I do a lot of googling.
Every week, I receive emails asking me if qigong can help with a particular rare disorder.
I’ve never heard of most of them.
For example, just this week I got emails asking about following disorders:
- acoustic neurinoma
- benign prostatic hyperplasia
- endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia
That was this week. Next week, it will be 4-5 different ones.
Look, I’m no dummy. I’ve got a couple thousand hours of training in both Eastern and Western medicine. And for nearly a decade I’ve worked in a health clinic alongside acupuncture physicians, chiropractors, and therapists.
But there are so many rare disorders out there.
So I use google. I enjoy learning, and I like to expand my knowledge.
But the truth is that I don’t need to. The truth is that qigong can help you, no matter what disorder you have.
Cure vs. Help
Let me explain.
Qigong is not a panacea. It’s not a cure-all, and it shouldn’t be viewed as such. It is, however, a help-all.
There’s huge difference between “helping” and “curing”.
Unfortunately, “helping” isn’t as sexy. It doesn’t sell as well as snake oil.
I prefer to give you the uncomfortable truth rather than a reassuring lie.
With qigong, the truth is still pretty damn amazing.
The Hard Truth About Healing
Healing is messy. That’s the hard truth.
It’s tempting to avoid this truth. It’s tempting to chase after neat and simple solutions. We all want that magic pill.
Been there. Done that.
And yet, I have witnessed miraculous cases of healing. Truly jaw-dropping cases, by any standard of measurement, Eastern or Western.
All of these cases had one thing in common: they all involved messiness.
It’s never as simple as “if ____ then just do ____.”
It’s always a messy journey.
The image below is often used in business circles, but it applies equally well for healing.
The Quest for the Holy Grail of Healing
Many people with rare disorders often go on a healing quest, like the quest for the Holy Grail.
Patients usually arrive at my wife’s clinic somewhere in the middle of all the messiness. They are lost. They’ve seen all the doctors, been to all the clinics, tried all the snake oil.
And more often than not, we’re able to help them.
My wife is known locally as a miracle worker. She gets results with patients who haven’t seen results in years.
I do the same thing with my students.
There’s a reason why my wife and I are able to help so many people: We embrace the messiness.
Embracing the Messiness
My wife guides her patients, gently and lovingly, through the messiness of the healing journey.
I do the same, but my role is a bit different. I’m not a physician, and I don’t diagnose my students.
Nevertheless, I try to help my students embrace the messiness of healing. For example, I often talk about the things that are blocking my students from healing.
I embrace the messiness. That’s why I don’t give overly simplistic answers to people asking about rare conditions.
I know that some qigong teachers prefer to give magic bullet answers like, “Yes, qigong can cure anything!!!”
Unfortunately, it’s not true.
I’ve seen dozens of people pursue that path with qigong teachers, only to be disappointed in the end.
And the worst part is that they got great results with qigong! It’s just that they were expecting a cure rather than great results.
The Dangers of Perfectionism
Expecting qigong to cure everything and anything is setting your expectations too high. You’re doomed to fail.
This is perfectionism at its worst. With perfectionism, we set unrealistic standards that we can never reach. This creates internal conflict in the heart and mind.
It’s better to shoot for excellence than to shoot for perfection. You can achieve excellence. It’s possible.
The same is true with qigong. We can set high standards for healing without falling into the trap of perfectionism.
How MUCH Can Qigong Help.
Rather than look for a cure, look for things that help.
In fact, many people describe qigong as the missing piece of their healing puzzle.
Once you understand why this is true, then you’ll be in a better position to understand exactly how much you can expect qigong to help with your particular disorder.
If all you want to know is whether or not qigong will help, then the answer is yes. It will help. If you practice, it will definitely help.
But if you want to know how much it will help, then let’s dig a little deeper.
Can Qigong Help Regrow an Amputated Limb?
A few years ago, a woman in her 20s asked me a tough question.
