Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Having followed the articles about energy healing over the last couple of weeks, I feel it is important to inform your readers of some facts that have not yet been discussed.

On Amazon.com, the description of Mr. Blum’s book, Ki Power: Healing Power at Your Fingertips, reads as follows:

“Imagine healing someone in minutes with the stroke of your hand or the touch of your toes. Imagine the warmth of your fingers eliminating bruises overnight. Imagine harnessing a power so great that it can be used to stop that pain and suffering of others. Now imagine that you could acquire such knowledge by training just a few minutes a day. Author Robert Blum, one of the world’s foremost experts on KI Power development, shows you how to cultivate internal power and then use it to instantly heal yourself and others.”

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I don’t have to be a sceptic to realize that if I have to “imagine” something medical that my doctor has not heard of, and makes no sense scientifically, then it is probably imaginary. Blum tells us to “[i]magine harnessing a power so great…” What is this power? If it exists, surely it must have been discussed by scientists.

So let us look at some scientific research done on this “power.” In China it is known as Qigong, or, more accurately, External Qigong. There is a phenomenal book called Qigong: Chinese Medicine or Pseudoscience? published by Prometheus Books in 2000. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the truth behind this new-fangled “healing” method.

It is written by six Chinese authors, including Lin Zixin, the retired editor-in-chief of China’s Science and Technology Daily; Yu Li, who works in China’s Ministry of Internal Trade and is viewed as China’s popular debunker of pseudoscience; and Shen Zhenyu, research director for China’s Popular Science Institute.

They explain that Qigong is a kind of breathing exercise and, according to traditional Chinese medical theory, the “Qi” in Qigong is not only the air people breath but also the vital energy of the body, which is also called “genuine Qi,” or “internal Qi,” thought to be equivalent to the body’s immunity to disease, its adaptability to the environment, and healing ability. The exercise of vital energy is emphasized in traditional Chinese medicine; it is believed this energy can be manipulated to obtain optimum health.

As Rabbi Noson Leiter correctly said, the very belief in the existence of Qi is kefirah. Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch (on Bamidbar 22:13) and Rav Yonoson Eibeshutz (volume 2, drasha 6) both say that this belief in, and the worship of, this power was none other than Baal.

However, in 1978 a new application of Qi manipulation was invented – “External Qigong,” with people claiming they were “Qigong masters” and could emit several kinds of physical energy out of their body, the physical basis of which is “microwave energy,” “infrared rays,” “increased static electric signal,” “electromagnetic waves,” “weak magnetic signal,” etc.

Since then, many people have proclaimed themselves able to radiate “external Qi” after only a few days of practice. They claim they can heal with external qigong, radiating energy that can pass through the air to patients, even causing the patient to feel sensations of heat, cold, or numbness in parts of their bodies. Some patients even claim to experience a force pressing on their bodies, which causes them to move involuntarily.

A number of prominent people and famous scientists became totally convinced of the effects of “external Qi” after witnessing it being “used.” They also heard reports of external Qigongists making seeds germinate better, changing the molecular structure of many substances, and causing chemical reactions without needed temperature and pressure changes. Some claimed they could kill bacteria and tumor cells, dispel black clouds, cause thunderstorms to occur, rain to stop, etc.

But it was all proven fake. Yan Xin claimed to be a powerful External Qigongist; he held a public lecture at which hundreds of people were under his spell; he ostensibly healed many of them on the spot and even killed one of them as well. However, when Meng Jikong, a chief leader in the Hengyang Acrobatic Troupe, did the same thing with no Qigong training whatsoever, people realized “external Qigong” is all fake.

Psychological researchers investigated several people who displayed reactions while listening to the lecture. They focused on their receptivity to suggestion and found that it was noticeably higher than that of normal people. Their personalities tended toward sensitivity; psychologically they were childish, dependent, and immature, and had hypochondriac and hysteria tendencies. Clearly, they concluded, the behavior of the audience was the result of psychological suggestion.

Kinesiologists and dowsers tell us their techniques won’t work if the patient is cynical and does not believe in these phenomena. The only people who will find it effective are those who are gullible.

Every single one of the External Qigongists was eventually exposed as a fraud. Except for one – who was using genuine magic. Mr. Blum and all your readers must be told: It’s either sham or shaman! If it’s a sham, then stop swindling people, and if it’s kishuf, the Torah forbids that too. Even for people who keep Shabbos and wear tefillin.

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