Qigong is a system of self-healing which includes breathing exercises, postures, fluid movements, self-massage and meditation. Its purpose is to increase and move the qi, or ‘life energy’ within the body. This cultivation of qi aids in bringing one into balance, preventing disease and improving health. When one’s internal qi is strong and free flowing, well-being will be the natural state.
The link between qigong practice and cancer treatment is in the role of qi within the disease’s development. Though there are a variety of factors that lead to cancer cell proliferation, a fundamental aspect within the system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a deficiency of the body’s ‘Vital Qi’. Causes for this weakening are poor diet, emotional problems, physical overexertion and the environment’s impact on the body. Loss of this qi can lead to improper functioning of the body which creates an environment for tumor development.
Physical weakening, commonly seen as a result of cancer and of western treatment modalities like chemotherapy and radiation, is often improved with the practice of qigong. Patients have noted a decrease in symptoms from these treatments, help in the amelioration of pain as well as the slowing of the disease’s progression.
Qigong is safe to practice at any stage of cancer. There are a myriad of different qigong forms. Patients with cancer, however, should concentrate on forms designed to strengthen and nourish the body and assist in regulating specific organs.
Amelie de Mahy L.Ac, providing acupuncture and Chinese herbs to the communities of Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Danville, Concord and Pleasant Hill.