In China, many people practise qigong to maintain wellness. For the sick, qigong can also help to improve their well-being.
In Singapore, many cancer patients would have heard of Guo Lin Qigong, developed by Guo Lin from China. Guo Lin was a cancer
survivor who cured herself by practicing the traditional qigong routines. During her practice, she began to identify those
movements which most effectively and comfortably met her own needs. This is how she developed Guo Lin Qigong drawing from
the traditional qigong routines.
Does this mean, Guo Lin Qigong is the best form of qigong for cancer patients?
The answer is 'NO'.
Which form of qigong should one learn?
There are many variations of qigong exercise. Qigong covers a wide range of exercises and styles, such as:
- "still" qigong, which stresses meditation and relaxation;
- "standing stance" qigong, which emphasizes the exercise of the body by relaxed and motionless standing posture;
- "moving" and "dao-yin" qigong, which emphasizes external movement combined with internal calmness and practice in
control of the mind;
- as well as various forms of self-massage.
In Singapore, many qigong groups gather and practise at the Botanic Gardens, mostly on Sunday mornings. If one is keen to
learn qigong, he or she can observe their practices and choose the one that he or she is likely to enjoy.
Most forms of
qigong have a broad range of benefits and it is through regular practice that one will gain from it. When you discover the
Qi, watch it, and cultivate it, let it teach you and you will learn something everyday. Just like sunflowers that come from
one seed and create hundreds of seeds that then create hundreds of sunflowers that create thousands of seeds - through your
expanded awareness and your practice, your Qi will multiply.
Xie Li Qi Gong Service was featured in Lifestyle magazine, March 2005. Master Xie Li's Qigong Service is located at Blk 517 #01-575, West Coast Road. Tel : 6778 1840.
Call the People's Association Hotline at 1800-422 5572 or visit their website at www.pa.gov.sg for more details on qigong classes available at community centres.
Does it imply that if a cancer patient practise diligently, he or she can be cured of cancer?
The following write-up will provide the answer.
One of the founders of the Cancer Recovery Society in China, told this story during a lecture about the use of Qigong for
recovery from cancer and other diseases :
"When people are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease they are often exhausted in body, mind, and spirit. It is as if
they are forced to crawl slowly and begin to think of their world as a terribly limited place and their experience of life
as scary and depressing. I liken this to the body level of the Three Treasures, the stage of the caterpillar. At this level
we are simply looking for a way to survive. We focus on the body, the most limited aspect of ourselves. When we start to do
Qigong we begin to change because we get a sense that our self is not limited. The simple practice of Qigong begins a
process in the body that is wonderfully healing. The pressure of the experience of the disease plus the support of Qigong
friends creates the permission to take on the challenge of becoming a new person.
The caterpillar uses the Qi to spin a cocoon. In our group work with Qigong we use the building up of the Qi to create the
safety and courage to be reborn. This is our cocoon. We meet to do our practice of Qigong and we have tea and discussion
afterward that we call social oncology. You know that when the caterpillar is in the cocoon, its former self is transformed
to a new being. In our process of recovery from disease, we often explore uncomfortable things about our lives, talk about
things we have kept hidden, and improve our sense of humor. Through this transformational process we create a new self. Just
as the caterpillar constructs a cocoon to become a butterfly.
Eventually, we emerge with wings to fly. Many in the Qigong groups recover their health and are reborn as new people who
have a completely different attitude about life. Some of our members do not recover but through the Qigong process and
group support they become butterflies too, and fly free in a different way. The goal in our work is not just to cure
diseases, but to heal. Sometimes healing does not accomplish a cure. But still the person is like a butterfly because he or
she has the love of the Qigong group to support a needed transformation. Through Qigong and the love and support of our
friends, we gain the courage to transform from a caterpillar, to enter the cocoon and be liberated as a butterfly."
