Falun Gong and Health Benefits – Part II
III. 2002 Survey of Falun Gong's Healing Effects in Taiwan
In view of increasing national health care expenditures and the government taking on an additional load, improving health while minimizing public expenditures has become an important issue.
During the last few decades, Qigong as part of China's traditional culture has been shown to have an important, positive impact, and is indeed an inexpensive way to enhance health. Falun Gong is becoming increasingly popular.
How effective is Falun Gong?
Dr. Hu Yuhui, from the Department of Economics at National Taiwan University, has researched medical economics for many years. She is also a Falun Gong practitioner. Drawing on her personal experiences and professional prestige, and with support from the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, Dr. Hu completed a joint survey with other medical personnel on how the practice of Qigong improves the quality of health. This academic research targeted case histories of Falun Gong practitioners.
By way of a stratified sampling, Dr. Hu selected 20% of towns and cities for her research. Of the questionnaires she distributed, 1,210 (75%) were answered and returned. Conclusions were based on statistical analysis. The report emphasized that after people started practicing Falun Gong, 72% used their medical card only once per year, down almost 50% from the past. The survey also showed that Falun Gong had a significant effect in helping people quit bad habits. 81% of the respondents quit smoking, 77% quit drinking, 85% quit gambling, and 85% also completely stopped their habit of chewing betel nuts. This data validates the positive and significant role of Falun Gong in everyday society.
Dr. Hu emphasized further that the research also shows that Falun Gong offers great psychological and mental benefits. The satisfaction rate regarding personal health increased from 24% in the past to 78%, and the satisfaction rate concerning carrying out daily activities increased from 36% to 81%. In addition, 33% of respondents had a tendency to be nervous and depressed before practicing Falun Gong, but the rate dropped to 3% after they started practicing.
The survey in Taiwan has, for the first time, reported the positive effects of Falun Gong practice on women who experience menopause. In the U.S. in 2002, a long-term follow-up survey found that hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) that was widely used over the previous few decades resulted in more side effects than benefits . The follow-up survey found that in the U.S. alone, of the approximately 20 million menopausal women, 6 million were using HRT, which was later stopped. Helping menopausal women remains an important issue. A common phenomenon of Falun Gong practice is that many older women start to menstruate again, although only moderately, and they become younger-looking. The survey found that among the 723 women who participated in the survey, 345 were menopausal, accounting for 47.72%. Of the menopausal women, 68 are confirmed to have resumed their menstrual cycle, and their symptoms showed obvious improvement.
Dr. Hu believes that in the economy where health care budgets are curtailed, Falun Gong practice not only effectively reduces health care expenditures but brings immeasurable benefits to people’s health in general. She believes that the government and the academic sector should work together to further understand the health benefits of Falun Gong. She hopes that she can get support from the Healthcare Bureau so that she can do additional in-depth research on the health of Falun Gong practitioners.
IV. The Healing Characteristics of Falun Gong Practice
To summarize the healing characteristics of Falun Gong practice based on the above-cited statistics:
First, the effectiveness of Falun Gong practice is demonstrated by the 70% complete and partial recovery rate among Falun Gong practitioners who previously suffered from illnesses, with the overall effective rate reaching over 98.0%.
Professor Hu Mingqin, from the pathology research department at the No. 1 Military Medicine University, who participated in the survey in Guangdong Province, China, stated, “Some Falun Gong practitioners previously suffered from illnesses considered difficult and/or terminal; some of them had been given a ‘death sentence’ in hospitals, considered ‘incurable’ by medical professionals, yet they have miraculously regained their health through practicing Falun Gong. Medical checkups showed that their cancerous cells disappeared, and the symptoms of terminal illnesses and difficult cases vanished. They regained their health.”
The healing power of Falun Gong is also demonstrated by the fact that they recover without the help of other medical treatments. Professor Hu Mingqin continued, “Many Falun Gong practitioners were well-known ‘chronic invalids’ or ‘regular visitors to hospitals,’ but while they were practicing Falun Gong, they stopped medications and injections. Their conditions did not get worse, but instead got better and better. Some of them were cancer sufferers in the middle of chemotherapy, and some were diabetics who had been warned by doctors that they 'must not stop taking medication.' Their recoveries were unconceivable from a medical point of view.” He also stated, “Among Falun Dafa practitioners, not only did illnesses disappear, the patients also commonly became physically rejuvenated, to that of their youth. Senior practitioners have fewer wrinkles, their hair turns black, and their complexion is rosy and smooth, showing signs of rejuvenation. It is especially difficult to explain what I mentioned earlier—that older women resumed their menstrual cycle and were rejuvenating.”