As a child, she had lost her leg to a rare disorder. She walked with a prosthetic, and was otherwise active and healthy.
After class, she came to me and asked if qigong could help her to regrow her missing leg.
I like to give people hope. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job — watching a person’s eyes light up as they start to feel hopeful again.
But not false hope.
“No, I’m afraid not,” I told her.
I’ve taught many amputees over the years, and not one has regrown a limb, or even part of a limb.
More importantly, I don’t know of a single case in the medical literature of someone regrowing a limb. The human body doesn’t seem capable of doing this.
Does that mean that this young woman shouldn’t practice qigong?
Absolutely not. She should practice!
There are so many ways that qigong can help her.
For example, amputees have told me that qigong is incredibly effective at treating phantom pain. (Phantom pain is common among amputees and is more severe than you might imagine.)
In other words, we should be happy that qigong is so awesome at treating phantom pain rather than being upset that qigong can’t regrow a limb.
Can Qigong Reverse Cancer?
I need to tread carefully here. In the U.S., only oncologists can treat cancer. Even my wife, who is a primary care physician (and also a cancer survivor) cannot legally treat cancer. She and I can only offer cancer support.
I don’t want the medical Gestapo coming after me, so let me be clear that I’m talking about theory here, not actually treatment.
In theory, cancer can be reversed. This is not woo woo. This is science.
There are many documented cases in the medical literature of spontaneous remissions of various cancers.
Does this mean that qigong will reverse cancer?
No. That’s not my point at all.
I want you to compare cancer to the amputated limb. With one, there is a possibility of reversal, however remote. With the other, there is not.
When people can’t figure out if there is even a possibility of reversing their disorder, when people assume that disorders like cancer aren’t — even in theory — reversible, then that’s a problem.
Can Your Disorder Be Reversed?
There’s a simple way to figure out if, in theory, a particular disorder can be reversed.
Forget about qigong. We’re just trying to get a clearer picture of your disorder.
Ask yourself this question:
Is the human body capable of healing your particular issue?
Do your research. Find out if there are documented cases of spontaneous remission with your disorder.
For example, there are no documented cases that I know of showing that a limb can be regrown in adulthood.
There are, however, cases that show that cancer can spontaneously go into remission.
Once we have this general spectrum of possibility, we’re in a better position to actually get down to business.
How Much Will Qigong Help?
If there are cases — any cases, ever, in any language — of people reversing your disorder, then you can assume that qigong will be a major part of helping you to achieve that goal.
This is because qigong empowers your natural self-healing system.
If your natural, self-healing system is capable of healing your disorder, then you definitely want qigong in your tool box.
There’s just nothing better than qigong for this.
But how much will qigong help?
That depends on a lot of factors.
How much do you practice? What is the quality of your practice? What style of qigong do you practice? Do you have a healthy lifestyle? How is your diet?
For example, the human body is definitely capable of reversing Type II Diabetes, and there are many documented cases of this.
If you want to reverse your diabetes, then I think qigong is an awesome tool.
But don’t kid yourself.
To reverse diabetes, you’re going to need to make big changes to your diet. You can’t continue eating Snicker’s bars and expect qigong to just fix everything.
What if there are no cases of spontaneous remission for your disorder?
I say practice anyway.
Like the woman I mentioned above: Just because qigong can’t regrow her limb does’t mean she shouldn’t practice!
Imagine a TV commercial for qigong similar to the pharmaceutical commercials.
But instead of the nasty side effects that they always mention, imagine this:
Side effects may include higher energy levels, better immune resistance, improved digestion, and elevated mood.
If You Want Things Simple
Healing is messy.
If you prefer things neat and tidy, then I can do that for you. Here’s a simple flowchart for you:
Mindfully yours, Sifu Anthony I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world how to use qigong for their own stubborn health challenges. As the director of Flowing Zen and a board member for the National Qigong Association, I'm fully committed to helping people with these arts. In addition to my blog, I also teach online courses and offer in-person retreats and workshops.