Qigong: Ancient Chinese Healing for the 21st Century
Narrated by James Shigeta
Directed by Francesco Garri Garripoli
Qigong (pronounced “chee-gung”) is a 5,000 year old Chinese healthcare modality that has both endured the test of time and is making a tremendous resurgence at the threshold of the 21st Century. Literally millions practice Qigong in China and around the world each day to successfully treat diseases ranging from hypertension to cancer. The purpose of this one-hour documentary is to provide a unique look into the world where the elder Masters of this medical artform dwell. Viewers will be taken on a journey deep into the Chinese countryside to visit monasteries, temples, schools, and homes of these Masters like the 93 year old female bonesetting Master Lao and the spry 92 year old Wushu Master Duan Liang; seeing them perform and teach their exercise and healing techniques and hearing them speak in their original homeland settings to gain historic perspective.
Thanks to the support of the Chinese government, these Masters are being asked to come into the public light. They are being brought forward because of the tremendous amount of scientific evidence that supports the value of Qigong as a component of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) to treat many chronic diseases that have no cure with Western medicine.
The National Institutes of Health s Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) in Washington, DC has funded in-depth CAM research projects at 12 major universities across the U.S. including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and others. Twenty-nine medical schools have included CAM courses in their basic curriculum. Some of these universities have even set up departments to make permanent this area of study and incorporate Qigong into their research criteria. This is concurrent with the Clinton Administration s imperative to build a low-cost, all inclusive, healthcare system for the populace. As Qigong moves into the public awareness through these efforts and through the dozens of videotapes and books coming onto the market, it seems critical that an historic and cultural perspective is provided for this “new” adjunct to our healthcare offerings. A core message in this program will be to show that through a melding of the East and West–a merging of traditional methodologies and beneficial emerging-technologies–positive solutions will be found to many problems that plague society today. Qigong shows that people can take responsibility for their own healthcare and achieve benefits for their body, mind and spirit.
“Qigong – Ancient Chinese Healing for the 21st Century” is produced and directed by Garripoli, Emmy award winning graphics and special effects designer, Tai Chi instructor and Qigong practitioner for 20 years. His expertise ensures a sensitive treatment of this subject while making it accessible to the Western viewer. The natural Chinese settings including Beijing, Datong, Luoyang, the Shaolin Temple, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Shanghai will provide viewers with an insight into the wonders of the Chinese culture. The rarely seen footage from Tibet is beautiful and moving. The insights into the wonders of Qigong’s medical implications will be a unique offering for the growing number of interested students, medical doctors, and healthcare professionals from around the world. For all, it will be exciting to learn of the history and current practice of this valuable cultural gift from the past which may hold the answer to better healthcare in the next century.”
Special thanks go out to the wonderful actor James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Mulan) for his rich and heartfelt narration.
Help support this kind of programming by calling your local PBS station s Director of Programming and tell them that you hope they will be airing this program offered by American Public Television (APT is our distributor to PBS). You may also ask when you can expect it to air. This sends a positive message to them to continue offering this type of educational programming and helps to keep Public Broadcasting the truly public service it was designed to be.
As a historical note, starting in 1999, we started a massive grassroots program where organizations and interested individuals worked with their local PBS-TV station affiliates to organize a local showing of this important documentary. As a community outreach for the station this gave a chance for everyone to help promote what you do in the area of Qigong while informing people of the show. PBS Corporate told us that by 2001 over 88 million viewers across the U.S. and Canada saw this one-hour documentary. The opening few minutes of this historic television show can be seen on the home page of this website.