The healing power of Falun Gong is also shown in the “anti-placebo effect.” This will be discussed in a different section.
Second, the holistic healing power of Falun Gong is shown from several aspects. The survey results indicate that the average complete and partial recovery rate from different types of illnesses exceeds 70%, and the recovery rate for “incurable diseases,” such as cancer, lupus, and Parkinson disease, is 66%. For other difficult and complex cases such as anasarca, the complete and partial recovery rate is 58%.
The survey in Dalian shows that illness-disappearance rates among Falun Gong practitioners who previously suffered one illness, and those who suffered multiple illnesses were 89.72% and 88.83%, respectively. There is no obvious discrepancy from a statistical point of view. The holistic healing power of Falun Gong is also reflected in the great improvement in practitioners’ psychological and mental wellbeing. A survey in Beijing shows a connection between psychological change, physical change, and the change in illness (see Figure 1). The above indicates that Falun Gong's healing effects impacts the body and mind in a holistic manner. But it also demonstrates that the effectiveness of the practice is determined by each individual practitioner rather than the type of illness or the number of illnesses a practitioner has.
Figure 1: Beijing survey of more than 10,000 people, with corresponding relationships between recovery of mental, physical, and health status
Vertical axis: Percentage of people investigated
Horizontal axis: Status groups
Group 1: Happy and optimistic, physically energetic, complete recovery
Group 2: Significant improvement, can work normally, basic recovery
Group 3: Some improvement, can engage in average manual work
Group 4: No change, unable to work
Bars represent: Mental status; Physical status; Health recovery status (respectively)
Third, Falun Gong practice has been shown to exert a positive impact on behavior and lifestyle. In China, a great majority of practitioners participate in daily group exercises for a half-hour or longer. They live normal lives and most have let go of unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking, and gambling. Most Falun Gong practitioners believe they have improved their character and morals, their mental wellbeing has experienced complete self-regulation and improvement, they have enhanced their capacity to endure, and their moods have stablized. They have improved their health, and their improvement in character has been a positive influence on their families, as well as their social life and work.
Fourth, most Falun Gong practitioners experienced rapid health improvement after they started cultivation. The speed and effectiveness are commonly described as "amazing." Some people’s symptoms disappeared within three to five days after listening to Mr. Li’s lectures or reading the book Zhuan Falun, and their bodies felt light. Most people experienced a complete recovery or obvious improvement within a few months or a year or two. The Dalian area survey reported a healing rate of 99% among people within a year of beginning Falun Gong practice, while the Guangdong report shows that among the people surveyed, 72% practiced Falun Gong for less than two years at the time. 98% became healthy within one or two years. The summary result of this survey shows that 61.5% of people had practiced Falun Gong for less than two years at the time of the survey. The survey in North America shows that the average time for a smoker to quit smoking is 4.58 days (standard error is 9.72 days). The Dalian survey shows that as people continued practicing Falun Gong, the basic recovery rate also increased. The surveys in North America and in Taiwan both indicate that the longer people practiced Falun Gong, the better their health index became.
Lastly, Falun Gong practice is economical. Promotion of Falun Gong practice happens on a volunteer basis, without charge. Falun Gong books can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. There is no cost to learn Falun Gong. On the other hand, Falun Gong’s healing power has saved practitioners, their employers, and the government large amounts in medical expenses. As per the surveys in Guangdong, Beijing, and Dalian, each Falun Gong practitioner saved over 2,600 yuan per year in medical expenses. The economic benefits are significant. The Taiwan survey also showed that people reduced their medical expenditures by half after they started Falun Gong practice, excluding the work time saved from sick leave and the invisible cost of time and energy in family care for the sick.
(To be continued)
Part I of this report can be found at http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2011/3/5/123614.html