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BIGU (“without food”) Research

Penn State University
March 2000

The shared goal of the sponsors of this program is to advance the cause of Integrative Medicine in the world by educating the public on the remarkable factual scientific base behind much traditional healing. The purpose of this meeting is to focus on one of the most remarkable and visible and measurable set phenomena stimulated by a traditional process.

The Bigu phenomenon, which occurs spontaneously among certain Qigong practitioners, entails the cessation of eating solid food for periods of weeks to months and years. It is so spectacular a claim (but made openly albeit quietly) that it is truly remarkable that no seminar, scientific and technical magazines have published anything whatsoever, on this phenomenon.

We have assembled a remarkable Team of Qigong practitioners, persons in the Bigu state (including families) and world-class scientists who are open-minded to the potential on the new science. The goals of this meeting include:

The presentation of data, partly in person as direct case studies on the nature of and the process of attaining the Bigu state and the length of its persistence. The presentation of data on experimental research to try to explain the Bigu state. The presentation of experimental scientific instrumentally obtained data from Yan Xin Qigong and other integrative medicine modalities, which extend the range of very significant facts and useful healing techniques not explained (possibly not explainable) by today's reductionist science. Reflections upon the data and hypotheses to explain them, and suggestions for the most important research directions. Suggestions for collaboration among different alternative health modalities to establish the collective posture as equal partners to Western medicine.

From June 23 to June 25, 2000, over 500 enthusiastic scientists and scholars descended on the picturesque campus of The Pennsylvania State University for a unique scientific conference on qigong health practices and the bigu phenomenon. The Conference was sponsored by the STS (Science, Technology and Society) Program of Penn State, the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine, Friends of Health (an organization championing the cause of all integrative medicine), etc. The Conference is considered a historical event in world qigong scientific research development as it was the first of its kind for the new millennium in which the Western scientific community systematically introduced the Bigu phenomenon of Yan Xin Qigong to the public. The Conference was also viewed as the launching of a scientific discourse between Eastern and Western philosophical and scientific systems that will add significantly to human health and world peace.

Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice for body-mind development and healing with several thousand years of written history. Some startling benefits in the realm of healing of cancer, managing difficult pregnancies, stress-related diseases and so on, were reported. Experiments on the effects of qi (chi) by the grand master Yan Xin (a kind of combination of Michael Jordan and Albert Einstein in talents), directly measured from chemical and physical reactions in leading universities, were as new as the report by Roentgen 100 years ago when he discovered X-rays. The most intriguing, first time ever, public presentation was the extraordinary phenomenon called bigu (without food). Many of the Yan Xin Qigong practitioners find themselves in this state where they do not need to eat solid food at all for days, weeks, months or even years. The Conference had over 100 attendees who had experienced this state while maintaining more than normal active professional lives in U.S. corporate and academic research centers.

An Invitation to:

All citizens, scientists, health professionals interested in the physical, instrumental and spiritual manifestation of Qigong and related practices.


All scientists and citizens rejoice that the ancient healing arts of many cultures are now being rediscovered in the West. The potential is enormous for both providing access to healing of the whole person (body, mind and spirit), for all persons rich and poor, and simultaneously to stimulate new advances in Western scientific understanding of potentially revolutionary observations.

The Bigu ("without food") phenomenon, where ordinary practitioners of Qigong living normal work-day lives in the West are able to live without eating any solid food for months or even several years is reported to be widespread. Many of those in the Bigu state are senior scientists and engineers.

This conference is the first attempt to bring together such practitioners of Qigong who have experienced the Bigu state, with the larger communities interested in many aspects of traditional healing practices. The meeting will provide an opportunity to record and discuss the data provided.

Authors will also present results of scientific research on Qigong or other modalities in which there is a measured or recorded impact on laboratory instruments.

The approach of this Conference is Aristotelian reliance on first principles - observing and confirming the facts, with a secondary role for explanations.

Contributed Papers:

Everyone who has been involved in Qigong research, or personal experience, or has scientifically studied any aspect of traditional medicine is invited to report on their work.

Abstracts of up to 150 words should be submitted to the Conference Chair by one of the following ways before June 1, 2000. and cc
fax: (814) 863-7040
Prof. Rustum Roy/Bigu Conf. Abstract
102 Materials Research Laboratory
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-4801
We realize the June date has passed yet offer this information for those interested in following this up.