China—27 year-old man Li dies after 54 day water fast prescribed by Qigong Master at a rehabilitation center Liu Shanglin. Shangling recommended that Li drink only water for 70 days.
Qigong is a traditional Chinese meditative movement exercise that is more than 5000 years old. It is often used as part of traditional Chinese medicine and scientific research reveals that there are indeed significant benefits of Qigong.
Dr. Roger Jahnke [The Healing Promise of Qi] explains that Qigong is not like a traditional form of exercise “[It’s] not exercise. It’s a dynamic meditation.” He explains that Qigong is the bringing together of three kinds of intentful corrections, “lengthen the spine, deepen the breath, clear the mind, or visualize healing.”
Li joined the rehabilitation centre in 2017 at a private facility so he could be guided by Liu Shanglin. He was hoping that Shanglin would be able to help him overcome mental health problems that he had been suffering from. Shanglin recommended a 70-day water fast, but on day 58 Li tragically died.
Waster fasting is used in numerous clinical settings and has been shown to have some benefits as well as dangers.
Water Fasting Benefits And Risks
Alan Goldhamer is founder of TrueNorth Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides medical and chiropractic services, psychotherapy and counseling, as well as massage and body work. He states that he has used water fasting with patients. 
In one study, Goldhammer has 174 participants pre-fast on fruits and vegetables and then move to a water-only fast for 10 to 11 days. After that, they were given a vegan diet with low fat and low sodium.
Goldhammer states that during this and other water fasting treatments participants would do nothing but rest, and he would monitor them for signs of any potential risks. He states it is imperative to fast for long enough but not too long.
In one study, Goldhammer stated that water fasting could potentially halt tumor growth. He pointed to the treatment of a woman with obesity, hypertension, and inflammation in her kidney and ureter. After 13 days of fasting the tumor in her stomach shrunk nearly 50%.
However, Goldhammer states that one of the most common benefits of water fasting is to treat hypertension, however, it also has other noted benefits including weight loss.
The risks of water fasting include hypotension, dehydration, and the worsening of several pre-existing conditions.
The Chinese rehab center that Li was attending states that Li did not have any known medica conditions other than being overweight (375 LBS).
Local police detained Liu Shangling, owner of Riyuexia Elderly Forest Rehabilitation Center.
Qigong does not usually involve water fasting.