The Effect of Falun Gong on Health and Wellness as Perceived by Falun Gong Practitioners

This thesis for Doctorate of Counselling is mixed-method research to investigate Falun Dafa (Falun Gong)’s health benefits. The research was conducted by Margaret Mee-Tung Lau at the School of Psychology, University of South Australia. This research contains descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and narrative analysis. The methodologies and data analytics are detailed in the thesis.

In this thesis, Lau (2009) provided a thorough literature review in Falun Gong, mind-body practice, Eastern meditative movement, and spiritual cultivation, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The author attributed Falun Gong as an Eastern mind-body meditative spiritual cultivation. According to the research, Falun Gong is practiced in over 100 countries and by nearly 100 million people from all walks of life. A section of the literature review covered the role of meditation in the helping professions. The reviewed literature, in general, supported the health-wellness benefits of meditation with the physiological, behavioral and psychological effects.

This study used two self-designed questionnaires, Health and Wellness Survey 1 and 2 (HW1 and HW2), and the SF-36 Health Survey. These surveys were conducted online. Data was collected from two subject groups: Falun Gong group (360 respondents) and Non-Falun Gong group (230 respondents).

Despite the popularity of Falun Gong around the world, there is limited information about the demographic profile of Falun Gong practitioners around the world. This research filled the gap by providing a demographic profile (excluding mainland China) of Falun Gong Practitioners with many aspects by descriptive statistics. The statistics indicated that “the majority of FG respondents perceived themselves as happy, calm, peaceful, feeling full of life, and having a lot of energy. Most of them reported they did not feel nervous, downhearted, blue or depressed, or worn out and tired” (Lau, 2009, p. 113).

The differences between Falun Gong group and Non-Falun Gong group were assessed Pearson chi-square statistics based on the SF-36 Health Survey data. Falun Gong respondents reported better, more positive, and excellent general health-wellness status. Pearson chi-square results indicated that the differences between Falun Gong and Non-Falun Gong respondents were all statistically significant at p=<0.001. The inferential results suggest that Falun Gong could be the reason for the health-wellness differences between the groups.

The findings of this research showed that Falun Gong is a beneficial mind-body Eastern spiritual cultivation practice with potential use in counseling and health-wellness promotion for people of all ages and from all walks of life. The practice has led to better health and wellness experiences for Falun Gong respondents. Apart from their better health-wellness status, attributed to Falun Gong practice, Falun Gong respondents are no different from Non-Falun Gong respondents and other citizens in society.


Lau, M. T. (2009).The Effect of Falun Gong on Health and Wellness as Perceived by Falun Gong Practitioners.  Thesis for Doctorate of Counselling. University of South Australia. Adelaide SA 5001, Australia.

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