A common thread that runs through conversations with Daoist practitioners is the healing of the body, and a common way into Daoism for many people is through the personal experience of the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine. Often these personal experiences lead people to investigate Daoism, because it shares many common elements with traditional Chinese medicine, such as an emphasis on balance, on the healthy circulation of vital energy (Qi) throughout the body, and the personal experience of the transformation of the body.
When watching the following three clips on healing, note down your answers to the following questions. Not every question will be applicable to each clip. Your answers to these questions will be used as the basis for discussion at the end of this section:
- What is it about these people's autobiographies that gives them a certain power or authority?
- Religions propose solutions to problems. According to the speakers, what are the problems that Daoism can solve?
- How do the speakers situate themselves in relation to Daoism? Are they practiting a skill? representating a community? legitimating a tradition? defending a belief? transmitting ancient wisdom? modernising a tradition? reforming society? Come up with your own verb-object phrase.
This section of the website begins with Bill Frazier's account of how practicing Taiji quan helped to heal his back.