I am passionate about this subject, and have been invited to speak on the subject at several local and international anti-aging conferences. I have also devoted one whole article of this column on the subject before ( see www.superqigong.com ). For those looking forward to cutting-edge interventions for their health and aging problems, stem cell therapy holds tremendous promise of being able to help us overcome what modern medicine has hitherto not been able to do – the scourge of many chronic debilitating diseases, cancers, and the effects of aging-related health problems.
Dr Michael Molnar is arguably the world’s foremost expert in the field of xeno-transplantation ( in this case from animals to humans ) of stem cells. He was a surgeon who, like many other doctors, became frustrated with the inability of conventional medicine to cure many diseases. After he watched helplessly how his own father died, he decided to search for answers in cell therapy. That brought him to Germany, Yugoslavia, Russia and Switzerland. He now produces a pristine line of stem cells derived from rabbits, for use in treating humans.
There is still much debate and controversy over the use of human embryonic stem cells. Fortunately, we can access the global network of stored cord-blood whenever the need arises. The placenta and cord tissue itself are alternative sources. More successes are also being reported in the use of adult stem cells. Even here in Malaysia we have had success in stem cell transplantation into the heart muscles and recently, into the heart arteries.
In the USA, research into autologous ( patient’s own cells ) and allo-transplantation ( cells from members of same species, in this case humans ) is somewhat stymied by the strict regulations. Many Americans have had to have their treatments in Mexico and Bangkok instead.
The availability of human stem cells in adequate amounts continues to pose a problem, and the cost remains high. The Europeans have had nearly 75 years of experience in using animal stem cells in treating diseases. Animal stem cells are more readily available as the animals ( usually sheep, and now rabbits ) can be specially reared under controlled conditions for this purpose. The rabbit is now the preferred source as they have been shown to be the least likely to harbour viruses which may be harmful to humans. They also breed very fast, so the production line can easily cope with the demand!
Like in many other areas of medicine, those who are not sick also seek the treatment in the hope of preventing diseases and preserving their youthfulness. Due to the demand, many rejuvenation hospitals and clinics sprung up, some of which are frequented by our own rich and famous. We had first-hand confirmation that many of the Hollywood stars are their clients.
In the previous article I mentioned that apart from the ability of stem cells to become many types of cells, they also retain much of the life-force or “qi” which sustains all life. It is therefore not surprising that stem cells are also effective in rejuvenating. I also predicted that within ten years, the main use of stem cells will be for rejuvenation therapy, just as 99% of Botox use is now for cosmetic rather than its original medical indications. Many rich Americans are already buying stem cells and getting their rejuvenating shots across the border in Mexico. After this inaugural workshop, I know my prediction is right.
The demand for stem cells ( and other cell therapies ) has created a lucrative medical-tourism market in Switzerland and Germany. Initially, these hospitals were frequented by the rich-and-famous of Europe and America, but in the last two decades, the Arabs became major customers. Even our own rich-and-royals are regular customers. Over 100 Malaysians are known to visit these hospitals every year.
With the government’s declared intention of making Malaysia a hub of medical tourism, setting up a centre for stem cell therapy is something that should be considered. A Malaysian professor is one of the leading medical researchers on stem cells, and there are already at least two cord-blood storage facilities established here.
One other reason for setting up the centre is to do research on treating cancers with stem cells. We know that the best of medical care, even when cost is not a limitation, cannot save many of our loved ones stricken with cancer. Stem cells may be one of the answers. The other is of course qigong. Both rely on the same power.
Stem cells have the innate ability to start a line of healthy cells to take over the mutant cancer cells. This is made possible because of their content of raw, primordial life-force, and their genetic plasticity, that is the ability of their chromosomes to switch on those genes necessary to propagate in such a way as to replace sick cells.
Qigong provides the same qi directly to the sick cells to enable healing to resume, and to the normal cells so that they can become even stronger in fighting invaders and cancerous cells.
Qi is the essential energy for life, health and healing. From ancient Chinese Medical Theory to modern stem cell technology, the common factor is the life-force.
ESSENTIALS OF A HEALTHY LIFE
To have a healthy life, you must first have peace of mind. To have peace of mind, you must be at peace with GOD/Creator/The Universe ( depending on your belief ); with yourself; with your family and the people around you; and with Mother Nature. You must be satisfied at work and with your career. You must be financially stable and have the basic necessary comforts of modern living. You should also be adequately insured against uncertainties. All these are important because if not, you will be continually stressed even though you may not realize it, or want to admit it.
Only then will a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle be able to help make you truly healthy. Stress is a very under-estimated cause of our health problems because we don’t have a stress-meter to objectively measure our stress level. The methods available ( checking forehead or finger temperature; or measuring heart and breathing rates ) are just gross estimations as we do tend to have more rapid heart rate and breathing, as well as a slightly raised body temperature, with stress.
About one-third of Malaysian men above forty have hypertension, and for most of them, there doesn’t seem to be any underlying cause. The doctors call this “essential” or “primary” hypertension, meaning it develops on its own, and not because of disease elsewhere in the body. Although there is definite genetic or familial predisposition to hypertension ( and many other diseases ), I suspect that chronic stress is the culprit in most cases, especially in those without any family history, are not obese, and do not smoke.
In trying to cope with stress, you must learn to go through life without trying to carry all of life’s burdens on your shoulders. If you believe in GOD, then know that the Most Loving GOD will certainly sort out things for you in the best possible way, and at the most appropriate time. Belief and therefore reliance on GOD is indeed a strong weapon against stress.
Much of our stress is due to the inability to cope with the financial demands of living, and coping with relationships.
When it comes to material adequacy, it is not what you have that is important. It is whether you crave for what you don’t have that determines whether you will be chronically stressed or not.
In relationships, a lot of our problems will be solved if we take time to listen more, reflect more, and exercise more patience and restrain in our dealings with people, especially our loved ones, who we are wont to hurt because of our carelessness. It is good practice to always consider how you would feel and what you would do if you were in the other person’s shoes.
To avoid being hurt, you must inculcate love and forgiveness into your being. Then whatever happens, your capacity to love and forgive will drown the hurt and make you impervious to the stress that would otherwise ensue.
Of course, being humans, we cannot be totally free of stress, but if you are able to follow these guidelines, then any stress and sorrow will be transient. You will never become a victim of chronic stress. Chronic stress can ultimately lead to hypertension and the consequent heart disease and stroke. It is also a major factor in causing cancer.
THE WAY OF QIGONG
Qigong is an excellent way to help you cope with stress, and therefore life. It is known that most exercises will reduce mental stress. However, the discipline and meditative exercises of qigong are especially calming. I train my students to smile throughout the qigong session. We breathe at only 6 breaths per minute, which is relaxing, efficient, and scientifically proven to prevent or reduce hypertension ( see previous articles ). We also know that we are also preventing ourselves from getting many other diseases at the same time.
If you understand how essential and powerful qi is, then you will understand why I say that everyone should learn qigong. Do not wait until you get cancer before you look for me!