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Journal Articles China perspectives Year : 1999

Control and Release of emotions in qigong health practices


Contemporary qigong is a comprehensive system of corporal techniques with a therapeutic purpose, a system that is rooted in Chinese tradition. These practices are aimed at promoting better health, longer life, and the regression of pathological states. A practice using the “thought” is unique to qigong which becomes thus an exercise of the mind: when intensively pursued, it leads to a real transformation of the person. Qigong presents another original feature, again, not in the area of techniques but in the social dimension and the socio-political stakes associated with it. Offering a consistent reading about Chinese society, it may be considered an “expression of Chinese modernity”, as a space in which local contradictions are revealed and negotiated. A multi-facetted social phenomenon has grown up around these practices: in China, in their traditional or neo-traditional forms: and in the West, in forms that have been “exported”, “re-interpreted” or completely “invented”. The aim of this article is to show that the handling of the emotions by the various social actors present—the master, the group, and the individual—is a treatment and care technique in the context of qigong practices. The first part is about the process of conceptualising the emotions in China's cultural context. The second part tackles the sociability and subjectivity of emotions in the light of an analysis of the conducts of qigong practitioners. The third part focuses its attention on one of the aspects of the practice—specifically the trance-like states engendered by the exercises in certain conditions—because it appears to be the subjective and social expression of controlled or released emotions.
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ird-00448856 , version 1 (02-02-2010)



Evelyne Micollier. Control and Release of emotions in qigong health practices. China perspectives, 1999, 24, pp.22-30. ⟨ird-00448856⟩
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