Those who are handicapped or severely weakened by their diseases stand to gain most by practising Qigong, since often their continued disability meant that they must have exhausted all available modern medical treatment, and now must depend on alternative therapies for hope of recovery.
However, since Qigong healing results from the gradual recovery of the damaged cells after the internal energy ( qi ) is made available, the observed improvement in function is also very gradual. From experience, even though the damaged cells may respond immediately during the first therapy or exercise session, the effect is transient and disappears after the session until enough qi has flowed through the cells or organs. When sufficient qi has flowed through and cellular repair has overcome the critical damages that had occurred, then the cells regain their ability to retain qi and the improvements seen during the therapy sessions will persist for longer and longer durations until the recovery becomes obvious, and if the therapy is sustained, complete recovery may be achieved. This sequence of events following Qigong therapy is typical for various types of illnesses.
For neuromuscular problems, the initial response is very easy to achieve, as motor neurons and muscles are easily stimulated by qi and the resultant muscle contractions will certainly cause some movements. Those who witness Qigong healing therapy on these patients for the first time will be amazed at the spontaneous movements that will occur even in paralysed limbs.
However, it will take many hours of therapy for the neurons or the muscles to regain their ability to utilize qi as in the healthy state, but it is not impossible, even for some medically-confirmed “untreatable” diseases. Because of the prolonged duration of therapy necessary for severe cases, it is only practical if the patients themselves learn the Qigong exercises instead of going for therapy only. In most cases, this is not difficult because the patients retain their mental faculties and the necessary conditions for effective Qigong exercise are present, namely concentration, conscious breathing and co-ordinated movements. If the limbs are too weak or paralysed, the movements can be visualized, and actual movements added in progression as and when they become possible.
The exercise is more difficult in stroke patients because the brain is the site of damage. If it compromises even their ability to concentrate and to visualize the movements of the affected limbs, then they can only depend on whatever little movement is possible, or seek external therapy from a healing master first, until such time that the improvements allow progress to self-therapy.
Many patients unfortunately fail to progress satisfactorily because they expect rapid results, and most depend totally on the healer and do not make the effort to do self-healing in between the treatment sessions. It is impossible for a healer to spend several hours a day on each patient, but each patient can certainly do several hours of self-healing exercises every day, if necessary.
For those who are persistent, once the healing starts, progress comes at a faster rate until the maximum achievable healing is achieved. Some Qigong masters have healed even long-standing deafness and blindness. There is even a medically-verified ( by UCLA medical school in USA ) video record of a patient’s slow but complete recovery from terminal Motor Neuron Disease ( ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease ) after one year of intensive energy healing after her doctors had given up hope on her.
CANCER AND OTHER DISEASES
Those who are weakened or bed-ridden by cancer can also benefit by going through the same steps – external healing if unable to concentrate at all, visualization if too weak, and progressively increasing movements as the physical condition allows. However, the importance of adequate duration of qi-enriching exercises must be emphasized. Those who have recovered from advanced or even terminal cancers did several hours of Qigong every day without fail. Guolin Qigong has a rich history of helping many such patients recover, even here among our Association members in Malaysia.
The same principle applies to most other diseases. I must stress again that Qigong should not replace proper medical care, and that it should be part of a holistic approach which includes a healthy diet and lifestyles changes where necessary.
QIGONG FOR CHILDREN
Children can certainly practise Qigong and derive the same benefits as adults. However, the child must be old enough to understand the instructions. Children seven and above will not have any problem learning, and they only need to exercise for shorter durations. Even children as young as five can be taught to participate in a playful manner to inculcate a healthy lifestyle from young, just as we should encourage them to accompany us brisk-walking or jogging sometimes, so that they are encouraged to continue to do so as they become adults.
Many children of our members have improved from asthma and other problems after regular Qigong practice. Children with cancer have also benefited from Qigong, but it is not easy to get children to do as much exercise as is necessary to recover from cancer.
CELLULAR FUNCTIONS AND REPAIR MECHANISMS
At the cellular level, cells function well when the genes encoded in the DNA are able to be translated into instructions for the production of cell components and cell products which may in turn be transported for use elsewhere.
All cells need adequate nutrients as energy source and raw materials to function optimally. Hormones, enzymes and co-enzymes are involved in various ways in the functioning of different cells.
Thousands of metabolic processes occur and in the process harmful by-products such as free radicals are produced. These cause damage to cell components, including the DNA. Accumulated damage result in the degenerative changes of aging, chronic diseases and cancer. As the cell metabolism becomes less efficient, more free radicals are produced, so aging and degenerative diseases become more pronounced, and the likelihood of cancer multiplies. Much damage also occurs within the mitochondriae which generate energy for each cell.
All cells ( except the red blood cells ) depend on these energy powerhouses ( mitochondriae ) to generate the energy required for life. The biochemical energy is locked in energy packets of ATP ( adenosine triphosphate ) molecules. The brain and heart expend much energy, and are therefore rich in mitochondriae. It is interesting to note that mitochondriae are so unique, they carry their own DNA, separate from that usually carried in the cell nucleus. Evolutionary biologists postulate that they originated from primitive bacteria that became symbiotic with our predecessor cells and through the aeons of time, have become part and parcel of us!
It is here in the mitochondrial powerhouse that qi is likely to exert its healing effects. All aging and diseased cells have decreased number of functioning mitochondriae, and the remaining ones are also less efficient. Qi probably heals by re-enabling the energy-producing mechanism in the mitochondriae, thus providing the much-needed energy to re-activate damaged repair mechanisms and damaged functional processing plants. It is similar to jump-starting a weak car battery. Once the engine starts running, the battery gets charged. So once the cell regains its ability to energize itself, it can then proceed to heal itself, often against all odds!