What We Can (and Can’t) Heal

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What can we heal with self-healing arts like Qigong and Tai Chi?  And what can’t we heal?

These are super-important questions, especially since we are in the midst of a health care crisis in the U.S.  If you’re reading this article, then you probably have a specific problem, and you want to know if there are any options other than drugs or surgery.  This article will tell you how to figure out whether or not your specific problem can be addressed through self-healing methods like Qigong and Tai Chi.

Before I go on, let me categorically state that I am not saying that Qigong or Tai Chi can “cure” anything.  To do so would be illegal.   As I state very clearly on my terms of use page, all material provided on this website is offered for informational or educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your physician, psychotherapist, or other healthcare professional.

Yada yada.

Now, let’s get down to business.

Can Cancer Be Reversed?

(Note: Let’s be clear that I am not giving medical advice, and that I am not in any way suggesting that your cancer will be cured or reversed by qigong. In the U.S. it is illegal for anyone other than oncologists to treat cancer. This is a theoretical discussion, not medical advice.)

Let’s begin with an important question — one that could potentially change your life. I’ll focus on one particular illness at first, and then branch out to others later.  So please bear with me if the first example does not apply to you.

Ready for the question?  Here it is:

In theory, can cancer be reversed without chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or any medicine whatsoever? 

Make sure to answer this question before you continue.

Okay, got your answer?

Hopefully, you answered “yes”.  If you answered “maybe” or “no”, then I’ve got news for you. And it’s wonderful news.

The medical literature is full of cases where cancer reversed itself without any external intervention. In other words, there is a ton of scientific evidence that the the human body can heal itself of all kinds of cancer — without drugs, chemo, radiation, or surgery.

I’m talking about the well-known phenomenon called “spontaneous remission”.   And it happens all the time.  For example, this study found that 22% of all breast cancer cases underwent spontaneous regression.  Wowzers!  That’s a lot of spontaneous regression!

If you were suffering from breast cancer, you would absolutely want to be one of the lucky ladies to undergo spontaneous regression.  Why? Because it involves no surgery, no nasty side effects, and it is typically far more effective than the orthodox treatments.  Oh, and it will also save you a few hundred thousands dollars.

The Spontaneous Remission Project

So how can you pour yourself a nice cup of spontaneous remission?

Well, you can’t, at least not according to Western medicine.  You see, doctors and researchers are too busy fighting the “war” on cancer to pay attention to something like spontaneous remission.  Who cares that it is arguably the most important medical discovery in the last 100 years.  We’ve got a war to fight!

That’s why you don’t hear about these cases too often. But you should.  Because these cases prove — beyond a shadow of a doubt — that it’s at least POSSIBLE to reverse cancer, even at advanced stages.  Perhaps Western medicine doesn’t yet understand the mechanism by which this is possible, but the evidence is clear that it is possible.

(If you’d like a potential explanation for how spontaneous remission works, then read my free e-book, Secrets of Mind-Body Healing.)

If you’re skeptical, great!  I love skeptics!  Just make sure that you’re a healthy skeptic!

If you’re a healthy skeptic, then you will certainly be interested to know that in 1993, some researchers decided that spontaneous remission was something that should be studied rather than ignored.  Together, they compiled the largest database of medically reported cases of spontaneous remission in the world, with more than 3,500 references from more than 800 journals. Go ahead and take a long look at the Spontaneous Remission Bibliography Project online.

In the database, they define spontaneous remission as:

“the disappearance, complete or incomplete, of a disease or cancer without medical treatment or treatment that is considered inadequate to produce the resulting disappearance of disease symptoms or tumor.”

Coming back to my question, we now have good answer — that the human body is capable, at least in theory, of reversing of many forms of cancer. Terrific!

What Can’t Be Healed?

Before we talk more about what can be healed, let’s talk about the opposite.  Let’s talk about something that the human body, and thus Qigong & Tai Chi, cannot heal.


A beautiful young woman once approached me after a workshop and asked, quite innocently, if Qigong could regrow a severed limb.  You see, this woman was an amputee (left leg, above the knee).  My heart went out to her.  It was one of those moments where you just want to lie and say that everything is going to be okay.

But I’m honest and direct, and I told her the truth.   “I’m sorry, but to the best of my knowledge, that’s not possible.”

As far as I know, there are no recorded cases of entire human limbs being regrown.  So it’s safe to say that this kind of thing is outside the window of possibility.  You can comb the medical literature and never find a single case of this ever happening.  Not even one.

