Complementary therapies should be subjected to scientific study (wherever possible) so that the proven ones can be practised as evidence-based complementary medicine.
I AM happy to report that after many years of sharing that qigong is useful for different diseases, my message has finally been noticed by some local scientific associations and even a local university medical faculty.
Although I have been invited many times to speak about the health and healing power of qigong, the forums had been health, wellness or anti-ageing medical and non-medical seminars and conferences.
However, for the first time, I have been invited by oncologists (cancer specialists) to speak on qigong in the recovery from cancer.
The USM (Universiti Sains Malaysia) department of Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy and Oncology will host the seminar on Integrative Oncology on August 20 and 21 in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
The seminar will explore, among other things, the holistic approach to cancer therapy and the integration of medical and non-medical/CAM (complementary/alternative medicine) treatment modalities.
Apart from qigong, traditional medicine, herbal medicine and mind-body medicine will also be discussed. Another important subject that will be addressed is the interaction between CAM and the various medical cancer therapies – chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
While some oncologists have referred to qigong as “snake oil”, the USM oncologists are open-minded enough to invite me to share about the claims that qigong can help in cancer recovery.
Over the years, many reports have appeared in local newspapers about cancer patients improving from cancer after practising various styles of qigong. So I am not the only one making the claim.
Admittedly, however, there has been no proper study done to the standards required by medical journals to prove our claims. But that does not mean that what is repeatedly observed is invalid. What is needed is the cooperation of the scientific community to further investigate in order to confirm or nullify these claims.
Complementary therapies should be subjected to scientific study (wherever possible) so that the proven ones can be practised as evidence-based complementary medicine. For this, I congratulate the USM oncologists for opening the door for those involved in cancer care to know more about qigong in cancer therapy.
A cry for life
Jane (not her real name) is 48 years old and was diagnosed with breast cancer about two years ago. She had mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was then told she was clear of cancer.
But just three months later, a scan revealed secondaries in the liver. She was promptly put on further courses of chemo, but this time it didn’t work. The cancer had spread to her spine and the doctors gave up and told her nothing more could be done. She was told to prepare for the worse, and that they would give her painkillers. She was told that she had less than two months to live.
That was when she wrote to me requesting to meet my sifu (Master) after reading my previous articles about Sifu Tan Kai Sing and Shaolin Zifa Self-Healing Qigong.
My sifu had told me that he didn’t want to treat cancer patients anymore, because treating them not only means exhausting his qi (life force), but also absorbing their “toxic” qi that requires hours of practice and detox exercises on his part to recover his qi and to prevent himself from suffering ill-health.
So when she met Sifu Tan, he told her that he had stopped treating cancer patients. Jane was devastated and pleaded with him to treat her, as she had two young daughters and she wanted to live for their sake.
Seeing the tears and the pleadings of this mother, and thinking of her two young daughters, Sifu Tan relented and started treating her, and also taught her the self-healing exercises. She came for qigong therapy five days a week, and did her own exercises at home as well, even though she was weak and tired. Sifu Tan told her that her own practice is essential for the healing to be sustained.
Within a week she was energised and could do one hour of standing exercises, whereas when she started, she had to do the exercises while sitting down. Soon the hardened veins (due to chemo) in her arm returned to normal and her hair began growing healthily. By the second week, her appetite improved and she started to regain the weight she had lost since the cancer was diagnosed.
She is now much better and continues to do 1½ hours of qigong practice, besides going for regular healing sessions with Sifu Tan. She has not yet been declared cancer-free, and she knows that she has to be consistent with her practice if she expects full recovery.
Already she has proved her doctors wrong, as she has survived, and is much healthier than she was when they told her nothing more could be done and that she will die.
I am sharing her story because she managed to persuade Sifu Tan to treat cancer patients again, something I had failed to do. I guess Sifu Tan realised that there are probably hundreds of desperate cancer patients out there who are looking for alternative therapies when the doctors have given up on them. But it means a lot of sacrifice for Sifu Tan, because in the long term, his own health may be affected. That was also why I stopped doing qigong therapy and concentrated on teaching qigong only.
