Qigong Clinic & Training Center*, simply known as the Center,
normally has more than four thousand people living there, including
doctors, patients, ChiLel teachers, trainees, and supporting
personnel. The Center was established in 1988 in the city of Zigachong
and later, in 1992, relocated to the city of Qinhuangdao. In 1995, it
again expanded to its present address, an old army hospital in the
city of Fengrun, two hours by train from Beijing. It is directed by
its founder, Dr. Pang Ming, a Qigong grandmaster and physician trained
in both Western and Chinese traditional medicine. This hospital is the
largest of its kind in China and probably in the world. The Center
avoids medicines and special diets in favor of exercise, love, and
life energy. It is a non-profit organization and is recognized by the
Chinese government as a legitimate clinic. Over the years, the Center
has treated more than one hundred and eighty diseases, the overall
success rate being more than 95%.
I spent the entire month of May living in the Center, observing
first hand how the hospital operates and interviewing more than one
hundred people who have miraculously recovered from incurable diseases
such as cancer, diabetes,
disease, severe depression,
paralysis, and systemic lupus. Many
times I was moved to tears while listening to these accounts of heroic
struggle against disease. One mother told me that she was so weak that
she couldn't even pick up a kitchen knife to kill herself and so
attempted to end her life by not eating. But when her six-year-old son
tried to spoon feed her a bowl of milk while her eleven-year-old held
a towel to wipe any spills, she decided to live at any cost. Since
doctors couldn't help her, she turned to ChiLel and, against all odds,
recovered. She is now a teacher at the Center.
The Power of ChiLel
ChiLel, the method employed in the
Center, was developed by Dr. Pang. The method is based on the
5,000-year-old concept of qigong (chigong, chi kung) as well as modern
medical knowledge. Dr. Pang, reverently known as Lao-shi, the Teacher,
has written more than nine books on ChiLel.
ChiLel consists of four parts...
- Strong belief (Shan Shin): a belief that chi or life energy, can
heal all ailments, including one's own. Students build belief by
listening to testimonials of recovered patients and learning about
chi and its healing effects.
- Group Healing (Chu Chong): before a group of students begins
ChiLel, the teacher verbally synchronizes the thinking of the group
to obtain chi from the universe and bring it down into a healing
energy field, shrouding everyone including the teacher himself or
herself. The healing effect is enhanced because the group is acting
- Chi Healing (Fa Chi): Facilitating chi healing by teachers
teachers bring healing energy from the universe to each individual
to facilitate healing.
- Practice (Lan Gong): Students learn easy-to-follow ChiLel
movements and practice them over and over again. The methods, parts
of Zhineng qigong, are called:
- Lift Chi Up and Pour Chi Down Method.
- Three Centers Merge Standing Method.
When a patient enters the hospital, he is diagnosed by a doctor,
and then assigned to a class of fifty or so people for a 24-day
treatment period. He spends most of his time practicing ChiLel, eight
hours a day without television, newspapers or telephone. Those who can
stand up practice standing; those who can sit practice in their
chairs; and those who can't move practice in their beds. I was moved
by the dedication of these students.
Despite its amazing success at healing, the Center is little known
even in China because of its policy of not advertising in newspapers
or magazines. However, the Center is well known among its estimated
eight million ChiLel practitioners. Through word of mouth, thousands
of people from all over China are coming to the Center every month.
Indeed, ChiLel has a great number of followers and the Center is the
brain of this vast organization. New techniques for treating diseases
are developed daily.
For example, a new way of demonstrating the effectiveness of chi for
treating cancer has been developed. I witnessed a cancer patient being
treated by four ChiLel teachers while the patient's bladder cancer was
viewed on a screen via an ultra-sound machine, and monitored by two
doctors. The cancer literally disappeared in front of my eyes in less
than a minute as the teachers emitted chi into the patient, dissolving
the cancer! In fact, I videotaped this incredible act. Ten days later,
I requested the doctors to double check if the patient's tumor was
gone. Kindly enough the doctors put the same patient's bladder again
on screen and we saw no trace of cancer. Later I was told that a major
German TV station crew, visiting the Center a week before, had
successfully videotaped the same process with other cancer patients.
