Many of the women I knew had cancers, and the majority had breast cancer. This is the daunting fact we have to face – that cancer is rising against all our efforts, and against all that the best of modern medicine have in its arsenal. Many of these women recovered from their cancers after practising Qigong, and some were those that the doctors pronounced had no hope of survival beyond several weeks or months. So the health authorities should seriously consider taking a look at Qigong as one of the ways to prevent, and even treat cancer.
Qi has Yin and Yang characteristics in common with all things in Chinese Medicine and Chinese Philosophy. The Yin nature of Qi is that attributable to the female character, though males also have some Yin Qi. Even modern science can agree with this, as males need some female hormones, and vice versa.
Yin and Yang are not opposites, nor antagonistic, but they are complementary. Yin and Yang Qi likewise complement each other to create the necessary balance in men and women.
The different nature of Yin and Yang Qi necessitates different instructions for men and women for certain Qigong exercises. For example, women put their left palm over the right palm ( men do the reverse ) when resting the palms over the lower dantien ( energy centre in lower abdomen ). In the Amazing Qigong Walk, women always start with the right foot, while the men start with the left.
Yin Qi has a motherly effect, and its flow is most stimulated in the Mother standing posture ( standing in basic Qigong stance but with arms at chest level as if you are about to hug someone, with the hands in front, about 10 cm apart ). Women should practice this stance more.
Although hormones play a vital role in both sexes, their impact is more obvious in women as they relentlessly control the menstrual cycles and the accompanying mood and behavioural changes so characteristic of being a woman.
Hormonal imbalances cause a lot of problems and many women have to seek medical treatment ( or complementary therapies ).
Qigong can help normalize and balance the hormones. Nourishing the brain with Qi can energize the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands, which are the main hormone-controlling centres. The effect will be better if you know the anatomy and send the Qi directly to these regions.
Sending Qi to the pelvic region will energize the ovaries, which are the storehouses for the eggs, as well as production centres for the female hormones ( estrogens and progesterone ).
The regulation of other hormones will also benefit from Qigong exercises. Many have been cured of their hormonal problems, including some after failed medical treatments. A close friend of mine cured her severe osteoporosis ( due to severe hormonal problems which her doctors failed to overcome ) through practising Qigong.
MENOPAUSE, HRT AND QIGONG
The subject of menopause is very dear to women, as all have to face this reality when they reach 50 ( which is the average age for menopause ). The drug industry helped the doctors to convince the patients that they all need sex-hormone HRT ( hormone replacement/replenishment therapy ) upon reaching menopause. So over the last 40 years doctors have been prescribing HRT hormones to the willing patients who trusted their doctors to give the best for their health. Then in the last few years, large studies have shocked everyone by revealing that HRT was more harmful than previously thought. That HRT causes some increased risk for breast cancer, deep vein thrombosis and gallstones were known, and acceptable for most women who were convinced by their doctors of the promised benefits. But what surprised everyone was the increased heart-attack rates when HRT was supposed to protect the heart. Supporters of HRT point to the fact that these studies included many older women who were unhealthy, obese, smoke, etc., implying that the results would be different for younger, healthier women. So the controversy continues.
As a gynecologist, this subject is also of special interest to me. My view is that the concept of HRT is sound. There is much to be gained by replenishing diminished hormones – including thyroid hormones, insulin, sex hormones, growth hormone, and others. However, only safe hormones in safe doses must be used.
Female sex-hormone HRT started over 40 years ago with the use of horse estrogens ( so-called conjugated equine estrogens or CEE ) and was the most prescribed estrogen used for HRT since then. The hormone is actually sourced from horse urine ( pregnant mare urine, and the most popular brand is actually an abbreviation of this – “Premarin” = Pregnant mare urine )
Most of the studies done were based on this formulation, and the latest WHI ( Women’s Health Initiative ) study which somewhat turned the tables against HRT was also based on women on this formulation. Most of the past and current HRT drugs are made of horse estrogen or synthetic estrogens, and the combined HRT formulations also have synthetic progestogens ( progestins, as opposed to progesterone, which is the natural progestogen ). So most women on HRT are on horse estrogens or synthetic estrogens, as well as synthetic progestogens ( progestins ).
Horse estrogen is “natural’ since it comes from nature, but what is good for the horse is not necessarily good for humans. Humans need human hormones, and women should have been given natural human estrogens. These ( both estrogen and progesterone ) have been available for decades, and are manufactured from plant raw materials. They are natural, and bio-equivalent ( identical in form and effects ) with the hormones produced in the body. But the drug companies were not interested because they could not patent these. Hence the doctors only knew about the horse or synthetic estrogens and the progestins. If natural bio-equivalent estrogens were used, the expected risks would be the same as those with delayed menopause, since it is known that natural estrogens are responsible for certain risks ( breast cancer, ovarian cancer, etc.) that are inherent even in pre-menopausal woman.
Although progestogens ( both synthetic progestins and natural progesterone ) counter the harmful effects of estrogens on the endometrium ( lining of the uterine cavity ), synthetic progestins actually further increase the risk of breast cancer but natural progesterone does not.
It is obvious that the choice from the beginning should have been natural human ( bio-equivalent ) estrogen and progesterone. But for over 40 years the doctors have been influenced by the drug companies to think otherwise. Only now, when the case against synthetic hormones ( and horse estrogens ) are so overwhelming, are some drug companies including natural hormones in their formulations.
For doctors who have faith in nature, natural hormones have always been the first choice. My only regret is that even I had prescribed the unnatural HRT before I knew about the availability of natural hormones.
The best option, however, is for women to have a healthy diet which includes plenty of phyto-estrogens and functional foods which help them dampen the effects of menopause; a healthy and active lifestyle, including doing aerobics and weight-bearing exercises; and of course practise Qigong.
Qigong can certainly help overcome many of the health worries associated with menopause and aging. Some exercises will help prevent prolapse, which is another concern of aging women.
Even if you need help to overcome menopausal symptoms ( hot flashes, mood swings, etc.), try the natural alternatives first before resorting to drugs. You should emulate the Okinawan women who manage menopause pretty well without drugs.