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On Health Qigong Principles(Ⅳ)

Health Qigong and Biological Feedback Regulation and Control

In a sense, Health Qigong is a practice of the ability to control the physiological process, so as to improve the self-control level and effect of the human body. Therefore, Health Qigong regulation is closely related to the biological control theory. According to the principle of control theory, different kinds of functional regulatory systems of the human body are considered as a closed feedback control systems. Regulatory parts (such as reflex center, endocrine gland and so on) , whose orders given to effectors or target cells are input variables and information of the effectors and target cells, can be treated as control parts; and the effectors or target cells are the controlled parts. The physical effects of the effectors or target cells are the output variables and information of their own. The connection of bidirectional information existing between the control parts and the controlled parts forms a closed loop.  After being functioned by the control parts, the controlled parts, on one hand, changes movement states; on the other hand, it transmits the changed information of movement states back to the control parts. Then control parts analyze and compare with the information, and send information again to correct and adjust the states of controlled parts. After repeatedly regulating, the reaction of controlled parts finally come to the most precise and appropriate effort.


The process of controlled parts to send information back to control parts is called feedback. Feedback is divided into negative feedback and positive feedback. Negative feedback is the regulatory process of feedback information inhibiting or reducing activities of control parts. Negative feedback regulation is the important way to keep stable, such as temperate invariableness, blood pressure stability and so on. Positive feedback is the regulatory process of controlled parts sending feedback information to urge and strengthen activities of control parts, such as micturition, delivery, blood coagulation and so on. The function of negative feedback information is to keep balance, so it is a reversible process. And positive feedback control process is a nonreversible and continuously augmented process. Internal environmental stability of human body depends upon the correcting and adjusting functions of feedback information to the control information, so that it can achieve a precise regulation to keep a physiological dynamic balance.

According to the basic principle of biological control mentioned above, we can make a heuristic analysis of Health Qigong regulatory principle so as to discover certain implied laws in depth. This kind of laws can be expressed well especially in comparing researches between biological feedbacks.

Biological feedback is a certain process in which special signals will be extracted from the human body by some particular instrument, and informs the very person in an appropriate way so that he consciously corrects deviations in the accordance with feedback information, to realize self-control and self-regulation. After certain training, human can gain the ability of self-control on their physiological process in some degrees. Obviously, this kind of biological feedback technique prevailing in the West can be regarded as a kind of simple primary Qigong, and a behavior system with certain purpose, namely, the system of the brain and mind to actively regulate and control physiological and visceral activities. However, there exists an obvious difference between biological feedback and Health Qigong in feedback media and feedback channel.

Biological feedback achieves the active control of brain and mind to organism’s physiological and visceral functional activities. Its feedback information mainly comes from the input of the exteroceptor (such as sense of hearing and sighting), and what exteroceptor receives is the mind and body information through the reflection of feedback instrument and equipment. This kind of feedback methods or systems which takes the exteroceptor and its loops as a channel is called external feedback, and composes an external feedback ring with mind and body. In a similar way, for the Health Qigong’s realization of the active regulation and the control of human brain and mind to organism’s physiological and visceral function achieves, its feedback information mainly comes from the environmental afferent sensory of reflective organism of interceptors (such as noumenon and visceral receptors). This kind of feedback methods or systems which regards the interceptors and its loop as a channel can be called internal feedback, and it composes an internal feedback ring together with the mind and body.

It can be seen that biological feedback principle can be regarded as an establishing, consolidating and developing process of an external feedback ring between the brain activities and the organism activities, conscious domain and non-conscious domain, psychological process and physiological process; while Health Qigong is an establishing, consolidating and developing process of an internal feedback ring. Specifically speaking, the regulation of Health Qigong is the process to strength the body, preserve health and achieve recovery. In the process, human utilize the techniques of the exercising of human body and mind, such as regulating body, breath and mind and so on, to establish and strengthen the internal feedback loop and reaction, so as to actively perceive and control the self-physiological and visceral. Of course, the connotation of Health Qigong regulation is much plentiful and abstruse than the biological feedback. Here we just offer a topic for open discussion. Whether the theory is right or not, it still needs to be verified by a great number of practical experiments.

(By Cai Li)

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