* On September 20, 2023, the inaugural “Taiji and Qigong Science for Whole Person Health Conference” concluded successfully at the Mass General Brigham Conference Center located in Assembly Row. Nearly 300 experts, professors, researchers, and professionals from 12 countries participated in this international gathering dedicated to the science of Taiji and Qigong. The conference was organized by the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard University and received sponsorship and support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the National Institute on Aging. The conference was co-chaired by Dr. Peter Wayne, Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard University, and Dr. Gloria Yeh, Director of the Research Center.
The topic of “The Training and Credentialing of TCQ Instructors: Is There a Need for (Inter)national Guidelines?” garnered significant attention at a forum held at Harvard University. The discussion featured five distinguished panelists, including Dr. Daniel Seitz, Dr. Shudong Li, Dr. Marie Favorito, Dr. Paul Lam, and Professor Byeongsang Oh.
Daniel Seitz, JD, EdD, is currently the executive director of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency for naturopathic doctoral programs in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Shudong Li is a California Acupuncture Board Commissioner, the Executive Chair of the World Taiji Science Federation, and the organizer of the International Taiji Science Forum and Taiji Masters exhibition. Marie Favorito, Director and Senior Instructor, Universal Tao Boston, Boston, MA. Paul Lam, Director, Taiji for Health Institute, Pyrmont, Australia, Professor Byeongsang Oh is one of the founding members of the International Medical Taiji Qigong Association (iMTQA) and Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
The topic of discussion and presentation revolved around the training and qualification certification of Taiji and Qigong (TCQ) instructors: whether there is a need for (inter)national guidelines？
Dr. Shudong Li provided a detailed introduction to the Taiji intangible cultural heritage inheritance system, as well as the existing domestic and international organizational structures such as the Taijiquan Special Committee of the China Intangible Cultural Heritage Association, the Chinese Wushu Association, and the International Wushu Federation, the China Health Qigong Association, and the International Health Qigong Federation. He also discussed the grading and certification standards of these related organizations. Furthermore, he offered his own opinions and suggestions regarding the development of future international standards for Taiji and Qigong.
According to Dr. Shudong Li’s presentation, a recent series of forums and academic conferences on Taiji and Health Qigong, particularly events like this one involving multiple international industry associations, funded by the United States National Institutes of Health, and hosted by top-tier universities, have garnered the attention and support of leading scientists from around the world. This signifies substantial achievements in the international promotion of Taiji and Health Qigong, making them central in their respective domains.
These series of activities hold significant importance for the global expansion of Taiji and Health Qigong and are considered milestone events. However, they also imply that the future promotion and development of Taiji and Health Qigong worldwide, especially in the academic and research fields, will enter a completely new developmental environment and atmosphere.
Therefore, how to better guide and utilize this positive momentum to ensure that traditional Chinese health practices like Taiji and Health Qigong can better serve the health needs of people globally has become an urgent and crucial topic for discussion and action in the Taiji and Qigong community. This will require collective efforts from the international community, academia, and healthcare sectors to ensure that these treasures of traditional culture can be effectively inherited, developed, and promoted worldwide for the benefit of global health.
We are very grateful to Director Peter Wayne and Director Gloria Yeh for taking the time out of their busy schedules to arrange a visit and exchange activities at Harvard Medical School and laboratories for the delegation representing the world of Taiji Science. This location also serves as the headquarters for the “New England Journal of Medicine.”
List of Abstracts: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jicm.2023.29125.abstracts