I have been a practitioner and teacher of Qigong (Yangsheng) for many years. In the scheme of things I am reasonably well qualified and have a great deal of experience. For the past few years I have been teaching Qigong professionally to cancer patients at a Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre. I can tell you categorically that I do not teach Qigong to cancer patients in order to cure their cancer. Claims of curing cancer with Qigong are not only bold but dangerous and irresponsible. They prey on the vulnerable and desperate. Even the more well known ‘cancer curing’ Qigong methods like the Gui Lin Walking Qigong has no real scientific basis for claim.
Why teach Qigong to cancer patients?
So why would I teach Qigong to cancer patients at all? Because I believe that Qigong has a multitude of benefits that can have a huge positive effect on people’s lives. It can, and it does! There are however a number of factors to take into serious consideration.
There is no such thing as a ‘quick fix’. Anything worth doing properly takes time and one of the biggest factors in practicing Qigong is the time it takes to absorb and understand what Qigong actually is;
Qigong is not just moving the arms and legs around in a ‘soft and floaty’ manner. In fact, it takes a great deal of time to retrain the body out of bad habits. It takes practice to release tension and regain strength and flexibility in the right areas thereby supporting the structure and internal workings.
Qigong is not just an academic knowledge of TCC (Traditional Chinese Medicine) or an academic knowledge of where your energy is supposed to go to during any given movement. Time and effort are required to be still enough within the movements. We practice listening to the body and feeling the energy in order then to guide it.
And this is only the beginning…
Even with these things ‘mastered’ there is no real evidence to suggest that practicing Qigong alone, without the intervention of other medicines is going to cure cancer. Nevertheless, I do believe the benefits gained from practicing Qigong can be so enriching that it can form a vital part of your lifestyle. Benefits include:
- Better sleep
- Reduced symptoms of stress
- Better circulation (of Qi, blood and the lymphatic system.)
- Improved balance
- Improved posture
- Greater core strength and flexibility
Over the years practitioners from all walks of life have stated experiencing a whole range of secondary results:
- A more calm and focused mind
- A sense of control over ones wellbeing
- An overall improvement in ones health
With a good and responsible teacher who is able to recognise the limitations of the student and guide them accordingly, these benefits are seen fairly quickly. Over the long term Qigong practice becomes a way of life, a way of finding balance and harmony between body and mind. This is when the effects can really be noted by the practitioner and an overall improvement in health and wellbeing can be experienced.
Author: Tina Faulkner Elders
Director & Principal Instructor of Ruyi School of Taijiquan & Qigong
Director of Qigong, Chanquanshu School of Daoist Arts Wudang Daoist Wuji Gongfu Academy European Teaching Cooperation Organisation
Images: Tina Faulkner Elders
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