Qi Gong . . . the leading edge of
"Qi Gong is an art and skill to train Qi. To be exact, it is a method by which the practitioner gets physical and mental self-exercise and healing. To achieve this aim, the practitioner must associate his mind, posture and breathing and act on the whole organism. On one hand, it actively self-regulates the functional activity of the organism and maintains a dynamic equilibrium. On the other hand, it enables the body to produce an `energy-storing' reaction, reduce the energy consumption and increase energy accumulation, producing the effects of regulating Yin-Yang, dredging the meridians and emitting external Qi." (from the book of `Chinese Qi Gong', publishing house of Shanghai University of TCM)
In this country there are many types of therapies being used for cancer treatment and recovery - chemotherapy, radiation, hormones, herbs, diet, experimental drugs etc... One therapy that is not very well promoted is the use of exercise. The ancient Chinese exercise of Qi Gong (literally translated breath work) has been practiced in China for many years with the purpose of prevention and recovery from cancer and other serious chronic diseases. Hundreds of medical cases and personal testimonies have been documented to support the statement that this therapy can eliminate symptoms and prolong the lives of cancer patients. The following paragraphs will give some history about a particular walking qi gong, its founder, and the physiological and psychological effects that practice can have on the body, mind and spirit.
Walking Qi Gong was founded by a Chinese woman named Guo Lin (1906-1984). In 1949 she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had surgery to remove it. In 1960 she had a reoccurrence and found it had mestatasized to her bladder. Another operation was done to remove the cancerous portion of the bladder. Again she had relapsed and was given only 6 months to live. Not willing to give up her fight, she recalled the qi gong her grandfather had taught her as a child. She researched and practiced, but did not feel much results. She did more research of the ancient writings and then developed her own practice schedule - two hours everyday and in six months her cancer had subsided. From her experience she believed that this qi gong could help others to have more success in their fight against disease and illness. So in 1970 she began giving lessons in what she called New Qi Gong Therapy. She combined both movement and meditative (quiet) qi gong.
By 1977 she had achieved such tremendous results that she publicly announced that qi gong could heal cancer, and thus her classes grew to 300-400 students a day. By using this simple method of walking, moving and breathing her students lives were being enhanced and many experienced recovery from their illness and pain free years added to their lives. She worked with her assistants until her death in 1984, traveling all over China, at the request of others, to teach and lecture. She left a marvelous legacy of hope and encouragement for all those who suffer from life threatening disease.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when chi (vital energy) and blood are flowing freely, the body will maintain the balance of yin and yang and disease will disappear. By practicing qi gong, chi and blood circulation are improved, balance of yin and yang is restored and the meridians are opened allowing unimpeded flow of chi and blood.
Practicing qi gong also has positive results on regulating the respiration and oxygen of the body. An insufficient supply of oxygen can increase the growth of cancer. When the body is rich in oxygen, the cancer cells die. The more one practices qi gong, the greater the oxygen content in the body.
Another important factor is the stability of one's emotions. By obtaining a state of meditation, one is not distracted by depressing thoughts or worries. The feeling of helplessness is lifted and a positive attitude emerges. Through relaxation the body returns to a more normal state. A feeling of happiness and confidence helps to maintain a fighting spirit. This feeling of confidence is also achieved through group practice. One becomes more committed to the fight and their willpower is strengthened. When one or more of the group has good results, then others will be encouraged and keep a positive outlook, which aids in the healing process.
The above points are a possible explanation of how walking qi gong prevents and encourages recovery from cancer and chronic diseases. No longer does anyone have to be passive and alone in his or her fight against serious disease. Now is the opportunity to take an active role in healing your body. Members of the Cancer Recovery Clubs in China come together and practice qi gong everyday. They are living and breathing monuments of the results which are possible. We can all experience first hand this ancient healing art by learning the slow, meditative movements of qi gong.