In order to continue our mission of popularizing and demystifying Qigong, here is our latest addition in the form of a Qigong blog. And since Qigong is one of the modalities of Chinese medicine some articles will be about Chinese medicine generally. We hope you enjoy it. And feel free to comment :)
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Can Chinese Medicine Treat Corona Virus?
To answer this question accurately we need first look at the way Chinese medicine treats any disease. And what better way than to compare it with something that we are all so much more familiar with e.g. our own traditional medicine.
There is a saying in China that goes: “Western medicine treats the disease, Chinese medicine treats the person.”
What that means is that Western medicine’s main focus is on the end result of, usually, a very complex disturbances of the body’s normal self-protective and self-healing mechanisms. That end result (i.e. the effect) is known as the disease
, characterised by specific symptoms and signs e.g. pain, headache, dizziness, coughing, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, to name a few.
Once that has been established, the next logical step is the treatment of the diagnosed condition with the preoccupation on temporarily masking the symptoms and signs (e.g. stop the pain, ease the heartburn, bring down the fever) or surgically removing the effect without regard to what caused it in the first place. That often, sadly, means removing parts of the body too e.g. an organ, an arm or a leg, a nose or an eye.
The treatment itself seldom takes into consideration who is being treated - male or female, young or old, strong or weak, white or black… In other words, if the “disease” is liver cancer they will most probably operate on the liver regardless of whether it was a baby girl or a ninety-year-old male.
If there is a high blood pressure detected then they’ll lower it with the same chemicals whether the patient is young or old, large-build or slim… The fact that no-one has ever been cured of high blood pressure by taking the lowering blood pressure pills is of no concern here. The pills do what they are supposed to do and that is to temporarily lower it until the next dosage is due!
And the same goes for the bacterial infections. It is all in establishing which strain has caused the infection so that it can be attacked with the “most appropriate antibiotics”. If it is a viral infection, no antibiotics will work anyway because viruses do not have their own metabolism and are multiplied only after they enter our own cells (and by them). Again, no thought is given to who is affected
(the patient) but what pathogen
(virus, bacteria, fungi, parasite…) is present.
As mentioned earlier, none of these treatments sees the person, only the disease. The sad truth is that, in this obsession with the disease, often the unthinkable happens - the chemotherapy or radiation has indeed destroyed the cancer cells but so did the patient. The operation was a great success but the patient has succumbed too.
On the other side, Chinese medicine never loses the sight of the person and the presented symptoms and signs (interpreted very differently) serve only to address the so-called “energy imbalances” (usually the blockages in the flow of chi or “life energy” within the meridians that connect all parts of the body with each other and with the inner organs, energy centres etc.).
And being holistic, it not only sees the human body as one, but also sees us all as part of nature and universe, inseparable and one with it. Everything in and around us affects us - some positively and some negatively (yin and yang).
So, all that needs to be done to be healthy and to live long is to implement as many beneficial influences in our lives as possible and to avoid or reduce as many damaging ones as possible.
Obviously healthy food, enough sleep, proper exercise, fresh air, proper clothing, rest, fun, peace, hygiene… are all beneficial while the opposite to that as well as pollution, addictive substances, stress etc. are all detrimental to our health and wellbeing.
For thousands of years the Chinese were saying that “When the positive chi (protective energy) is strong enough, the negative chi (invasive energy) cannot harm us.” This is not any less true today than it was 5,000 years ago.
Of course, there are many negative influences that were never mentioned in the old Chinese medical texts for the simple reason that they did not exist e.g. artificial additives in food and beverages, GMO’s, electro-magnetic radiation, plastics, chemicals…
Not only are they today present everywhere and in everything but are far more detrimental to health than the natural pathogens known to them for thousands of years and are all now taken into account as well.
But what does that practically mean? It simply means that when a patient with any of the above-mentioned conditions comes to see a practitioner of Chinese medicine they will all be treated differently. In other words, even if all of them suffer from the same condition as seen through the eyes of a western doctor (say high blood pressure), due to their differences in age, sex, constitution etc. they would all be presenting different chi imbalances and, as such, would be treated very differently. And often very successfully too!
Regardless of what modality is being used (acupuncture, herbal treatment, acupressure or Qigong) the aim in Chinese medicine always is to restore the flow of chi within the meridians. If being successful in doing that, the disease will go, regardless of what it was.
There is no mentioning of cancer, ulcers, stones, inflammation, bacteria or virus in Chinese diagnosis. No need to take x-ray, no blood tests, no biopsy, no operations. And yet, not only is Chinese medicine able to treat wide variety of almost all (especially chronic) conditions much better than western medicine, if used properly, it has no known side-effects and is far cheaper than its western counterpart.