Beware of Qigong "entrepreneurs"
Many cancer patients are desperate for a cure and hence become vulnerable to the Qigong "entrepreneurs". Beware of those
people who use Qigong healing methods to leave their clients with the impression that the healing comes from the healer -
often for a significant fee. The best source of information about Qigong is your own intuition and the knowledge you gain
through your own practice. When you practice Qigong yourself and access certain Qi skills, you become less of a target for
inauthentic Qi "entrepreneurs".
The typical "kiasu" attitude of Singaporeans, may also apply to cancer patients who will go in search for the best qigong
master, the best qigong form, the best healing benefit, etc.. The best answer for what to expect in Qigong is to have no
expectations. If your mind is crowded with expectations, it cannot be free to perceive what else is really there.
In reality, one can learn qigong from a mentor who is someone who agrees to foster your growth and learning. A mentor
does not have a particular agenda or teaching framework. This means that one can learn from someone who knows at least
a little more than the student and who can inspire the student to deepen his practice. Mentors can be volunteers, friends,
caregivers and qigong support group members.
Some Christian cancer patients who have learned Jingluo Daoyin Therapy from our voluntary Traditional Chinese Medicine
cum Qigong Practitioner Mr Cao Guang Yu, have posed me with the following question.
"Does Jingluo Daoyin Therapy involve meditation?" According to them, Christians cannot meditate.
Meditation can be practiced in many forms. As far as CancerStory.com is concerned, I recommend meditation on
breath and walking meditation that involve no religious faith. Jingluo Daoyin Therapy does not involve any form of
meditation but merely requires the students to breathe naturally, remain calm and concentrate on his/her practice. Talking
about religion is a sensitive topic and hence I (free-thinker) shall leave it to the cancer patients to check with
the pastors of their respective churches in order make their own judgment and choice.
Sharing - A Christian stroke patient practising qigong
On 30 April 2004, a stroke survivor called me to share his success story in recovering from stroke.
He claimed that he had a stroke attack twelve years ago, at the age of 35 years old. He was devastated when his medical
doctor commented that he could not have a complete recovery. After some serious thinking, he decided to give up his
relationship with his girlfriend.
His voice was filled with emotion when he related how his girlfriend reacted to his illness. It was his girlfriend
(now his wife) who gave him a new lease of life when she reassured him that she would still love him as before.
It was the power of love that spurred him to seek the "magic" cure to restore his health. According to him, it was qigong
that cured him. I was taken aback by his claim as he is a Christian.
Indeed, he went against his pastor's teachings and his church mates' beliefs, and left for Beijing to learn qigong. Since
then, many of his Christian friends have got a better understanding of qigong and no longer "ostracize" him. He also
mentioned that some of them are currently receiving healing through qigong.
Patient's Sharing (Feedback received from Mr Choo on 4 March 2004)
I would like to share the beneficial experience with the Qigong lessons(Jingluo Daoyin) that I had attended under your auspices. It is testimony to its effectiveness and long-term benefit. I had been doing only 5 of the movements (actually the first few that we were taught and the easiest to learn) religiously each evening and my acute back pain is a thing of the past. I would say 95% it has gone away.
I am quite sure qigong had a lot to do with my recovery. My chronic backache occurred after my radiotherapy in 1995.
I went through weeks of physiotherapy that was palliative. Occasional pain remained. This was aggravated after my radical
neck dissection. The pain was so bad that I could not bend my head forward or even sit for more than a few minutes in the
That was when I signed up for the Qigong lessons. If you would recall, I had severe discomfort in the back during the
first few lessons. This became less acute over time but persisted nonetheless throughout the rest of the lessons. To me,
it appeared that Qigong was working as it seemed to provoke a reaction in my back.
Unfortunately, I was not disciplined to practise it everyday. The pain resurfaced and physiotherapy did not help. I had
acupuncture done at Dr Cao's clinic and this sparked me on my return to normalcy. Since then, I go through the Qigong
routine everyday, some times more than once and my back is almost back to pristine condition.
