Medical Qigong for Healing
Medical qigong is being hailed around the world as a miracle medicine and a potent form of qigong. It has roots in ancient qigong dating back 5000 years. Medical qigong is the father of the more modern acupuncture. Medical qigong became a form of medicine about 2,500 years ago when it was incorporated as one of four branches of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); the other three branches are acupuncture, massage, and herbs. Many say that medical qigong is the most potent form of TCM, especially for ailments that are difficult to treat. In China, medical qigong is often offered in hospitals alongside of western medicine.
A Personal Story
Like most forms of qigong, medical qigong focuses on self-healing, but facilitating healing for others is equally important. I was first introduced to medical qigong by a doctor of TCM during my search to heal myself of a severe spinal disease that doctors said would cripple me by the time I was 30.
The spinal disease was discovered about a year after a farm accident that occurred when I was 12. I was pinned down and run over by a trailer carrying hay, and—although I miraculously didn’t break any bones—I was bruised and banged up for a couple of weeks.
During a routine examination when I was 13, the doctor told me I was developing scoliosis. In spite of this, I began studying martial arts and martial qigong at 15. In addition, because I had had no success with conventional methods or medicine to treat my chronic back pain, I explored alternative healing modalities.
I began studying Chinese Kenpo karate and dedicated many hours every day to this discipline despite the tremendous discomfort in my body. I was also learning martial qigong. I loved all that training, and it changed me in so many ways.
Although I was introduced to medical qigong and TCM at 21, it wasn’t until I was about 25 that I began to take a deep dive. Even after ten years of practice, two black belts, and advanced martial arts studies, my spine was not healing. Somehow, I needed to deepen my practice.
The timing was no accident. By the time I was 25, my spine had so degenerated that my X-rays appeared to be those of an 85-year-old man. My spine was arthritic and I was in considerable pain.
I began receiving healing sessions and learning more about qi from a healing perspective. I practiced meditation; worked with my mind, body, and breath; received acupuncture and energy healing; got massages; visited medical qigong practitioners; and worked with shamans on soul retrieval work, among other things.
When I started receiving these healing sessions, my body was very hardened inside and out from past trauma, which consisted of mental, emotional, and physical stagnation. Martial arts training had strengthened my body and mind. Although I had begun to work with qi, my experience was about to go deeper. The healing work was softening me from the inside out, and I had a number of healing experiences, catharses, spiritual cleansing experiences, and periods of altered consciousness.
QI began coursing through my body during some of these healing sessions to the point that it was like a river rushing through my spine and my limbs. The energy caused my body to contract intensely and then subsequently release. This went on for a few years, both during healing sessions and during my personal qigong practices. As time went on and my practice deepened, these kinds of experiences occurred more often.
One day during an acupuncture treatment, my heart chakra opened quite significantly. Although I had no idea what was happening at the time, my chest was like a whirlpool and there was a vortex of energy swirling. My eyes were closed and my head was filled with bright yellows and emerald greens. These colors represent the third and fourth chakras; although chakra is the Sanskrit (Indian) word for these energy vortexes, they are also referenced in medical qigong. This experience was otherworldly and went beyond alleviating pain; it opened a doorway to another level of perception, and my experience of daily life changed markedly.
Before, during, and after these intense healing periods, people sought me out for healing. In my late teens, I had begun to offer massage and bodywork free of charge from my parents’ home. I had many regulars, and as my consciousness shifted over the years, my interactions with clients changed. The more I healed myself, the more people were drawn to me for healing.
I would tell my teachers what I was experiencing, and they would often say “You need to go study with this master now.” In this way, I continued to develop my skills, studying different forms of qigong with different masters. As I experienced deeper healings myself, I seemed to be able to facilitate deeper healings for others.
By the time I was 23, when I would get close to my clients, their bodies would jump. It was like they got a dose of energy, and I remember at the time feeling like my hands were singing. Often, people would lie down and very quickly enter a state of REM sleep. For some, it would last several minutes, for others much longer, and all would wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was becoming a conduit for qi.