But how is that possible? Well, let’s leave that to the theoretical researchers and scientists keen to explain the mysteries of the universe. Maybe it is due to the fact that Chinese medicine is based on chi (life force) that is still unknown to western medicine. Yes, western medicine is very developed and can explain to the slightest detail the physical structure of almost every cell of the human body but that is like trying to figure out and fix the problems of the world by looking at what our cities look like (i.e. by seeing the buildings, roads, bridges and cars) without ever encountering living people and finding out what they need.
What difference does a “new” virus make to a Chinese medical treatment? None! Each case is seen and treated differently (like it always has been) and, after a successful treatment is achieved, it is still unknown to both the Chinese medicine practitioner as well to the patient (and to his doctor if he had one) what happened to the virus? Who cares? It is the patient that matters.
Viral conditions have been successfully treated for thousands of years (flu, herpes, hepatitis, measles, chickenpox, mums, shingles…) in China. Corona virus is going to be just another example of how western scientists will eventually grow to know everything about a virus except how to treat it.
Yet, what is even more incredible is the fact that today, in the midst of this unprecedented panic pandemic and seeming search for a cure, no mainstream media is reporting that in China they are very successfully using their traditional medicine in the fight against this, currently, world’s most fashionable disease! (maybe, to them, it is already far too revolutionary to mention that even high doses of Vitamin C can help, something that has been used by Linus Pauling for decades to successfully treat anything from colds and flus to heart conditions and cancer)
But don’t get us wrong. We are not trying to make fun of it. It has even killed some people. But, what most people do not realise and what so many reputable scientists around the world are trying to tell them is that it is not any more deadly than the common flu.
Yet, mainstream media, the politicians and the health ministers are telling them otherwise and so, they reason, they must be telling us the truth. They sure know better! And, they also assure us - anyone who has tested positive and died must have died from it. So keep adding the numbers! Yet, somehow, the number of dead people for the same period last year in each country is basically unchanged. And the number of those that die from common flu each year is still far greater.
But the aim of today’s blog is not teaching people how to think. That is their own choice. As for all those interested to have a closer look at what sort of diseases have been treated by Chinese medicine, please check out our website. It is full of references and accounts (mostly from people recovered through practicing Qigong). Here is a link to some case histories and testimonials
which, despite a large number mentioned, is really just a drop in the ocean.
True Values Lost In A World Of Illusions
Have you ever stopped to think about the true values in life? Such as, what comes first, what comes next and then what doesn’t really matter? Think about money, health, fame, but also about Coca-Cola and Arnold Schwarznegger. What would the order of importance be for you? Imagine that you are rich and famous, but you are dying of AIDS. Or have epilepsy, heart disease or Parkinson’s disease. Would you be happy? Oh, here it is. Did you forget the most important ingredient? The absolute number ONE. Regardless of age, sex and race. HAPPINESS! Isn’t that what we should all place at the very top of the list? But how do we achieve happiness? Is it something you can buy and keep with you forever? Or is it something that we all have (to some degree) but we become aware of it only after we lose it?
Most of us are too busy to create our own happiness, so instead we use our hard-earned money to go out there and purchase instant, disposable, happiness (in other words buying many short-lived pleasures) such as: watching a movie, buying a magazine, (not Qigong one of course - the kind with Meghan Markle on the front cover), go to a concert, or buy a latest gadget. Then we watch the news and sports before going to bed to be ready for work the next day. Let’s now stop for a moment and think about the real values in life. Let’s look at ourselves with alien eyes and analyse ourselves with the information that we gather.
For instance, we all get so excited when a strong tall guy runs faster than all the others by .04 of a second. The new world record!! It’s not 25.76 seconds anymore. From now on, it’s 25.72. Remember that figure, you will be using it many times to impress people around you. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are divorcing and we know every single detail. Princess Diana died. The same day a child in Nigeria starved to death, but that wasn’t important. They say Hugh Grant slept with a prostitute! Big Deal! Well it definitely was a big deal for some. The leading London gossip magazine paid for her return airfare plus a quarter of a million pounds for an exclusive interview. For who? For Us. That’s where it all starts and ends. Artificial happiness that we often resort to really makes happier (or rather - greedier) the creators more than us. We pay for it. It is all so wrong. The whole setup is upside down. Did you know that they would stop making bad movies only if we stopped watching them? Why do sports fans get so excited when a team that bought all the best players (in front of our very eyes) wins again? What is the real value of all that wealth of useless information that we remember? Well, probably to exchange with people who think the same and don’t know any better.