Center has over six hundred staff members, including twenty-six
Western-trained doctors. Since no medicine is prescribed, there aren't
any pharmacists. Doctors, who prefer to be called teachers, play only
a minor role in this special hospital. Occasionally, they are called
upon to attend emergency cases. Their main function is to diagnose
patients when they come in to register and again after each 24-day
Their diagnoses are classified into four categories for statistical
- Cured: Symptoms disappear and appropriate instruments ( e.g. EKG,
ultra-sound, X-ray, CT and so on) register normal.
- Very Effective: Symptoms almost disappear and instruments show
- Effective: Noticeable improvements, and student can eat, sleep,
and feel good.
- Non-effective: No change or even worse.
According to "Summary of Zhineng Qigong's Healing Effects
on Chronic Diseases", published by the Center in 1991, data
of 7,936 patients showed an overall effective healing rate of 94.96%.
(15.20% cured; 37.68% very effective; 42.09% effective.)
In the Center, no matter how sick a person is, he is still addressed
as a "student" never "patient". Why? Because he is
learning an art the goal of which is to heal oneself, not to rely on
doctors. Therefore no doctor-patient relationships exist.
Students are enrolled in a 24-days treatment program. The tuition
fee is only one hundred yuan (about twelve dollars). Students can
spend as little as six hundred yuan (about seventy dollars) per month!
The Center is probably the most inexpensive hospital in the world and
is truly a non-profit organization. Yet the Center is an independent,
self-sufficient organization, without any help from government or
How do they operate so efficiently? Because many of the doctors,
ChiLel teachers, and supporting personnel are former students who have
recovered from serious illnesses themselves and have now returned
voluntarily to "serve the sick", with very little pay.
Teachers play the roles of doctor, nurse, social worker, cheerleader,
parent, friend, brother, and sister. Their effectiveness is measured
by the healing rate of their students.
Another reason for the Center's effective but low-budget operation
is that it uses group therapy. Students live in groups of four, eight
or sixteen persons per room. By living in groups, students develop in
a cooperative spirit of caring and love toward each other. Many of
those I interviewed had been rejected by their former hospitals as "incurable,"
and, therefore, had regarded the Center as their last hope. As though
sailing on the same boat in the ocean, students bond together against
their common enemy's disease.
Trained to Heal
Just as hospitals associate with medical schools to train young
people to enter into the medical profession, the Center also has
ChiLel schools to train ChiLel professionals. There is a Zhineng
Qigong Academy and one-month and three-month instructor training
schools. The Academy, established in 1992, has a two-year training
program for young men and women under the age of thirty who have the
minimum of a high-school education. The one-month and three-months
instructor-training programs are for anyone interested in ChiLel. I
was told that there are typically more than a thousand students in
both programs in school.
In addition, just as prestigious hospitals have research programs,
the Center has many on-going research projects both on site and at
different university campuses around the country. When I requested the
person in charge, a retired college professor, to show me some
published papers, he gave me two volumes of experiment data, as thick
as a telephone book!
Besides doctors, teachers, and students, there are hundreds of
supporting personnel, working in the office, cafeteria, bookstore, and
so on. All of them are ChiLel practitioners and they practice ChiLel
together in the morning and in the evening, about three hours a day.
As they say, it is not just a job, it is a ChiLel job.
Center is open only ten months a year because of lack of heating in
the rooms during winter. The Center is currently building a home for
itself, a "ChiLel City" in a place near Beijing, with better
facilities to accommodate the ever-increasing number of students,
including Americans and others coming from abroad.
I asked the founder, Lao-shi, why didn't he promote ChiLel to the
world sooner. He replied that many people need proof whether chi works
or not. So instead of arguing with others, he preferred to work
solidly by treating patients and collecting valuable data. As a
result, tens of thousands of documented cases over a period of eight
years have been collected and, "Now we are ready. Please tell the
world that we exist and ChiLel can benefit mankind."
* Due to political reasons, the Center was closed in 2001.