The Mystery of Chi" was filmed on location in Beijing and Shanghai and features David Eisenberg M.D., of Harvard Medical School, helping Bill Moyers to explore various aspects of traditional Chinese medicine. A specific focus of the program is on "Chi", the energy or spirit at the core of much of Chinese medicine's philosophy and practice.
The program opens with a tour of a Chinese hospital, which attempts to cure through either western medicine or eastern methods such as herbs, acupuncture, massage and meditation. The choice of eastern medicine, western medicine or a combination of both is left to the particular patient and doctors to decide.
The efficacy of Western science, as compared to the Eastern Chi energy is explored as is the possibility of placebo effect within Chi practice. A case is then made to show the basis of Chi, as much of China has already accepted it's principles. The openness of the hosts to new concepts, where they may be of help to the ends of medicine, is apparent.
The hosts move to People's Park in Shanghai to witness public displays of exercise/meditation by vast numbers of Chinese people. The beauty of the practitioners motion is evident. We meet a few Master's, who know their Chi intimately, as a focus in maximizing their personal health.
Next, we meet a Taoist calligrapher who proclaims "If we follow Yin/Yang, we will not get sick" [such statements should be taken with a grain of salt], and that we should practice a centering to attain a spiritual balance in our life [at least this advice is practical].
The program, in closing, goes back to the hospital to witness a Chi Gong or energy healing treatment. Here skepticism seems a proper response, but it may also be that we just don't have the experience with such energies in our culture, but that Chinese Masters, through their practice, do.
Either way, viewing the calming sobriety of this program is a pleasure, so it may be considered to be time well spent to those with an interest in the subject matter
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