Still, my spine had not healed.
When I was 30, I sustained a martial arts injury that required a doctor’s attention. I was concerned because I could not move my neck and, given my history of spinal issues, I was afraid of what I might have done to myself. This doctor and I had never met and he did not know my history. All he knew was that I was seeing him for a martial arts training injury. He took X-rays to help him treat the injury. I had seen X-rays of my neck and back many times, but this was the first time they were normal.
My spinal disease had retreated; the arthritis that had been fusing my vertebrae was gone!
Shortly after that doctor’s visit, my father came to visit. It was summer and I had my shirt off, and my father said, “Oh my God—your back is straight!”
For years, my back had had a significant curve that was clearly visible between my shoulder blades. My father asked if my back felt better. I thought about it and finally said “Yes, I guess it does.” I knew I felt differently mentally and emotionally but was unaware how much the physical structure of my body had changed.
The X-rays were a wonderful confirmation and my father’s excitement was also a great confirmation, but what was even more remarkable was that my state of mind, my awareness, and my perception of myself and the world around me had changed. My physically focused self was becoming more and more sensitive to qi. I began studying different styles of qigong and the martial art aikido with an emphasis on qi development.
Other parts of my life were changing too. In my 30s, I studied Western psychology at university and Eastern psychology and philosophy at home and with my master teachers. And, of course, I continued my martial arts training.
For three years during this time, I studied molecular and cellular biology at university. That learning gave me a new vantage point and I began to address energy healing at a cellular level by visualizing damaged or diseased cells and imagining them healthy. It took me eight years to get a degree in psychology and complete emergency medical technician training because I was spending most of my time at the martial arts school and in healing sessions, learning everything I could from the healers, teachers, and masters I was working with.
During this time, I started a full-time private healing practice in Boulder, Colorado. I continue that practice to this day in Wilmington, North Carolina. I also teach online and live qigong courses.
Qigong practice is subtle. I believe there is a life force, a vital energy that we call qi. I believe I have felt it and I believe that I know when my reserves are depleted and when they are restored. Although qi can be enhanced through martial arts and even running, my experience has been that there are subtle practices related to energy pathways and reservoirs that provide access to deeper levels of our being.
The premise of Oriental medicine is that if qi is flowing unobstructed through the body, a person is healthy. Blocked, stagnant, or polluted qi gives rise to disease; it is analogous to a river that stops flowing because it is filled with debris. Ancient Daoist practitioners believed that the mind commands the qi and qi commands the blood. I have also heard it said that blood and saliva are sisters. This process of mind directing qi and qi directing blood and blood moving saliva or somehow joining with saliva to then deliver cellular messages to the body is a phenomenon I have observed for many years.
I have performed many experiments with believers and nonbelievers alike, even at distances from one foot to 3,000 miles. The mind directs qi and qi appears to function as a field. Fields of energy—electromagnetics and gravity, for example—can reach from here to the sun; it appears qi can too. In TCM and medical qigong, transmissions are offered by a practitioner to a patient as a form of field therapy.
I find that one must have some mastery of oneself and one’s qigong practice to have a significant impact on another’s state of health. I practice qigong before, during, and after healing sessions. I have heard of studies involving qigong masters in China in which researchers measure practitioners’ loss of energy after healing treatments by measuring their adenosine triphosphate [ATP] counts before and after sessions.
Many masters teach that practitioners must build qi for their own safety before treating other people. People often ask if I get drained after treating others. I tell them that I most certainly do, but my ability to offer healing qi treatment has grown exponentially since I first began 30 years ago.
I also tell them that it is like lifting weights. You cannot just go to the gym and lift weights today and be stronger. You must lift the weights and push yourself. Then you must rest and recover. As you repeat this cycle, you become stronger and stronger.