Let’s now for a moment forget about our traditional values and have a look at some Chinese traditional values. For example - Qigong. What is Qigong? We have already written a lot about it. “But why are some Qigong styles so expensive?” Every now and then we hear people asking us that question. It’s a bit like asking why this software program is so expensive when it can all fit on one DVD? Or Encyclopedia Britannica? They don’t know how many people worked on it, how much effort and knowledge was put into it and that some of the most advanced Qigong styles (as well as the computer programs) look fairly simple and are easiest to use.
The truth is, even the most expensive Qigong styles are often worth far more than the value given to them. Therefore, they are not expensive at all. This kind of thinking is purely a result of incorrect thinking caused by ignorance, so we won’t even answer it. We’ll just put things in perspective and you will find the answers yourself.
Did you ever ask yourself these questions:
- How much is life worth?
- How much is happiness worth?
- Freedom from disease?
- Freedom from pain and suffering?
Some people would pay millions to prolong their own lives or the lives of their loved ones, even if it was for just a few months. Qigong has saved many lives. There are numerous cases of people who resorted to Qigong after being given bleak prognosis’ or a life expectancy of only months and they completely recovered. How much is freedom from worry, sadness, fear? How much would you pay to have control over your own health (to a large degree), and not have to constantly depend on others - their time, good will (even mood) and somehow, it is always you taking responsibility if things go wrong (“Sign here” said the surgeon before the operation).
How much money do some people pay each year for health insurance that benefits them only if they get sick? Some of the most expensive Qigong styles that can treat and prevent a vast majority of common diseases, improve quality of life, as well as prolong it substantially, are still cheaper than only one year’s health insurance.
If you think it is OK to pay thousands of dollars to some specialist to refer you to another specialist or prescribe you some pills that can cause a (2 pages long) list of negative side effects to hopefully treat a symptom or two and, at the same time, you find it “far too dear” to pay several hundred dollars for one of the most powerful self-healing techniques in the world (and one of the safest at the same time) with the possibility to treat not one, but all your conditions, then there is something seriously wrong with your thinking.
Did you know that only until recently, some of the best styles of Qigong were secret and even if you came with diamonds and gold, the masters would not teach you? It was simply “not for sale”. Or some others, that were “for sale”, were charging exactly that much, just to show you one or two techniques at a time.
Even today when there are all these wonderful great styles available, think of how much it would be to go to China, find the most appropriate style among tens of thousands of them, find the right teacher, not be cheated by someone in the process (very often seen), be able to understand them (not only the language, but also the way they are thinking), etc. Sometimes, if not properly introduced, you might spend years of practicing a particular style only to find that it was not what you were looking for. Or even worse, after years of practicing you quit, thinking it’s not what you were looking for when, in fact, if you kept on going it would soon lead you there, but no one told you. They were cheap, but they did not instruct you properly.
Today, there are people in the west who have done all that for you, and they are sometimes only a five minute walk or a couple of hours drive away, offering their expertise for the benefits of you and your family. Not to mention that many are offering online tuition so no need to travel anywhere. And they often have a range of different Qigong styles in store. Some might be more expensive, but you may always try the more affordable ones. In the end, it all comes down to time and effort. Some expensive styles will give you more benefits within a couple of weeks of easy exercising than others that may show results after say a year’s full time commitment.
Now, if you haven’t found the answer to the above question yet, this might help: Treating disease is the least of what Qigong can help you achieve. It has a potential to do more good for you than all the specialists in the world, but in the Qigong scheme of things, it is just rough balancing of chi. After the disease has gone, comes the real practice where the fine tuning of energy takes place. Not only will you get back in touch with your body and nature but you may end up developing all kinds of psychic abilities as well. Qigong practice can open a whole new world to you. A world so real and so beautiful (that, by the way, has always been there but you never knew existed), however no-one ever showed you how to enter there. And only by experiencing it yourself can you start to really understand and appreciate the true values of Qigong.
If you are on a waiting list for an operation - do Qigong in the meantime. By the time it’s your turn you might not even need one.
Can’t fall pregnant? Want to go on the IVF Program? Before you go and sell the house to be able to afford it, try Qigong. You might end up with a house full of children.
Health Is A Good Advice
In the minds of many people, attaining good health is mostly a result of someone else’s effort, from the outside (e.g. a physician’s, a pharmacist’s, an acupuncturist’s…) and that something concrete has to be done to the aspiring individual (e.g. to take some pills, to be surgically operated, to get injections, receive radiation and the like).
Who would ever guess that almost any disease could not only be prevented but even cured without any interventions from the outside simply by acquiring proper knowledge and applying it in one’s life.
Since most diseases are the direct or indirect result of our ignorance, it then quite logically follows that the best cure for all of them would be to be better informed.
