Qi-gong Psychosis has been described in recent years as a new culture-bound syndrome in China. I have been able to find little information on it, although it is listed in the DSM-IV and the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders. Much of the following information on qi-gong comes from a colloquium presented to the UCSD Department of Anthropology by Nancy Chen, Ph.D..
Tàijíquán, 太极拳; also Wade-Giles: Tai chi ch'üan), often called simply "tai chi" in English, is both a martial art and an exercise regimen. Tai chi as been enthusiastically embraced by the government of the People's Republic of China in recent years, and has found a welcome reception abroad in the United States and Europe. Qi-gong (气功) is a newer phenomenon which draws on this older tradition. Its pracitioners claim to project their qi into the bodies of participants at qi-gong meetings, and to enhance the vital force of participants by so doing. The reactions of participants resembles the raptures of glossolalia seen at charismatic Christian events; they often writhe and move in time with the qi-gong leader.
Many participants report benefit from these practices; some appear to achieve relief from longstanding physical or psychiatric ailments. Some, however, may develop a syndrome known as qi-gong psychotic reaction, described by DSM-IV as "an acute, time-limited episode characterized by dissociative, paranoid, or other psychotic or non-psychotic symptoms", and that "especially vulnerable are individuals who become overly involved" in qi-gong.
I was able to find one case report of qi-gong reactive psychosis. Lim & Lin (1996:369ff) describe a 57-year-old Chinese-American man who presented with a three-week history of auditory and visual hallucinations. The patient had begun qi-gong practices as therapy for chronic problems with kidney stones. After several days of intensive qi-gong, he began hearing voices telling him how to practice qi-gong, and to believe that he had contacted beings from another dimension. He sought help from the qi-gong masters, but to no avail. His wife brought him to see a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with schizophreniform disorder and treated him with anti-psychotic medications.
Additional information on Qi-gong Psychosis has not been readily available. The majority of information on qi-gong itself is to be found in journals of acupuncture and homeopathic medicine. The single case report I could find is:
Lim, Russell F., and Lin Keh-Ming. (1996) “Cultural formulation of psychiatric diagnosis: Case No. 03: Psychosis following qi-gong in a Chinese immigrant.” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 20:369-378.
Similar phenomena have been reported occasionally among practictioners of South Asian meditation techniques, including kundalini yoga.