For most Americans, Chinese medicine is synonymous with acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulations. But another key branch of the Chinese healing tradition, Qigong (pronounced "chee gung"), an energy healing method widely respected and utilized within China, is just now becoming known in the West. The woman who has emerged as the foremost proponent of Qigong outside China is Dr. Effie Poy Yew Chow.
Aside from being a Qigong Grandmaster, Dr. Chow has a Ph.D. in higher education and a master's degree in behavioral sciences and communications, and is a registered public health and psychiatric nurse. She is also a licensed acupuncturist (NCCA diplomate) and founder of the East West Academy of Healing Arts in San Francisco.
Dr. Chow has served in numerous health policy advisory positions, including policy development work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in the field of cultural diversity, complementary and alternative medicine, and ethnomedicine. In the early development of the acupuncture licensing law in California, she was an advisor to Senator Moscone and other legislators. She has also served as an appointed member of the National Advisory Council to The Secretary of DHHS on Health Professions' Education for Medicine, Osteopathy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Podiatry (MODVOPP).
Recognized as a leading expert in the field of complementary and alternative medicine, she served on the first Ad Hoc Advisory Panel for the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine, and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She is also an editorial consultant to Time-Life Books; a member of the editorial advisory board of Rodale Press; on the scientific advisory board of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine at Columbia University; and consultant/advisor to the Institute of Healing Arts and Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.
Over the past two decades, Dr. Chow has presented to over 200,000 people of all cultures, more than 350 business corporations including Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, health clinics, and universities. She is the co-author of Miracle Healing from China, Qigong, with Charles McGee, M.D., and developer of the Chow Integrated Healing System, which is demonstrated on audio and videotapes (1-800-824-2433).
In this interview with Dr. Daniel Redwood, Dr. Chow discusses the principles underlying Qigong, discusses some of her most powerful cases, and looks forward to an increasing integration of Eastern and Western healing traditions.
For further information about Dr. Chow:
Daniel Redwood: How would you describe Qigong for those who are not familiar with it?
Effie Chow: Qigong is an ancient Chinese subtle energy healing system that deals with the vital life force. Qi means "breath or vital life force" and gong means "to cultivate or work." So Qigong means "to cultivate the breath or vital life force to its maximum." Qigong is a lifestyle, living in harmony with nature; a way of exercise, meditation, and practices of the body, mind, and spirit. It fosters optimum health by keeping the qi energy balanced. Or, if there is an imbalance, qigong will re-harmonize or rebalance the energy so that all functions will become normal and healthy again. Qigong is one of the most important components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).