Qi Gong for Cancer

Cancer is a serious disease involving abnormal cell division. Cancerous cells can spread from the point of origin through the lymph and blood systems, in a process known as metastasis, to damage other body tissues and organs. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), where the principles of qi gong originated, cancer is believed to be caused by both internal and external adverse conditions. Environmental toxins combined with internal stresses, poor diet, lack of exercise, and the accumulation of toxins within the body, can lead to cancerous conditions.

Cancer is one of many diseases believed to develop due to blockages and imbalances in the body that impede blood flow and hinder the circulation of vital life force energy, known in traditional Chinese medicine as qi, or chi. Qi energy is believed to be derived from the air, food, and one’s environment. Stimulating this qi energy and keeping the blood moving is a primary means of maintaining health, and, hopefully, avoiding cancer.

How Can Qi Gong Reduce the Risk of Cancer?

Qi gong refers to various types of vital energy-based, self-healing disciplines that serve numerous purposes:

  • Stimulating the natural internal healing mechanisms
  • Reducing stress and tension (both physically and emotionally)
  • Keep the vital energies in balance
  • Optimize the mental and bodily functions

Traditionally practiced in Taoist and Buddhist monasteries and as part of martial arts training, Qi gong is a form of slow-moving meditation that incorporates deep breathing to increase oxygen and revitalize tissues, organs, muscles, and bones. In addition, its deep-breathing techniques serve to help rid the body of toxins and strengthen the immune system. Qi gong is accepted as a standard medical treatment in China where it is widely practiced by the populace. Medical Qi gong is taught in Chinese universities and is a component of the country’s national health plan. The practice of Qi gong is gaining acceptance in Western medicine and its effectiveness as an adjunct to Western approaches to cancer treatment is increasingly recognized.

A Qi gong specialist or teacher, trained in medical Qi gong, can advise specific Qi gong exercises most suited to address the root imbalances leading to the type of cancer one may have. With improvements to the immune system, reduction of stress, balance of vital energy, and improving the circulatory and lymph systems, the body achieves overall better health. In this way, it can be more resistant to cancer and, should the patient have cancer, practicing Qi gong might improve his or her chance of survival.

Qi Gong is an Effective Adjunct Treatment for Cancer

Clinical studies in China conclude that regular Qi gong practice may act both to prevent formation of cancerous cells, and to reduce spread and growth of cancerous tumors. Qi gong practice, as part of an integrative approach to cancer treatment, has been clinically shown to improve strength, appetite and immune functioning in persons already afflicted with cancer.

Regular Qi gong practice has been demonstrated to bring about the following improvements of particular importance in cancer treatment:

  • Improved oxygen supply - Qi gong accelerates oxygen distribution in the body and increases efficiency of cell metabolism and tissue regeneration.
  • Improved balance of the autonomic nervous system - Qi gong practice promotes deep relaxation, enabling the parasympathetic nervous system to neutralize the stress response.
  • Improved Lymphatic Function - Qi gong stimulates circulation of the lymph fluid, eliminating toxins and helping to bring immune cells to key areas of the body.

Studies show Qi Gong Improves Symptoms and Survival Rate

Recent scientific studies at New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson medical school have concluded that patients who practiced Qi gong showed “more amelioration or had a better survival rate than patients using only conventional methods.” Western scientific methods are not geared to measure the subtle energies believed to be activated with the practice of Qi gong. However, numerous clinical observations and laboratory studies have demonstrated improvements in immune function, circulation, and pain tolerance with regular practice of Qi gong exercises. Qi gong practice, when performed properly, has no adverse side effects.
Medical Qi gong can be both internally and externally applied:

  • Internal Qi gong or Self Treatment: This is the personal discipline engaging the breathing and movement exercises of Qi gong to stimulate internal self-healing mechanisms of the qi to harmonize internal energy systems, enhance health, and prevent disease.
  • External Qi gong or Qi Emission: This is the process used by trained medical Qi gong practitioners to emit healing energies either by touching the body of a patient or passing hands over the body to direct qi to the patient and assist in the release of toxins, eliminate energetic stagnations, and regulate the energetic fields, internal organs, and the immune system of the patient.

What are the Types of Cancer?

All types of cancer involve cells that divide abnormally and can spread to other areas of the body through the blood or lymph. In Western medicine, cancers are named according to the area of the body where they originate.

Cancers are classified into several categories, according to the American Cancer Institute:

  • Carcinoma – originates in the skin or in covering or lining of internal organs.
  • Central nervous system cancers - originates in the brain and spinal cord tissues.
  • Leukemia- originates in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma – originates in immune system cells.
  • Sarcoma– originates in connective or supportive tissues such as bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, and blood vessels.

Additional Resources

Qigong Institute – an online clearinghouse for information on medical Qi gong.
National Cancer Institute – a component of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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