A Scientific Perspective on Falun Dafa’s Benefits for Mind and Body

Aug. 31, 2021

Many people have wondered why Falun Dafa has such miraculous healing power. Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of the practice, has explained the reason clearly in his teachings from the angles of Chinese medicine, Western medicine, and purification of the physical body.

To help readers understand these concepts, I would like to present some relevant scientific discoveries.


A Self-Improvement System

The connection between mind and body has been reported many times in scientific journals. In a November 2004 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), for example, scientists from the University of Wisconsin reported that “mental training involves temporal integrative mechanisms and may induce short-term and long-term neural changes.” More specifically, gamma waves associated with higher brain functions like cognition and memory are more active in the meditative state.

Such a finding is consistent with traditional Chinese theory as well as modern sciences. Discoveries in recent decades have shown that human health involves multi-faceted elements at multiple levels. In fact, a new model was proposed to include the interplay of biology, psychology, sociology, and the mind. That is, a strong, healthy mind will have a positive influence on one’s psychological well-being and social behavior, which will, in turn, naturally lead to good physical health.

Such an understanding is in line with traditional Chinese medical theories and genuine mind-body cultivation methods such as Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong. With a focus on mind nature, Falun Dafa teaches practitioners to strive to live by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and become a better person. In the meantime, they do exercises–four standing exercises plus a sitting meditation–that transform the physical body.

According to Falun Dafa’s teachings, the practice does not set out to improve health per se. Instead, it guides practitioners toward improving their moral character and achieving a new level of harmony between mind and body. As the practitioners improve their character, their health will also naturally improve.

To some degree, Falun Dafa could be understood as a self-care or self-improvement system. By reading its teachings and doing exercises regularly, practitioners come to a better understanding of the purpose of life and are able to take lightly things that used to bother them. They are also able to let go of negative thoughts and bad habits, With a calmer mind, those with anxiety and depression also find it easier to manage their symptoms. These positive impacts naturally lead one to better physical and mental health and strengthen their immunity against illnesses.


Evidence on the Cellular and Molecular Level

Human blood includes red blood cells and white blood cells. The former carry oxygen, and the latter protect the body against illness and disease. Up to 70% of the white blood cells are neutrophils, which are key players of the innate immune system that fights things such as inflammation.

Neutrophils are short-lived. Their lifespan is only about 7 hours in blood, and they live only two or three hours outside the body. As a result, a human body produces 50 to 100 billion neumtrophils a day to compensate for the dead ones.



The above image show neutrophils isolated from blood samples that had been kept outside the body for 16 hours. The image on the left was from a Falun Dafa practitioner, where the majority of neutrophils were alive and healthy (shown with blue arrow). The image on the right was from a healthy volunteer, whose majority of neutrophils were dead (shown with black arrow). Red arrows indicate red blood cells.

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine also published an article in 2005 in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The title of the article was “Genomic Profiling of Neutrophil Transcripts in Asian Qigong Practitioners: A Pilot Study in Gene Regulation by Mind–Body Interaction.” This study shows that compared to a healthy control group, Falun Dafa practitioners had a gene expression that pointed to enhanced immunity and a quick resolution of inflammation. More specifically, practitioners’ neutrophils are more powerful in defending the body and have a prolonged lifespan. That is, practitioners only need 20% or 30% of neutrophils of a regular healthy person to achieve the same immune effect.

“Immunity enhancement by mind–body practice may be beneficial, but the immune response is a double-edged sword, and activation of the immune system could be detrimental to the host when the immune response is sustained,” wrote the authors. In fact, this research indicates “that mind–body-mediated regulation may represent a balance within… resulting in limitation of self-injuries.”


Energy Field

Other biology research showed similar results. A group of scientists in North America found that a Falun Dafa group practice site increased the contractile tension of isolated cardiomyocytes by 35-111%. This suggests there is an unknown energy field that improves the immune response.

The 65th Annual International Council of Psychologists (ICP) Conference was held in San Diego in August 2007. Psychologists from around the world shared their results on the relationship between mental health and the environment. The scope of research was to promote multi-cultural relations, peace between ethnic groups, as well as health.

A project titled “Study at Cellular Level on the Psychological and Physical Healing Effects of Falun Dafa Meditation” discussed the benefits of Falun Dafa at the cellular, psychological and energy levels. The benefits included reducing practitioners’ mental stress, improving their mental and physical health, healing diseases, improving character, and developing human potential and intelligence.

In one particular experiment, bio-energy photography was taken of a practitioner’s fingers before and after an hour-long meditation session. The photo was taken with a commonly used high voltage and high frequency, and it showed that practicing Falun Dafa strengthened people’s energy field and enhanced energy circulation in the human body.

The experiment indicated that bio-energy in a practitioner’s fingers increased significantly after meditating for an hour, as shown with better peripheral circulation. Because the 10 fingers connected peripheral meridians and acupuncture points, this experiment proved the practice opens the body’s meridians and increases life energy. The results provide scientific evidence of health benefits of Falun Dafa through energy medicine and Chinese medicine.

Introduced to the public in 1992, Falun Dafa has been practiced by about 100 million people in over 100 countries. It is based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and consists of five sets of exercises that are easy to learn.


Chinese version available