I am sometimes amazed by what a couple of simple exercises can do in terms of relieving a chronic medical condition. Of
course, this would not have been possible if you had not organized the Qigong class in the first place. This goes to prove that Complementary and Alternative medicine really has a role to play in treating cancer patients.
Jingluo(Meridians) Daoyin Therapy
Jingluo(Meridians) Daoyin Therapy was developed by a respectable qigong grand master to help the body organs function in
harmony and increase overall Qi. It consists of special energy movements and each movement targets a specific meridian that
runs through our bodies in order to unblock stagnating Qi and restore its free flow. This qigong exercise is a safe and beneficial exercise for cancer patients. It will help to build up their health and prevent illness by combining discipline of mind, body and the body's "Qi" (vital force). It will also facilitate blood circulation, maintain the activity of metabolism, invigorate the immune system and bring about relaxation and calmness in the mind.
Though its movements appear to be simple, they are very powerful energy movements that can make a big difference in the way
you feel. These are lifelong healing gifts that spring from a very special ancient lineage.
Through the generosity of an experienced Traditional Chinese Medicine cum Qigong Practitioner Mr Cao Guang Yu, (born in Fujian, China), some CancerStory members learned Jingluo Daoyin Therapy from him, and a few of them have mastered it through regular practice.
To master Qigong, the individual must persevere and practise daily for several months. Qigong is not a medicine with
instantaneous results. The longer one perseveres, the more profound the effect.
Here are some simple practice guidelines:
- Practise in comfortable clothing.
- Practise the entire routine at least once a day. The set should only take about twenty minutes. Try to practise at
the same time each day.
- Jingluo Daoyin Therapy requires no special breathing techniques. Breathe naturally.
- There is no special mental focus. Try to remain peaceful and concentrate on what you are doing. Before practice try
some deep breathing and give yourself an overall positive message of self-healing. Do not focus on a particular organ or
- When you reach a certain level in this ancient self-healing Qigong system, you will notice that the Qigong energy
itself will cut off your thoughts and help you enter a timeless space where you can help heal yourself.
- These are not aerobic exercises. Practise each movement slowly and gently.
- Do not practise when you are very hungry, or after a big meal, or if you are very tired, or after sex, or feeling
Please click here to read the write-up in Chinese on Jingluo Daoyin Therapy.
Upon the closure of CancerStory.com's resource centre in November 2003, we no longer conduct lessons for Jingluo Daoyin Therapy.
Basic Understanding of Jingluo
The Chinese term, Jingluo, refers to the meridians and collaterals. These are pathways in which the qi and blood circulate.
The meridians which constitute the main trunks of the Jinglou system, run longitudinally and internally, while the
collaterals, which represent branches of the meridians, run transversely and superficially from the meridians.
The Jinglou Daoyin Qigong has incorporated various exercises to move the flow of qi in the twelve meridians and eight
extra meridians to bring about the regulating and defending actions as described below :
- Regulating Action :
The Jingluo System transports qi and blood to adjust yin and yang,
and maintain a relative equilibrium of normal life.
- Defending Action :
The Ying Qi (nutrient qi) flows inside the meridians and Wei Qi
(defensive qi) runs outside the meridians. Through the Jingluo system, the nutrient qi and defensive qi are distributed
all over the body to defend the body, exerting its function of combating pathogens.
The twelve regular meridians pertain to the twelve zang-fu organs respectively, each of them is named after the organ
which it pertains to. The meridians that pertain to the zang organs are yin meridians whereas the meridians that pertain
to the fu organs are yang meridians.
- Zang organs consist of the lung, spleen, heart, kidney, pericardium and liver
- Fu organs consist of the large intestine, stomach, small intestine, bladder, sanjiao and gallbladder
The composition of the Meridians is illustrated in the following figure
Each cancer patient's experience is unique and what works for one patient may not work for another. Before you decide to try
out any form of complementary treatment, you must first exercise your own judgment carefully and try not to trust someone
else's recommendation blindly. You alone are fully responsible for your decisions and course of action.
Updated on 21 April 2005