QUESTION CONCERNING AIDS PATIENTS
Vigorous chi flow during a chi kung course
Your FAQ is amazing that I know something of what is real Kungfu if I have a chance to learn. But why Kungfu, Chi Kung and Taijiquan are not suitable for AIDS patients or HIV positive? Could you tell me?
— Guilherme, Canada
I have addressed the questions of AIDS and HIV before in my question-answer series, the latest being in Answer 12 of the April 1999 (Part 2) issue .
Firstly, please note I have never mentioned that chi kung, kungfu and taijiquan are not suitable for AIDS patients and those who are HIV positive. In fact, I believe that chi kung will provide the best chance of overcoming AIDS.
But I mention that the intensive courses I offer are not suitable for AIDS patients and those with HIV positive. This is because I do not know enough of the effect of chi on the HIV (virus). In particular I am not sure whether the chi resulting from my chi kung course might activate the HIV, thereby causing AIDS.
As I have always maintained that a good teacher must be both professional and responsible, I would not be practising what I preach should I accept AIDS or HIV students. Teaching something which I do not fully understand is being unprofessional, subjecting students to possible risk is being irresponsible.
The onus of professionalism and responsibility rests with the teacher, not with the students. In other words, even if students with AIDS or HIV approach me saying, “Sifu, we know the risks and are willing to bear them,” I would not accept them into my courses. It is like pupils telling their teacher, “Sir, we accept the risk of drowning, but please let us swim in the sea.”
I also have a responsibility towards other students. Unlike in hospitals or special centres where safety measures are adequate, there are none in my courses. If an accident happens, such as during a self-manifested chi movement exercise an AIDS patient falling onto a healthy student and unwittingly scratching him, the former might pass on the HIV virus to the latter.
It is worthwhile to mention here that should any HIV patient think that since he (or she) is already afflicted with the disease, he would not care about the welfare of others, and join my courses under the pretence that he does not have AIDS or is not HIV positive he would be unwise and doing himself a great disservice. As I have said that I do not know the effect of chi on the HIV, the risk of him aggravating his problem is real .
Moreover, what is certain is that if his heart is malicious, he will not only deny himself the chance of a possible cure (which he may get somewhere else), but also deny himself of living his remaining life in a wholesome manner. If he can open his heart, despite his illness, he needs not be miserable. In fact the Chinese terms for being generous and being happy are “opening the chest” and “opening the heart” respectively.
Another legitimate question is “If I believe chi kung may turn out to be the best solution for AIDS patients and those who are HIV positives, then why don't I teach these people?” The answer is as follows. I am a teacher, not a researcher. I know my limitations, so I leave the important job of researching into chi kung cure for AIDS for people who are better qualified than I am. I want to spend my time in areas where I am sure my effort will bring good results, not in areas where I think it may bring good results.
I am confident and competent when dealing with people suffering from diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disorders, as I know what I am doing and have good track records. The need of these people is even more urgent than that of AIDS patients — the spread of incidence is wider, and the rate of death is higher and often quicker. Cancer affects one out of five persons, and cardiovascular disorders is the top killer.