Qigong for Depression
Dr. Mark Abrahams Says...
I am not averse to other models of health, but admittedly, I am not a practitioner of Qigong, Tai Chi, or other Chinese systems. Aside from having read a handful of books on Taoist practices and having taken a course on the short Yang form of Tai Chi, I must admit ignorance. I have, however, been a student of Indian and Sikh forms of Yoga, as well as having written a dissertation paralleling Tibetan Buddhist Yoga with western psychological theories. I state all this simply to establish the fact that I do respect non-allopathic systems of health and wholeness.
That being said, I will also say that I am not a medical doctor, nor do I recommend an all-or-nothing extremism. I was once pulled into participating in a Bible-reading prayer session in an American public school, to aid a boy who had 'episodes!' Those episodes were explained medically as the result of sickle cell anemia, where the sickling was occurring in his brain, resulting in transient psychotic episodes. He was receiving treatment at the local clinic for this medical condition, while also being treated 'as if' he was being oppressed by demons, as described biblically. In THAT particular case, I personally belonged on the medical side of the physical-metaphysical continuum.
In your instance, I would begin to familiarize myself with the practices and philosophy of Qigong, while continuing to receive medical treatment. Medicine operates under one world-view while Qigong operates under completely different assumptions. The subjective factor is very important in Qigong, just as it is in Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine. One cannot assume an eastern model with western assumptions and expect it to work similarly. The subjective factor is also a component of homeopathy and spagyric alchemy, and one does not simply go through the physical actions in order to reap any benefits. There is a necessary shift in the psychosomatic aspect, and I do not use the term in a typically western way, as if to marginalize the psychic aspect, like 'it's just in your mind.' No, one must transition between models, such that if proficiency in Qigong reduces one's need for medication, fine. Just jumping ship from a medical model to a metaphysical model would be reckless. As human beings, we belong to both domains simultaneously, and one must establish balance. By all means learn Qigong, but do not simply abandon the medical model. That would do violence to your dual nature. Transition with patience and with evidence of gains.
Page last updated Jul 29, 2013