Knowledge indeed is the best medicine for any problem. It is like bringing light to darkness where, all of a sudden, everything that seemed so complicated and scary becomes plain and obvious, clearly showing us the way out.
Western medicine’s approach largely contributes to and encourages people to think this way: “I’ll do whatever I like to do and when I get sick there are always the doctors to take care of it!”
Unfortunately this sort of thinking (and, what's worse, behaving) often leads to enslavement and suffering.
not only to all kinds of diseases but, even more so, to the entire western health care system i.e. partial or total dependency on doctors, medications, hospitalisation, medical aids…
, both physically as well as financially. Physically, caused not only by the ailments themselves but, so often, by the harsh, invasive medical procedures too. Financially, because health care has turned more and more into a lucrative business so the patients are faced with considerable expenses in the form of all sorts of medical tests, prescribed medications, hospitalisation, medical aids, on top of transportation to and from…
In China this approach is summarised by the following 3 characteristics:
- wei (为) where the stress is on the activity (i.e. something needs to be done)
- wai (外) where the stress is on the external factor (i.e. someone else is involved / responsible for and needs to do something) and
- biao (标) where the stress is on the effects (i.e. the symptoms, in other words the end result that cannot really be fixed but rather constantly managed and kept under control over long periods of time)
In total contrast to this approach, the way of Chinese medicine can be summarised into something like this: ”I will guide you and make clear to you what you need to do in order to be able to take care of your own health!”
In the old days, in some parts of China, it was a common practice for the physicians not to be paid for treating their clients but rather for making sure that they do not get sick. And, as one would expect, if they fell ill, they would stop being paid.
This unique approach leads to liberation from enslavement and suffering
and to peace
In China this approach is summarised by the following 3 characteristics:
- wu wei (无为) where the stress is on the passivity (i.e. nothing needs to be done)*
- nei (内) where the stress is on the internal factor (i.e. it is me who is most responsible for my own health) and
- ben (本) where the stress is on the cause (i.e. the implementation of a healthy lifestyle** and enjoyment of)
Of course, the above discussion is just to emphasise the difference in the approach between western and Chinese medicine as well as the difference in the attitude between a typical western and Chinese individual when it comes to health and healing. Just as there is a preventative aspect of western medicine so are there the treatments that take care of the symptoms and bring immediate relief in Chinese medicine.
The stress here is on the importance of our own role in keeping us healthy and away from health care professionals for as long as possible (and only in the extreme situations). And that, according to Chinese medicine, is not only possible but has also been proven, over and over, for the last five thousand years.
* In other words those who lead healthy lifestyles need do nothing to rid themselves of the diseases they’ll never suffer from anyway :)
** Unfortunately there are still far too many people who only think they lead healthy lifestyles.
Qigong - The Most Widely Used Form of Preventative Medicine in China
Did you know that we all possess incredible healing powers? The Chinese do - they call it Qigong. Based on the principles of Chinese medicine, Qigong (self-healing exercises) teaches us how to harness life energy (Qi or Chi) in order to treat and prevent all sorts of diseases, especially the chronic ones. It enables us to take control of our own health, thus freeing us not only from all kind of health problems but also from all kind of health practitioners. It safely takes care of all the body's organs, systems and functions and is even fun to practice!
Even though Qigong has been practiced for thousands of years, it has only been known of in China because of its remoteness from the rest of the world as well as due to its political isolation throughout history. However, even in China, many of the best styles of Qigong were, up until most recent times, kept secret and only known to a few.
In the old China, practitioners of Chinese medicine were actually being paid to prevent illnesses rather than to treat them. Once their client would become sick, the doctor would stop being paid. That made them search for the best possible preventative methods, including herbs, massage, healthy food, spiritual practices, Feng Shui, Tai Chi and so on. Among them, Qigong would often bring the best results.
After going through numerous wars and revolutions in the last 200 years, China has fully recovered. Its economy, science, technology and arts are flourishing. Chinese medicine has established itself as a valuable part of their health care system, equaling western medicine in importance and being far preferred by many Chinese people.
Qigong too has become more established than ever before. Among the main reasons for its development would definitely be China’s political stability as well as improved living standards of the common people. The average person is now able to spend more time and money into their health and wellbeing. Another very important factor is because Qigong saves the Chinese government tens of billions of dollars every year that would otherwise be spent on hospitalisation, expensive treatments, rehabilitation programs, sick leaves and family support.
Amazing healing results achieved by practitioners of Qigong intrigued open minded Chinese scientists to conduct some research. It started soon after WWII, but it has been over the last 40 years that it has been implemented on a larger scale involving many respected scientific institutions with teams of experienced researchers, doctors, Qigong masters and millions of patients.
