The Way of Qigong
The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing
Kennet S. Cohen
Ballantine Books, New York (USA), 1997
427 pages, including index & bibliography
ISBN: 978-0-345-42109-8

Considered to be perhaps the best introduction to the topic in English language, The Way of Qigong does a very good job at discussing the most important concepts related to qigong, as well as presenting its history, its tenets, some basic elements of its practice, and an overall view of "the qigong lifestyle". Although the topic itself is quite foreign to the Western reader, Cohen does a good job at introducing us to the topic. Nevertheless, one sometimes had the impression that the author was putting too much effort in convincing us that there is an actual scientific evidence to substantiate most of the claims of Traditional Chinese Medicine (something that, I must admit, I am a bit skeptical about myself). In particular, the whole final part of the first section (titled Does It Really Work? The Experimental Evidence) is full of information that is quite partial in nature (most of it comes from foundations and institutes that were created precisely to promote qigong or Chinese traditional medicine).

In any case, most of it should do no harm to anyone. Overall, my position when it comes to qigong or other areas of what is usually known as alternative medicine is that they may be useful as preventive medicine in the form of lifestyle advice, as well as treating some minor ailments, but definitely not for major issues, where one is always better off consuting with a regular physician. I do not believe, therefore, in the miracle cures of alternative therapies, but am more willing to listen to their advice when they list the main characteristics of a healthy lifestyle (enough sleep, a balanced and varied diet, eat more vegetables and fruit, reduce the consumption of red meat, sugars and salt, do some exercise... in other words, lead a moderate lifestyle). Sure, Western physicians also provide the same advice but, for whatever reason, mainstream medicine tends to pay more attention to fixing what is broken rather than to promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Entertainment: 6/10
Content: 7/10