Before you read further, watch this video of Sign Chi Do. (Or at least a couple of seconds of the 8-minute exercise-mantra-prayer-song).
In the words of the ‘inventors’: “SignChiDo is an exercise form created and designed by a medical physician. It is a unique approach to stress management through breathing, thought and movement. SignChiDo harmonizes the universal language of sign with movement resulting in “Moving Language”. SignChiDo differs from other forms of exercise meditation in that thinking about the word movements that are being performed constantly stimulates the mind. This cognitive function when combined with movement, has been found to enhance memory, concentration, spiritual awareness and create an overall sense of well being.” The DVD and book cost $35. Is this commercial package the real core of Sign Chi Do?
Daniel Green, singer and ASL signer, reviews the matter thoroughly on his weblog. He debunks the notion that proper ASL is used in this method. And he remarks that no Deaf ASL users are involved in this scheme. I will add that the claims made with regard to medical benefit seem entirely built of thin air. Sure enough any sort of movement can help keep you healthy. That does not mean that this method specifically helps to “lower blood pressure, decrease risk for heart disease, reduce irritable bowel symptoms, enhance memory by increasing blood flow to the brain, help control diabetes and improve fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms” (from their about section).
But then again, there will always be gullible rich people who feel unhealthy and want to pay money to someone to help them become healthy again. It is only a matter of who sells them the most promising bottle of miracle potion. For all they care they already feel better just spending the money.