The end result - scientific proof that Qigong is beneficial in the treatment and prevention of hundreds of known diseases and even the formation of a completely new science called the "Science of Life" that has reached enormous proportions.
Benefits of Practicing Qigong
The benefits of practicing Qigong are many and varied. Not only can it treat and prevent numerous diseases (including the ones western medicine is still struggling with or can only help reduce the symptoms of) but it is good for reducing stress, combating addictions, improving circulation, sight, digestion, reducing the side effects of drugs to name a few. It is especially recommended to older people.
In science, every experiment covers a specific research target and tends to prove one point at a time. When these points are put together, the picture that is being painted become much clearer. In this scenario, indicating that Qigong is not only beneficial to the individuals who practice it, but to their families and to the rest of the society too. Let us see how:
A typical study would be to take a group of people of certain age, sex, profession and illness that practice Qigong for certain period of time. They are then compared to another similar group of people who do not practice it (the control group). After the collection of data and its careful analysis, conclusions are drawn and, as a rule, it would show, without exception, that those who regularly practice Qigong always end up with far better results. For example, their blood pressure, blood test, heart rate, liver function… would have either normal readings or much closer to normal values than of those in the control group.
Shhhhhhh, Listen! Your Body is Trying to Tell You Something
How we have lost touch with nature and our bodies
The difference between Western and Chinese medicine is one of emphasis. Western medicine is supportive, treating symptoms and making the patient dependent on it whereas Chinese medicine (Qigong in particular) helps and enables the body to heal itself by treating the root or essence of the problem and making us independent and free of continuous intervention from the outside.
Western medicine compared to Chinese medicine is still very young and has chosen a path that is very technical and in doing so has become remote from the ordinary person. As it develops, it becomes harder to understand and is based less on common sense.
Chinese medicine on the other hand has evolved over a longer period and has remained close to the lay person, is easy for them to understand and apply themselves and still retains much of the common sense that has characterized its development throughout the ages.
The way of Chinese medicine is to simplify things using yin
, five elements
and other universal principles to find the root cause of the problem in order to correct it. For example, the Chinese physician when faced with a patient who has high blood pressure or kidney stones will not treat the symptoms and signs of these conditions directly but his attention will be on the imbalance in the body that has caused these conditions. Once the root cause of the condition has been discovered and addressed, all relevant symptoms will disappear.
There are various methods used by traditional Chinese medicine - herbs, massage, Qigong and acupuncture. Whatever method used, its aim is to always put the patient in touch with Nature and the Universe. That is simply all that is needed to cure any problem.
To fully understand the healing process we need to explain first how we can lose touch with nature. Then once we understand the causes and reasons we can reestablish our links with nature by using Chinese medicine and by practicing Qigong.
Chinese medicine recognises that the body heals itself once given the correct conditions and therefore the Chinese medicine practitioner only has to do half the job. The other half will happen by itself. Just by listening to our bodies, by being in touch with our bodies will put us in balance with the universe.
The benefits of using Chinese medicine and Qigong are enormous. We can heal most of our illnesses, prolong our lives, improve the quality of our lives and along the way discover wonderful things we never knew existed.
One of the tools nature has provided for us is an inbuilt sense of recognizing what is good and bad for us. Most people in this modern world have to a certain extent lost touch with nature and therefore this sense has been damaged. For some of us, it has been a long time since we were fully in touch with ourselves - when life was much more enjoyable. Instead, as a consequence of our modern lifestyle, we suffer in all sorts of ways and perhaps more damaging, we unintentionally work hard at destroying our children’s touch with nature as well.
Childhood is a period when we are closest to nature. It is a time that we should cultivate and nurture nature, not kill it. The result, children (and their parents) would be so much happier and lead more successful lives.
The reasons why we have lost touch with our bodies are many and varied. Here I will just touch on a few of the more common ones. Overriding all the reasons is the damaging effect of time. Day after day, year after year we gradually lose a sense of what our real needs are. If we only do something wrong once or twice then no harm is done but if done continually over a length of time we gradually and insidiously lose touch with what our real needs are. Our sense of reality becomes faulty.
Most problems of course are caused by ignorance followed by having no ideals in life (and as a result - not caring for our bodies) or, in some other cases, having too many ideals, trying to achieve unrealistic goals at any cost, high expectations from others, the list is endless (and as a result - not having time to care for our bodies). Once we have lost touch with our bodies further damage is done by more wrongdoings. For example: incorrect food or too much stress can cause diarrhoea or constipation, each creating more imbalance and further complicating the existing situation. Other factors which are lifestyle related are negative thinking, bad habits, pollution, drugs, chemicals and improper clothing, to name a few.
