways a tumor.
    If those guys can alter DNA in a benign way using the mind, the researchers are entitled to a Nobel prize in medicine, but prior to that they can apply for the million dollar prize of the James Randi Foundation. This prize could finance a good part of their research.
     
  13. Oct 20, 2005 #12
    I bet Deepak Chopra has more cash than Randi, maybe he will be willing to fund them :smile:

    How does the placebo effect work? At what level does consciousness alter the biochemistry?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2005
  14. Oct 20, 2005 #13

    SGT

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    I am sure that Chopra has more cash than Randi, the difference is that Randi has a notarized offer of the million dollar, while Chopra offers nothing.
    For a good analysis read this entry in The Skeptics Dictionary.
     
  15. Oct 20, 2005 #14
    Chopra has a history of funding research, such as the "Synchrodestiny study".
    http://www.bastyr.edu/development/newsletter/fall04.asp?jump=5

    Bill Gates would also do of course.

    It seems they have no clue what causes it.
     
  16. Oct 20, 2005 #15

    FredGarvin

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    I think a lot has to do with our literal interpretation of old ideas from a different language and culture. In Aikido, we study the idea of ki, but not in such a literal sense as being asked here. From what I have read regarding Qigong and Yoga and others, IMO the same holds true.

    I think it would be very difficult to do a proper study on the effects of something like Qigong, especially to attribute the benefits derived to chi.
     
  17. Oct 26, 2005 #16
    acupuncture is a well respected and very often prescribed treatment in sweden. It does have documented pain relife effects.
     
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