While most qigong exercises for cancer require the patients to recharge the healing qi by themselves, which will take time, in qigong cancer therapy, the master attempts to help the patient by “jumpstarting” the healing process with high doses of his own qi.
In the process, he also unblocks the flow of stagnated qi (which is bound to exist in an unhealthy person) and also removes the bad or toxic qi as well.
The patient then continues with her own practice to build-up the healing qi further. The more often qigong healing is done, and the more often the patient does her own practice, the faster will be the recovery.
Although qigong masters can also channel the universal qi to the patient, just as in Reiki and other energy-healing methods, the healing effect is much slower compared to healing with the masters’ own internal qi, which is condensed and focused before being transferred to the patient. For patients with advanced cancer, time is short and intensive therapy sessions are required.
The patients themselves may be too weak to do the self-healing exercises sufficiently, and must depend on the master to initiate the healing. However, the healing master can only give so much qi to any patient, as it is at his own expense.
Thus, much of the healing depends on the patients’ own practice. Those who are committed to full recovery must do many hours a day. In Guolin Qigong, those with cancers are advised to start with four hours of practice a day, and that is a good guideline.
Qigong therapy is best combined with anti-cancer traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. It is also absolutely compatible with nutritional therapy, which seeks to provide all the nutrients necessary for healing, while qigong therapy provides the life-force that powers the cell’s repair machinery.
Holistic integrative therapy
“If there is sickness in the body, all the healthy organs must fight against it.” - Paracelcus
If you have been reading my articles, you will have realised that I believe that the right way to heal ourselves from most diseases is by helping our bodies recover whatever impairment in any of the organ systems that have allowed the disease to develop and worsen.
And the correct method is to provide the body with all the good things it needs – qi (life force), oxygen, water, sunlight, and sufficient nutrients to repair the malfunctioning system. We must ensure all our hormones are adequate and balanced. We must remove toxins from the body and prevent damaging chemicals and radiation from further harming it. We must also exercise regularly.
We must restore all the organs to perfect health (as much as possible) to enable them to work synergistically to overcome the disease.
I believe that we have grossly underestimated the nutrient-needs of our body, which, together with the excess intake of unhealthy refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, contribute much to the ill-health that we see.
I believe that the drug-based treatments being practised most widely by doctors are not the best options, because in most cases, the drugs only suppress the symptoms without curing the patients of their diseases.
Which is why those with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis and many other chronic ailments are destined to consuming drugs for the rest of their lives. Even then, the disease progresses, and the drugs themselves may add more problems with their side-effects.
I believe that there is a better and more sensible alternative – that is to change the diet and lifestyle of the patients, and prescribe nutritional, herbal, natural or even drug (if there are no other alternatives) therapies that aim to cure the patients, and not make them drug-dependent for the rest of their lives. Even if drugs are necessary, they should only be temporary measures for fast relief, or while waiting for the curative effects of diet and lifestyle change (and nutritional therapy where applicable) to manifest, as these often take time.
If a disease is caused by poor diet and lifestyle, then obviously the first thing that needs to be done to reverse it is to improve the diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately many doctors still think of drugs first, and are perfectly happy when their patients’ tests are “normal”, although these are normal only because of the drugs given.
Medical intervention, including surgery, is necessary in many instances, but to think of treatments as exclusively medical and non-medical may prevent us from curing some diseases. Combining the various methods in a holistic integrative approach may improve our results.
It is therefore my fervent belief that the sooner we choose the holistic integrative medicine model, the better it will be for humanity.
Dr Amir Farid Isahak is a medical specialist who practises holistic, aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine. He is a qigong master and founder of SuperQigong. For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed are those of the writer and readers are advised to always consult expert advice before undertaking any changes to their lifestyles. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.