Will Qigong and Tai Chi help to get rid of the phantom pains associated with amputation?  I’ve seen it happen.  But I’ve never seen or even heard about anyone regrowing a limb.  It’s just not something that the human body is designed to do.

The Self-Healing Map

These two examples  (cancer, and a severed limb) give us a working theory for the range that is possible with self-healing arts like Qigong and Tai Chi.  I call this the Self-Healing Map.

For example, the evidence suggests that cancer is on the Self-Healing Map.  This doesn’t mean that every case of cancer can be reversed, but it absolutely does mean that SOME cases of cancer can be reversed.   In other words, it’s possible to reverse cancer.

On the other hand, regrowing a limb is not on the map. It’s simply not within the range of healing for the human body.

Other Health Problems

What other health problems are on the map?  Well, the first thing you should do is look through the Spontaneous Remission Bibliography Project.  (I recommend that you start with the index.)

If your problem is on the list, then you can reasonably theorize that it’s possible to heal yourself.  Does that mean you’ll definitely heal?  No.  There are many other factors involved (a topic for a future article).  But isn’t it wonderful to know that it’s possible to heal?

What about things that are not on the list?  Remember that spontaneous remission, by its nature, is not easy to record.  Do you think that there are more than 3500 cases of spontaneous remission in modern history?  You bet there are, and you can also bet that most of them were never recorded.

For example, I have a student who reversed Crohn’s disease.  Her doctors have confirmed that there are no signs of Crohn’s present, and she’s completely off her medication. But I can’t find that disease on the list.

If you suffer from Crohn’s and you want more evidence, then you should comb the internet for other cases of people who healed themselves of the disorder, even if it wasn’t with Qigong or Tai Chi.  I’m betting that there are cases of people doing it with many different forms of self-healing.  Do 10-15 hours of research, and find out if the human body has ever healed your particular issue.

If your condition is something that heals itself all the time, like low-back pain, arthritis, or migraines — then it’s definitely worth trying Qigong.  But keep in mind that not all Qigong is appropriate for medical problems like this.  Read my article on The 5 Categories of Qigong for more information about what types of qigong are appropriate.

Also, let’s not miss the crucial lesson behind the specific examples of the Spontaneous Remission Project — i.e. that the body is capable of all sorts of amazing healing!

What Can We Heal?

Let’s come back to our original question:  What can we heal?  By now, you should have a better idea of how to theoretically answer this question.  To simplify, here’s what I tell my new students:

“If you want to know what Qigong and Tai Chi can theoretically heal, then simply ask yourself what a superbly-functioning human body is capable of healing.  And there’s your answer.”

Just make sure that you do some research before concluding that something can’t be healed.   For example, many people don’t know that the body is capable of reversing cancer.  Obviously, they haven’t done enough research.  Don’t make the same mistake as them.

What If You Don’t Heal?

So far, I’ve talked mainly about theory.  But as we know, theory and practice don’t always agree.  Just because Qigong and Tai Chi can theoretically heal something doesn’t mean that they will.

When it comes to healing, there are a lot of factors, like the quality of your practice, your deeply-held beliefs, and even the climate where you live.  This is a huge topic, and it will be covered in a future article.  If you’ve got something that is blocking you from healing, then my follow-up article will help you to get to the bottom of the problem.

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 to use qigong for their own stubborn health issues. I teach online courses, and also lead in-person retreats and workshops.

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13 Responses to What We Can (and Can’t) Heal

  1. David Young September 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    It’s a good thing actually that you have written this article. I have read and heard many cases where Physician’s have sued Tai Chi, Chi Kung instructors and Reiki Healers etc, after a patient has had success in remission or getting rid of a cancer upon stating they sought other method’s for healing after the fact.

    What I learned from this Article:
    It is very important that we ask the right questions (in the proper context), and explore the answers of possibility with in reason and physical limitations.

  2. Judy September 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I know that ailments such as arthritis and back pain can be healed thru Chi Kung because it happened to me in just a few sessions. Once these painful and exhasusting but not life threatening maladies are gone I think it’s possible to work on deeper things. So I beleive that practicing this art is helpful if not essential to promoting spontaneous remission for things such as cancer. It certainly cannot hurt! Thanks for the bibliography website and all your articles.

  3. Paula May 11, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    From an editor perspective, it is unnecessary to quote yourself in an article that you yourself are writing.

    I think qigong can heal anything but it may or may not heal one’s particular illness. Some diseases I think are karmic and something we may have to endure

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais May 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, Paula. That self-quote was supposed to be tweetable on Twitter, but it didn’t work right.