Something we in the West have begun to hear about and will increasingly hear in the coming years is Feng Shui. Known in China for thousands of years this is the art or technique of recognizing positive and negative influences on our lives and energies from our environment. These can be such things as trees, flowers, and buildings to name a few, or anything we come in contact with as we live our lives on this earth.
The Chinese way of putting us in touch with ourselves can be summed up in a few words. Adjusting to nature, living within its rhythm and in harmony with it, moderation in all things, applying the wholistic approach to life, a recognition of positive and negative energies, relativity and interconnectedness.
Let’s take a few examples of how these problems start and evolve:
In order to live we all have to eat and we eat when we are hungry. We are hungry because our body tells us it needs food. It also tells us when it needs water, rest and sleep, when it needs to eliminate the waste products of metabolism by urine and faeces.
When we get sick or injured it tells us what we should or should not do. Should we move an injured limb? Pain tells us - don’t. Should we eat? Nausea and lack of appetite tells us - don’t. Should we drink? Thirst tells us - do. And so on.
These are basic inbuilt instincts in most living things and they have been functioning like this over millions of years.
The problem started when we started to ignore these instincts. And we ignore them everyday in big and little ways. For example - instinct tells us “I am not thirsty” but we keep drinking a beer or coke with friends in a pub or restaurant.
Instinct tells us “I am hungry” but the time it told us was not the lunch break at work so we had to wait. If we waited too long we might lose our appetite or overeat when lunch time finally does roll around. At other times when it is lunch break it might tell us “I am not hungry” but we will eat anyway because if we miss it then it’s too long before dinner. Some people have too many snacks in between meals making our bodies even more puzzled.
In most cases we end up putting on weight and naturally we start ‘dieting’. That is skipping meals, drinking so called “diet coke” and similar often resulting in more stress and very little permanent success in our endeavours at weight loss. We do, however, succeed in being forever hungry and irritable, and of course, losing touch with our body along the way.
Then there are those “vegetarians without a cause” (and proper knowledge) who are constantly lacking proper nutrition. Of course there is nothing wrong with being vegetarian (I myself am one of them, and proud of it!), but if you simply replace meat with sugar and starches, as many do, you’d probably be better off if you eat meat.
Others who have grown up on French fries, hamburgers, pizza and cheese cake simply lack everything the body needs for vitality. Or some others who, on the other hand, take too many vitamins and supplements but for some reason are constantly sick. These vitamins and minerals can be good for the body but only the ones that it lacks (and definitely not the artificial ones!). And they can’t replace food. That’s why they are called ‘supplements’ and not ‘replacements’. Unfortunately the majority of people just “go for it” without enough research and proper planning, thinking “Now I’m doing so much for my body” but the truth often is “Now I’m so far from my body”.
It is the same with sleep or rest. Our body often tells us “I am tired. I need a rest.” But we can’t just simply lie down and rest in the middle of work or school. Of course, we could often prevent this and most other wrongdoings from happening if we established a rhythm of life which would enable us to both take care of our body and do all our normal daily activities. Especially if that rhythm follows the rhythm of nature.
But so many of us get too excited late at night and forget about the next morning and we make the same mistake over and over again. Then we become irritable and emotional (because we are not machines, are we?). And that makes things even worse. When we are finally in bed, we cannot sleep. Or we just fall asleep when the noise from the street or next door neighbour wakes us up. We become more angry and frustrated. To make things worse we start taking sleeping pills.
Then there is, depending what type of work we do, damage done to our joints and muscles, eyes, ears, lungs, skin etc. In most cases, it is due to overuse of certain joints and muscles, eyes, or brain. In other cases, it is from being exposed to constant noise, electromagnetic radiation, or harmful substances. Then there are those professions where you sit or stand all day, or are stressed all day. Some people work night shifts - or even worse: alternating day and night shifts. But even that can be better than changing seasons and time zones all the time as some people do. All of it leading to - can you guess? Losing touch with our bodies.
And so, day after day, year after year, all sorts of vicious circles establish in our body and we just don’t know what our body really needs. Especially if we are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs where we think it needs all this rubbish (because the feeling is so strong but false, it just makes us feel it needs it).
Putting yourself back in touch with your own body can start with daily practicing of Qigong. Very quickly you will be able to hear your body again. Once it starts to talk to you it should be listened to as any attempt to ignore it again, will cause all your problems to come flooding back.
For example, after years of constipation and using all sorts of laxatives our bowels will start to work again. If we’re in the middle of starting something when we felt we should empty our bowels we should leave everything and do so, because maybe five minutes later it would be impossible and we might wait for the next chance for hours or days. (Even though sometimes the urge will be so strong that you will definitely stop whatever you were doing and take appropriate measures!
