I would like to thank my major professor, Dr. Dennis Frate, for his guidance and patience.  I would also like to thank the other committee members, Dr. Jay Johnson and Dr. James Henderson, for their comments and assistance.  I would like to express my thanks to John Bentley and Haibo Wang for their technical assistance.  I would like to thank all of my martial arts teachers and qigong instructors.  Among these I would especially like to thank Rich Mooney, Michael Lomax, Rick Moneymaker, and The DragonSociety.  Finally, I would like to thank the members of the Tuite email discussion group from whom I learned much that contributed directly to this thesis and enabled me to meet many interesting people.


Alternative and complementary healthcare are growing ever more popular in the United States.  Among the more popular alternative and complementary health care approaches being adopted by Americans are health traditions from non-Western cultures.  The health traditions of China and India have in particular provided many new concepts and challenges to Western scientific medicine's approach to health maintenance and treatment.  One such tradition known as qigong, from China, is quickly gaining in popularity in the United States.  This practice is seen to build up bioenergy for healing and maintenance of health.  Many extraordinary claims have been made for the health and treatment benefits of this practice.  Research from China has documented many of these claims and research is only now beginning in the United States.  In this study survey research of qigong practitioners compared to non-qigong practitioners provides interesting insights into the health benefits of this practice.  In addition, ethnographic investigation provides further insights into the practices of bioenergy healers.

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