This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Qigong should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does qigong involve?
Qigong is a physical and mental exercise depending on gentle movement, controlled breathing and meditation. Translated, qigong means energy work and is based on traditional Chinese beliefs in Qi, the life force. Qigong is closely related to tai chi but requires less physical stamina. There are two types of qigong, internal and external, both of which involve efforts to manipulate Qi. Internal qigong requires intense mental concentration, little or no movement and is practiced alone to strengthen one's own Qi. External qigong requires the participation of a qigong master who has been trained to transmit his/her own life force energy to influence the health of the patient.
How is qigong thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
The traditional Chinese purpose of qigong is to rebalance the inner Qi, or life force, to calm the mind, achieve self-healing and increase stamina so as to better equip the patient to handle the challenges of life. Restoration of Qi is believed to improve blood flow, circulation and the effectiveness of the lymph and nervous systems, lower blood pressure and heart rate and alleviate stress.
What has been proven about the benefit of qigong?
There have been undocumented claims that qigong has cured cancer. However, it has been shown that qigong can promote sounder sleep, increase relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress and improve quality of life. Studies have also shown that regularly practiced qigong improves balance, reduces the number of falls and enhances well-being in elderly patients. Qigong can easily be used in conjunction with allopathic medicine and is consistent with many health maintenance programs designed to improve fitness, promote wellness and optimize health.
What is the potential risk or harm of qigong?
Qigong exercises do not challenge strength or stamina and can even be used by wheel-chair bound patients and patients with frail bones. Qigong may thin the blood and increase circulation so patients suffering from internal bleeding should avoid these exercises. Also, patients who have a tendency to dizziness should avoid qigong due to risk of falling.
How much does qigong cost?
Patients can teach themselves internal qigong with various training manuals available in bookstores and libraries. Professional instruction also exists, and classes are often offered at local YMCAs, fitness centers and hospitals.
For additional information:
American Qigong Association
450 Sutter Street, suite 2104
San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: (415) 788-2227
Web site: http://www.qi.org/
617 Hawthorne Avenue
Los Altos, CA 94024
Telephone: (650) 323-1221
Web site: hkttp://www.qigonginstitute.org/
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.