Qigong is a special art of exercise done with mental awareness, relaxation and conscious and co-ordinated breathing. The practice of Qigong increases oxygen utilisation, improves blood circulation, and increases the level and flow of Qi ( internal healing energy ). These maintain optimum health and allow healing of diseased cells and organs. Many Qigong practitioners have been able to recover from severe chronic diseases and some even from cancers. So it is a valuable part of a healthy lifestyle that should include a nutrient-rich diet, physical exercise, sufficient rest and sleep, and clean living.
There are many styles of Qigong, each with their own set of exercises and special discipline. All are beneficial. Some exercises have been found to be especially effective in preventing or reversing certain diseases. For example, Guolin Qigong exercises have been proven to be very effective in overcoming cancers and many doctors now recommend it to their cancer patients.
However, you should not wait until you are sick before starting to learn and practise Qigong. Prevention is always better than cure, especially when finding the cure is not always easy nor successful.
It is best to learn from a teacher or Master, and not just from books. It is a practical art that is difficult to accurately practise from written words or drawings. It is very helpful if you have a demonstration of the exercises on videotape or VCD if you cannot learn first hand from a teacher.
Cancer is still one of the scariest diseases that may affect us, and the incidence is rising in spite of the tremendous increase in scientific knowledge and advances in medical technology and therapies.
Our lifetime risk of getting cancer is 1in 4 ( 1 in 2 in some polluted cities, and predicted to increase to 1 in 1 ), but it used to be 10 times less frequent a century ago. There are over 40 000 new cases in Malaysia each year and the number is rising. There are nearly 5,000 deaths due to cancer and is the second leading cause of death after heart disease.
Although about 15% of all deaths are attributed to cancers, from autopsies it was found that at least 5% more are due to undiagnosed cancers, and another 5% have cancers even though they died of other reasons. Thus 25% actually have cancer.
The leading cancers for both sexes are lung and colorectal cancers. For women, half of the cancers will be breast cancer, but lung cancer is catching up fast in some countries where the women smokers have even outnumbered men. Unfortunately, cervical cancer is still high in east Malaysia although it has been almost wiped out in western countries after over 30 years of doing Pap smears. For older men, prostate cancer is also a major problem. For the Chinese, naso-pharyngeal cancer (NPC) is unusually high.
Whilst much money and research have been applied against cancer, it seems that we are losing the battle. Cancer rate is rising, but treatment is overall unsatisfactory. Even the best known cancer centres can only give about 20% cure rates for invasive cancer.
The conventional treatment methods ( extensive surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy ) cause much suffering, and sometimes even death. They have unpleasant and intolerable side-effects and weaken the whole body. Sometimes we wonder whether the treatment is worse than the cancer. Often patients refuse treatment because of this.
Since modern medicine is not able to provide satisfactory answers for the prevention and treatment of cancers, we have to look to other methods to complement it. One such method is Guolin Qigong. It has been proven effective and has even been recommended to cancer patients by several hospitals in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is also the official exercise of many Cancer Recovery Clubs in China. Several doctors here are also encouraging their cancer patients to practise Qigong.
The leading cause of death is cardiovascular/cerebrovascular disease ( heart attacks and stroke ). With our unhealthy lifestyle – high fat diet, lack of exercise and stressful living – the rates are rising, and occuring at younger ages. Obesity, High blood pressure, High cholesterol and Diabetes, which are among the main risk factors, are already present in over 60% of those above 40. About 5% have all 4 risk factors.
Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, again mainly due to poor diet ( high carbohydrate ) and in some communities, over 10% of adults above 40 years are inflicted. Diabetic complications are numerous since it damages all the body organs. It is the leading cause of kidney disease and death from kidney failure.
The incidence of Asthma also doubled in the last generation. Already 10% of children are affected compared to 5% of adults. Here the environmental pollution is mainly to be blamed. Deaths from acute asthmatic attacks are also more frequent. More people are suffering from chronic airway ( breathing ) problems due to prolonged exposure to poor air quality and smoking.
Arthritis and spinal problems are the most common degenerative diseases in most countries. Although not fatal, they cause much discomfort, disability, and cost a lot in work absentism and long-term health care.
These chronic diseases are already investigated thoroughly but modern medicine still do not have cures for them all. The best drugs can only suppress the problem as long as the drugs are taken. Unfortunately, the disease usually worsens with time and the damage to organs continue in spite of treatment. Later, even more intensive treatment ( increasing the dosage and number of drugs ) cannot cope with the worsening disease and the patient succumbs to the disease. That is the typical scenario of a patient under conventional treatment for any of these and many other chronic diseases.
Thus, just as for cancer, we have to look for alternative methods to complement modern medicine if we hope to have satisfactory treatment for these diseases. Qigong also offers hope for many types of diseases. Regular practice of Qigong has been found beneficial for most chronic diseases, and often was the only therapy that improved the condition. However, it should not substitute for proven medical or alternative treatments, rather it is a valuable complementary or additional therapy.
In fact everywhere more are turning to alternative/complementary therapies because of their disappointment with conventional medicine. Even in USA, the most medically-advanced country, more people are going to complementary health providers than to conventional doctors.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED)
This problem became topical only recently with the launching of Viagra, but the problem has been around all the while, and is in fact a major chronic problem affecting about 40% of males above 40 years ( 60% in Singapore ). In the past men had to rely on injections, vacuum gadgets and a plethora of traditional medicines whose effectiveness is questionable. Viagra is helpful for about 70% of the cases only, and is expensive.
Qigong has proven to be very effective in preventing and reversing this problem. You may have seen photographs of Qigong practitioners lifting weghts using their private organs. Getting strong erections is never a problem for those who practise Qigong.