I have heard many stories of people healing all kinds of things in China through qigong and medical qigong practices and I have seen many heal themselves right here in the States. To be clear, I always have my clients consult their primary care physicians. If a client comes to me and says, “Can we work on this issue?” I say, “Yes, as long as you follow all of your doctor’s protocols.” If clients are given the green light, I will help them change their test results! The doctors also seem to appreciate being part of this healing process.
When I was in Boulder, a medical doctor with a heart condition came to me as a client. He kept asking me about my experiences and about the details of how qigong works. One day after a year or so of practice I took him very deeply into some still poses and breathing exercises. The others in class and I could see the qi, blood, and breath building, and we monitored him closely.
When we grounded him and got him centered, he jumped up and began moving around the room. “It was like a great river,” he said. “Did you see that? Did you feel that? It was like a great river moving through me.”
He was quite excited to feel this rush of energy move through his body. Although this can happen to people during qigong practice, it is not the goal. It was simply part of my journey and his at that time. This type of movement left me free of a spinal disease and left him free of a challenging heart condition.
While living in Colorado, I also treated a baby boy whose doctors said he had holes like Swiss cheese in his heart. After qigong treatments, the child’s heart healed and he (and his very relieved parents) avoided open heart surgery.
I have treated a number of people with gallbladder issues whose doctors were recommending surgery.
Using a representative example, one of them had tests done on Friday and was supposed to have his gallbladder removed on Monday. We worked together using medical qigong, and when his physician ran the same set of tests again, she was astounded. She said she had ever seen numbers turn around that quickly. The client did not have gallbladder surgery.
I have a local qigong student in North Carolina who has been working very hard for the last three years to heal herself; she was dealing with a third bout of breast cancer. Although the chemotherapy seemed to be winning the fight, her physicians had told her she would have to be on it for the rest of her life. This particular chemotherapy involved two different IV infusions.
She asked me from the beginning whether it was possible to get off the meds. She was not only having to do two different IV infusions but was also taking about twelve medications. I told her to stick to her doctor’s protocol, but that I would give her qigong exercises to start rebuilding her qi to strengthen her immune system, detox, and get things flowing again. I also began giving her medical qigong treatments.
She improved steadily and every few months she would go off another medication. A few months ago, her physicians took her off both IV chemotherapy infusions and she is now down to only two medications. Three years ago, her heart was on the verge of congestive heart failure because of the chemo drugs. Her doctors told her recently that her heart looks like she is 20 years old (she is 45).
I used qigong practice to heal my hand after I broke it in three places during a martial arts demonstration. I was performing a breaking demo I had done many times before, but my mind and my qi were not right. I broke my hand and crumpled it back toward my wrist. The physician said I needed three metal pins. I do not recommend this to others, but I chose to try to heal it myself. He told me I would be back in eight weeks and would not be able to lift three of the fingers on my right hand. I practiced breathing exercises and visualization exercises and I was back in three and a half weeks. My hand was functioning normally, and the doctor was astounded to see that the bones in my hand were healed.
I am currently working with two cancer patients, both of whom are under the supervision of their primary oncologists. About two months ago, one had a cancer count of 125; her cancer count is now imperceptible. A CAT scan showed that the cancer had shrunk significantly and was now contained in a small enough area that it could be safely removed. Granted, she was on chemo, but her doctors were stunned at how quickly the cancer had shrunk and how quickly her numbers had come down. One of her doctors said he had never seen chemo work that quickly, and that “whatever you are doing, keep doing it!”.
Another client’s cancer count was 90 about a month ago and has subsequently dropped to nine. Her physician was astounded by how quickly her numbers came down. People in my qigong classes have healed knees, shoulder pain, headaches, gallbladder issues, heart issues, and more.
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What’s the bottom line: Qigong is an excellent practice. There are many different styles of it. Here is the style of practice that I am involved in practicing and teaching: