I am familiar with the Harvard study you cite-it proves that individuals can assert control over their body temperature using meditation and breathing. This is interesting and surprising, as it is extremely rare and hard to do. However, it says nothing whatsoever about chi despite your assertions but you leap from this to claim it to prove your own supernatural beliefs, which is a bit sly.
Ames said right from the get go " It's not my intention to prove whether or not chi exists,"
I don't think he is saying "Chi" exists. I think he is offering evidence that what some people call/believe to be "Chi" is actually being studied from a scientific point of view to find out what exactly happens to the body/mind (if anything happens at all) during yoga/qi going et al. In other words, people in the scientific community are trying to debunk "chi" while remaining open to the fact that a lot of these things (e.g. Qi Gong) can have health benefits that can be explained in a rational/scientific way.
That to me is what Ames is saying.
Once again, I found Taiji to be helpful in my PCS recovery because it helped correct my postural problems which medical studies have shown to be helpful in concussion recovery. Many long-term PCS or Traumatic Brain Injury sufferers have reported great success with Chiropractory/Physiotherapy relating to their spine/neck/head.
Nothing magically about it, just relaxed purposeful movement that in my case had healing effects IMO.
My Taiji teacher is a qualified nurse. He told me he had a health check done a few years ago shortly after turning 50. Amongest other things, he had his lung capacity measured. The doctor said it was the strongest reading he had ever seen. My Taiji teacher passed the fitness test with flying colours. The doctor told him to "Keep doing what he was doing". Aside from regular walks, all my teacher does is Taiji and Qi Gong (ableit for several hours a day!!).
Now, as Barad said, perhaps he would be just as fit, with just as strong lung capacity, if he did other excercise forms e.g. if he were a marathon runner. I'd bet good money though his knees/shins/hips wouldn't be in such great shape if he ran marathons as long as he did Taiji though.
This is a point I am trying to make: Kata/Yoga/Pilates/Qi Gong/Taiji can all be great for a persons health, not just for the work out, but also because they are a LOT less likely to injure you than many other excercise forms that would give you similar benefits (such as similar cardio benefits). I also believe that these movement systems can be helpful in "correcting" postural imbalances built up over a life time, which again can only be helpful to someones health.
Victor recounted a story on here of a friend of his who was terminally ill. His movement ability deteriorated to the point where he could hardly move. Victor said he was still able to perform some Taiji though, which surprised the doctors.
Does this mean "Chi" exists? Of course not. Does that mean Taiji has absoultely no worth and can't help improve a persons health in ways other movement systems can't? I don't believe so either. Just a belief based on my own experience that I am trying to explain rationally to myself, if no one else.
The problem in this issue is that opinions often get polarized i.e. Eastern movement systems are better than medicine/Eastern movement systems are a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
I try to keep my mind open.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food"