      I agree that some diseases and illnesses are karmic. But I don’t agree that qigong can heal absolutely anything. Amputation, for example, is not within the scope of qigong. Nevertheless, I’ve seen qigong work wonders for so many different problems it’s simply amazing!

  4. James Anderson August 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    I don’t think the limits of qigong (or any other practice of meditations designed to bring someone to a state of experiencing non-ordinary reality) are really known. I’d like to tell the story of a friend of mine, who, using meditation, told me that once while on the job site as a construction worker he fell on his forearm and cracked the bone in such a way as to send it through his flesh, so that it pierced the skin very slightly.

    In a moment of manic focus, he dropped into a meditation, simply imagining that his arm was better in order to stave away the pain. At this point, he was in, as he described it, an incredibly deep trance. To his amazement, though he did not realize it at the time because he was sedated by medications, he was told by the doctor upon waking that they couldn’t find a break in his bone, nor a tear in his flesh.

    He was shocked to find that, somehow or another, his arm has spontaneously regenerated.

    Now while I didn’t see this, nor have I ever seen anything on par with that level of non-ordinary reality, I’m certain my friend wasn’t lying. He’s a genuine and grounded person who owns a construction company and is not one to make up stories.

    Just thought I’d share this since it felt right.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais August 27, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      That’s certainly a fantastic story, James. Actually, I’ve heard similar stories. However, I have no personal experience with such things. Although I remain open to amazing possibilities, I prefer to stay in the realm of direct experience. The things I’ve personally seen and experienced are magical enough!

      • James Anderson September 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm #


        While I would like to say that I can snap my fingers and warp reality, I am simply not at that level of personal evolution yet, however, I can say that. like you, I was once a very depressed person but began doing the smiling from the heart slowly at first then up to an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening every day.

        After a year of that, my skin smoothed out, my depression vanished, my energy level soared, my joints got stronger, my vision cleared, my sex drive went through the roof, and all in all I have become much happier person after about a 10 year period of chronic depression.

        …but, if that’s not impressive enough, if I ever get to the point where I can regrow limbs at will I’ll let you know lol

  5. Igor June 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I wonder if cartilage injuries and tears (e.g. hip labrum tears or knee meniscus tears) can be healed without surgery, maybe by the help of qigong or other alternative practices. According to the medical doctrine cartilage is very difficult or in many cases practically impossible to heal itself as it doesn’t contain blood vessels and doesn’t have a blood supply. Even damages of tendons and ligaments are difficult and slow to heal, but cartilage is especially a hard nut.
    Also from the various articles that I’ve read on TCM, most practitioners seem to agree with this medical point of view.
    The only positive case I know about is from an energy healer who supposedly healed a knee meniscus of a client, but needed like 20 sessions over the course of time (which means the healing went really slowly). I’m not entirely convinced it it’s a true story though as I heard it from the healer, not from the client.
    Do you have any experiences with this? Any positive results for such particular problems from qigong practitioners?

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais June 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Hi Igor. I’ve asked myself the same question for many years. What I know from experience is that, after practicing Qigong for a while, students with meniscus tears are able to do things that surprise their doctors. Variable to squat and do things that Western medicine says they shouldn’t be able to do. Whether the meniscus is regrowing, I cannot say.

      Keep in mind, however, that there are clinical trials where they did placebo knee surgery for torn tendons. Those people receiving the fake knee surgery healed almost as well as those receiving real surgery. Mind blowing stuff!

      • Igor June 4, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

        Thanks for your reply.
        Yes, the placebo effect is a very interesting subject.
        I’m not sure how credible dr. Mercola is, but here there is his article I’ve just found on the placebo effect in regards to arthroscopic knee surgery: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/07/arthroscopic-knee-surgery.aspx

        The trouble, though, is that sometimes with injured tendons, ligaments or cartilage it’s almost impossible to do even very simple and basic exercises, be it qigong or something else. E.g., a person with shoulder labrum tear can’t even do Lifting the sky as any lifting of the arms up may cause severe pain.
        I’ve experienced that myself, due to an old neck-shoulder injury any arms lifting above the head can cause at least some discomfort and sometimes quite a pain. (But it feels quite pleasant to do some boxing uppercut punching series, slowly and with awareness – kinda in a qigong spirit… My own spontaneous invention 🙂 )

  6. Surya September 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    I am suffering from migraine. Please direct me, how should i treat it?

  7. David Whitham April 22, 2017 at 5:43 am #

    Great article Sifu, always well balanced and informative.

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