The Culturally Significant Key Component of Qigong, ‘Heart adjustment’, is Lost in Translation

Sammanfattning: Qigong is a Chinese traditional ethnic sport that is practised worldwide. In the West it is often applied as an Eastern mind-body intervention. Although clinical trials have reported its positive effects, some scholars have questioned the research design and methodology. It is clear that there is a need for im-provements in the quality and comparability of studies.A lack of knowledge about the meditative aspect of Qigong may con-tribute to poor research quality. Therefore, the aims of this dissertation are to explore the meaning and functions of the culturally significant key component ‘Heart1 adjustment’ and to investigate how this basic technical component and the concept of Qigong are expressed in scientific litera-ture. Through the application of two research methods – a cross-cultural linguistic approach and a case-based comparative method – the disserta-tion shows that the meaning of ‘Heart adjustment’ relates to eight tech-niques and functions in Qigong training which affect: 1) the emotions, 2) the physical heart, 3) the mind, 4) virtue, 5) wisdom, 6) concentration, 7) desires and vision and 8) a person’s way of life and attitude. Unfortu-nately, the ‘Heart adjustment’ aspect of Qigong is excluded in the English case; where the word ‘mind’ replaces the Chinese concept of Heart. The cultural knowledge that is embedded in the abstract concept of ‘Heart adjustment’ has apparently not been understood in the West, which means that the above techniques and functions have not been specified. Conse-quently, there has been no objective basis for an evaluation of the quality of Qigong practice.From the sport science perspective, the dissertation concludes that the lack of a unified standard with which to assess the quality of Qigong prac-tice in the scientific field thus affects the research quality and data com-parability of Qigong studies. Therefore, the establishment of a methodol-ogy that measures the quality of the practice is absolutely vital.