Or after smoking for twenty years, suddenly we start to feel the desire is not so strong - take a chance and stop it right away. Get rid of all and any cigarettes you have left over because you might spoil everything by foolishly getting back into the habit without too much reason.
Or those who were craving sweets suddenly stop doing so and become interested more in fresh fruit and vegetables. Those who were always angry and irritable started to be nice and caring, those who always cried - started laughing, those who were suppressing their feelings and emotions released it through crying or anger. These and many others are the first signs of breaking vicious circles and getting back in touch with their bodies. We may even forget that we used to hate somebody who would do or say something against us. Now we are so relaxed we easily brush it off and don’t worry any more.
Or we can sleep on any bed in a room full of noise with the lights on the whole night when before we had to have “special sleeping conditions” such as a specific kind of bed, lights off, no noise... and still struggled to fall asleep. Or those who had no appetite and who were underweight started getting hungry and putting on weight while the overweighted started losing weight without even trying.
Just following what the body really needs can put us back in touch with nature resulting in better health (often being able to stop taking all medication), better quality of life and enormous happiness.
Now, knowing this (and it has been proven over and over on tens of millions of cases in China and elsewhere), one would think: "This Qigong is great stuff, it can do so much for our body and wellbeing." But for the true Qigong practitioner this is the lowest level or the “rough balancing”. The real benefits of Qigong come with years of practicing when we become so much in tune with the universe that we can heal others with chi
energy, use thoughts to control things (such as move them around, change their chemical structure etc.), are able to communicate with animals, develop remote sensing, X-ray sight and many other incredible powers.
Is Chinese Medicine As Good? Or Is It Better?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the fastest growing natural therapies in the world. It was introduced to the west less than 30 years ago, but the number of practitioners and their patients is constantly on the increase. Almost every suburb in Sydney has at least one clinic or Chinese herbal shop and some have dozens. The number of books about TCM, magazine articles and TV programs dedicated to the subject is in its highest. It has been taught at many universities and colleges, many offering postgraduate studies.
Wonderful!! Australia and many other western countries seem to offer Chinese medicine practitioners ideal conditions for growth and development, you might think. But, is it really so. Let's check some facts.
Firstly, being foreign and new in the west, Chinese medicine was not recognised (and is still not) in most countries. In other words, it had to compete with an established, recognised medical system that offers most treatments for free.
Secondly, even though Chinese medicine can treat many conditions that western medicine cannot (especially the chronic ones), in the west, its practitioners are not allowed to claim they can. Why? Because medical laws are written by doctors and since they are incapable of treating (what they term) "incurable" conditions, they prohibit anybody else to claim they can.
Thirdly, some very good herbs are banned from being imported into countries like Australia or are restricted to doctors only to prescribe, under the pretext that they are toxic (which if they are, Chinese medicine practitioners are more qualified to use safely because it is their medicine).
Fourthly, it is a well-known fact that western medicine has many side effects and that only in Australia, about 4,500 people die each year as a result of doctors' mistakes*. In a country like Australia with a tiny population of only 25 million it is not criminal, it is slaughter!
At the same time, some 150,000 patients get other mild to severe injuries and disabilities** (while they proudly say it is a "pretty good record" compared to many other western countries). On the other hand, there is hardly anyone dying from Chinese medicine in the world, but if anyone ever experienced anything bad from using it, that becomes top news in the media and then new, tougher laws are introduced immediately to “protect the public” from danger. These new laws would normally limit the TCM practitioners' freedom and enable doctors and western medical administration to have more control over Chinese medicine. If it wasn't sad, it would be funny.
What's even more amazing is the fact that doctors are so well protected and backed by the system that, despite all the above, are still able to carry on their practice as if nothing happened.
And finally, many good practitioners of Chinese medicine can't even speak proper English while the western medical army of experts (doctors, lawyers, graphic designers, writers, IT people) promote their services on a large scale and, supported by huge drug companies, advertise their miraculous pills on TV, radio and in popular magazines.
We wouldn't refer to the above as "ideal conditions" for development of anything. The only reason Chinese medicine is going the way it is, is because it has a lot to offer and in many ways it is better than western medicine. Not "as good" but "better", because if it is only "as good" nobody would pay from their own pockets for something of equal value that they can get for free in any of the conveniently located, bright and shiny buildings known as medical centres and pharmacies, where everything can be explained to them in clear English and packaged nicely.
* Sydney Morning Herald front page (July 27th 2009): “Hospital errors cause 4,550 deaths a year”.
