Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L |M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X Y Z
(pronounced chee; the Japanese equivalent is “ki”) The poorly defined substance, the “life force” believed by the ancient Chinese — and many new agers — to circulate in the body through the meridians. Balancing the yin and yang, the two different forms of qi — feminine and masculine — is a process said to bring about harmony of body and spirit. There are thirty-two different kinds of qi, all essential to all forms of life.
Since belief in this substance is very widespread in Asia, it has become a firm article of cultural acceptance, and there is great reluctance there to examine the matter. Fortunately, the Chinese have accepted other, more Occidental forms of medical treatment and have incorporated those into their system.
See also acupuncture.
(pronounced chee-gung) One claim made by practitioners of this art is “remote diagnosis,” in which the diagnoser needs only the name of the patient in order to correctly state what ailments are afflicting that person. Since patients seldom, if ever, report results, the practitioner has no means for assessing his or her success. This claim, and the many other aspects of qi gong, have been tested many, many times and have failed eloquently. For a fuller discussion of qi gong, see acupuncture.
An ignorant person who pretends to have knowledge of medicine and wondrous remedies. The word is short forquacksalver, meaning, one who “quacks” (makes a loud noise) about a remedy (a salve).
Though a multitude of quacks have been exposed and convicted for their activities, the support of their dupes is eternal. An early American scientist/philosopher offered a more specific comment on the breed.
Ben Franklin, who was aware of that strange quirk of human nature that elects the victim as chief supporter of the trickster.
Ben Franklin said:
There are no greater liars in the world than quacks — except for their patients.
One prominent British quack of the 1830s who went by the title of St. John Long, developed a salve that he claimed indicated disease by raising a rash on any afflicted body part to which he applied it. The means of using this salve need hardly be puzzled over for long. This fraud was convicted of manslaughter and was fined for causing the death of one patient, then the following year he was brought up on another such charge and acquitted. This time he was driven in triumph from the courthouse in a nobleman's carriage and cheered by the crowds.
At this writing, quackery is becoming more and more popular worldwide, particularly in the United States, and threatens to supersede much of modern medicine. Political and legal considerations have prevented open discussion or even the questioning of procedures that are clearly without merit. The highly litigious nature of American society has effectively provided the quacks with protection, and the public suffers because it cannot afford to defend itself, and politicians fear censure.