Cancer has got to be one of the scariest words in the English language. A few weeks ago whilst waiting to get my hair cut I heard the following statement:
“Four in ten people can now expect to have some form of cancer in their lifetime”
I also caught this one too:
“Ten or so years ago one in three of us were going to be diagnosed with cancer” – (that’s 3.3 in ten).
I remember wondering why it had gone up from 33% to 40% in ten years.
I didn’t give much more thought until after my evening Qigong practice, when it popped into my mind again.
I was able to find the report on the BBC website, you can listen to it here: ‘Living Well After Cancer‘ – it lasts 03:05 mins.
Lack of fitness, living longer and ‘other lifestyle’ choices are the reasons given for the increased risk of cancer and this really got me thinking about the benefits that Qigong has to offer. There are 2 main area’s I’ll take a look at:
1) Qigong As An Aid To Preventing
If a lack of physical activity, living longer and lifestyle choices increase the risk of cancer then Qigong training is helpful for these 3 reasons:
(A) Physical inactivity – Qigong is well known for improving the health and fitness of those who practice it. Qigong is especially beneficial because it can be practiced by people of ALL ages, you don’t need to go to a gym to practice it, nor does it require and expensive equipment or supplements.
I believe that the practice of Qigong can help to overcome this particular cancer risk factor. Unlike most western exercise that actually over-stresses the systems of the body, Qigong enhances them.
Because Qigong requires virtually zero athletisim to practice it, it is suitable for virtually anybody to start practicing without the risk of ‘over doing’ it.
(B) Living longer – As I touched on above. Qigong can be practiced as easily by the young as it can by those who are much older. If a practitioner has some current form of physical limitation Qigong can easily be modified to work around it. There really are very few people who cannot practice Qigong.
The major stumbling block is Qigongs two major flaws – it takes time and you have to do the work. It has to be practiced daily as the affects are accumulative and take time to show.
(C) Lifestyle choices – I’m a big believer in that we practice Qigong to complement our lives, not to take them over or limit them. If you could do something before you began practicing Qigong, you can do it afterwards as well (often even better).
But there is no escaping the fact that there are lifestyle choices that significantly increase the risk of cancer, these are: tobacco use, alcohol use and unhealthy diet.
I used to smoke. I didn’t really make any effort to quit. I just found that I didn’t want to do it any more. I attribute this to my continued practice of Qigong. And I’m not unique in this. When you start to feel better as a result of your Qigong practice, it just doesn’t make sense to engage in lifestyle choices that you know aren’t beneficial to you.
Qigong training takes you two steps forwards. As your practice develops, you become very clear on those habits that are taking you 1 step backwards. Eventually they either just drop away, or you take steps to get rid of them.
Qigong really does help to promote a healthy lifestyle, not by force, but by desire.
2) Qigong As An Aid To Overcoming Cancer
From the TCM point of view, the only illness – regardless of what label we put on it – is Yin/Yang disharmony. Yin/Yang disharmony is caused by blockages that disrupt the harmonious flow of energy through the energy streams (meridians) of the body.
Blockages to energy flow can occur in 4 different ways:
- Physical – like a cut, sprain, fracture, break etc.
- Emotional – sustained stress, traumatic shock, prolonged exposure to fear, anxiety, worry etc.
- Mental – obsessive thinking.
- Spiritual – depression is the classic example of a spiritual blockage.
Because of the interdependent nature of a human blockages rarely happen in isolation. E.g. Depression (Spiritual) can also cause mental, emotional and physical blockages too.
The practice of Qigong helps you to remove these blockages and because it is natural to be healthy, if you can restore harmonious energy flow – you will restore health.
But Qigong goes even further. Once you have removed blockages, your continued practice will (automatically) increase the flow of energy which will result in health, vitality and longevity.
As always though, I will make the following essential point, for the sake of completeness. Just because from the TCM point of view there is no such thing as an ‘incurable’ illness, that does not mean that all illness is curable.
If an illness has been left untreated for too long, or the impact on the body is massive and sudden (life a car crash) then it may not be possible to fully restore harmonious energy flow.
Many years ago whilst researching Qigong healing, I stumbled across (totally by accident) the very controversial work of Dr Hamer.
Reading his work backed up my belief that the root cause of most illness and disease is an emotional one. To quote Dr Hamer:
“The real cause of cancer and other diseases is an unexpected traumatic shock for which we are emotionally unprepared”
You can read more about Dr Hamer’s work here: Newmedicine.ca
In TCM we view the Heart as being the Emperor because it is the supreme controller of all the systems of the body. The Heart organ controls the way the brain thinks and feels. If the Heart energy is functioning well you will feel at peace.
The TCM saying:
“All healing begins with the Heart”
Sums up its importance. There are many, many ways that Qigong can help you to ‘open the heart’ and so help to prepare for and overcome traumatic shock.
Sleep is always related to the Heart, on its own or with another organ. An important question I ask when doing Qigong healing is “How is your sleep?”
If someone dreams a lot this is a signal that their heart energy is out of balance, if they have nightmares then the heart energy is very out of balance.
One of my oldest students, at age 83, was able to use the skill of entering a QSoM to get a good nights sleep. I remember how delighted she was to be able to get some of the best sleep she could remember in years.
But just as important was that she was waking up in a morning and feeling refreshed and experiencing less pain.
The risk of having some form of cancer during your life has increased because you are more likely to live longer. Poor fitness, tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet are also significant contributers to this increased risk.
It is my strong belief that cancer and other serious illnesses have as their root cause an ‘unexpected traumatic shock for which we are emotionally unprepared‘.
It is also my belief that cancer can be cured and that Qigong has been shown to help people with cancer:
Cancer And Drug Treatment Improve – patients with “medically diagnosed malignant cancer” were divided into two groups. All received drugs, but one group also practiced Qigong. “Both groups improved, but the [Qigong] group showed improvement in strength, appetite, freedom from diarrhoea, and weight gain four to nine times greater than the control group” – ‘Medical Applications of Qigong’
I’d also like to point out that you should turn the 4 out of 10 statistic around. Doing that it would read:
“6 out of 10 people can now expect not to have some form of cancer during their lifetime”
The practice of authentic Qigong can help to make sure that you are one of those 6.
P.S. If you’re interested be sure to read this: Qigong – American Cancer Society – they write:
More well-controlled clinical research using larger groups of patients is needed to learn what effect qigong may have in treating various medical conditions.
I couldn’t agree with them more!
Marcus James Santer