** “Bad medicine : is the health-care system letting you down?” John Archer, Simon & Schuster Australia, 1995.
The Proof Is In The Pudding
There is a saying in China which is often used when it comes to the subject of their traditional disciplines, such as Chinese Medicine, Qigong, Feng Shui, astronomy, agriculture etc. being confronted with the western scientific approach. It goes something like this: "practice is the sole criterion for testing truth". What it really means is - if something works in practice, there is truth in it. In other words, the theory that can stand the practical test is correct.
"practice is the sole criterion for testing truth"
There is no lack of theories about almost anything in this world but, on the other hand, there are even more skeptics to them all. As mentioned in the article What is Chi, skepticism is not necessarily a bad thing, but blind skepticism can be. For example, if you believe in science and reckon that only the scientific approach is correct (or even worse - the only approach) then, no doubt, you would dismiss 5,000 years of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) without even hearing what they have to say. The Chinese have developed their medicine never using experiments and didn't know anything about maths, physics, biology and chemistry. Therefore, for many, TCM is not scientific and that's full stop. Yet, you wouldn't be any more shocked than the TCM practitioners when they find that Western Medicine knows nothing about Chi (Qi) life energy. How can anyone even attempt to treat any disease without knowing anything about the essence of it? Who is right? Who is wrong?
Well, if you really want to find out, sooner or later you will have to put both TCM and Western Medicine to the practical test. Now, no-one can deny that Western Medicine is very developed, can act fast and can treat many serious illnesses. But how can you explain the fact that millions of people are cured each year by practicing Qigong, having acupuncture and many other means of TCM after trying Western Medicine, in many cases for years, without much success.
Here is a typical scenario:
A person who tried everything and saw the best specialists, spent heaps of time and money, in his (her) desperation starts doing Qigong or comes to a practitioner of TCM. They bring all their tests, show their (sometimes contradicting) diagnosis, pills they were taking...
The Chinese Medicine practitioner asks: "Did they help?"
"You may put them back in your bag."
What's the use of a theory explaining someone's disease to the slightest detail, when it cannot treat them? And so they start their daily routines of Qigong or taking Chinese herbal concoctions, acupuncture or acupressure. After some time, they improve or completely get rid of their problem and their further tests prove it.
Now, doesn't it mean that, every time the same happens, TCM theory, no matter how strange it might appear to some, is actually correct? Doesn't it also mean that western medical theory is wrong? After all, so many theories that were considered right for a very long time were later proven to be wrong by themselves.
Well, one thing is for sure - neither of them are absolutely right or wrong. And the best way would be, to use the best of both worlds. That's why they are equally recognised in China and students of either medicine are taught the basics of both. It's also very common practice to exchange patients or combine the two for best results.
In the west, where TCM is still new, all we can do now to help you in your search for better health is to give you these simple guidelines to follow:
For emergencies, accidents and traumas, seek western medical help.
For chronic conditions, go to Chinese Medicine practitioners.
For any condition, as long as being able to follow instructions, practice the most appropriate style of Qigong.
Why Are There So Many Chinese People In The World?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Is it because they have or had bigger families? Is it because of their climate? Or is it the food they eat? Does it have anything to do with their genes? What made them the world's largest population?
Chinese families used to be big in the old days, however, so were many other nations'. On the contrary, for the last 40 or so years, they limited their families to the so called "one child policy". So it is not because of that. Nor, is it because of their climate being extremely good. Same goes with the food they eat and their genes. Their genes are not any better than any other nation's. As a matter of fact, in many ways, their constitution is weaker than ours.
Well, you probably haven't thought of one of the most important factors - the existence of their traditional medicine. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has been successfully treating all sorts of problems including some of the most severe ones. At the time of large epidemics of contagious diseases, when the entire world's population would often be reduced to a half within a year, the Chinese were able not only to "take the fight" but to "win" as well.
Long before the introduction of penicillin, Chinese medicine was treating bacterial infections with acupuncture and herbs and long before there were surgeons, the Chinese successfully surgically operated on inner organs (about 2000 years ago by Hua Tuo) but they decided not to go that way. Why operate when diseases can be treated without invasive methods. Or ultimately, prevent rather than treat them. They stay healthy happy living to the very ripe old ages.
Chinese medicine is not only highly effective, but very practical too. There were never any experiments applied on plants, animals or humans, and it is 100% natural. Rather, it developed over thousands of years of experience, by observing nature and the correlation between us and the universe.
The highlight of Chinese medicine is Qigong, self-healing method which does not require any equipment. It is fulfilling, enjoyable and extremely effective. Our website aims to bring it closer to you and explain Chinese medicine in layman's terms as well as to teach you some simple and effective Chinese self-healing techniques. Hope you enjoy reading it!
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