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Student Experiences with Yi Ren® Qigong

Cancer and Qigong by Joyce Greenberg
Chronic Headaches and Qigong Practice by Jan Berlage
Health and Qigong Practice by Sharon Gilman
Grief Releasing with Qigong Practice by Janet Weedman
Emotional Strength and Qigong Practice by Sara Hiemstra
Refreshing with Qigong Practice by Lucy Baker
Insomnia and Qigong by Lucy Baker
High-Quality Sleep and Qigong Practice by David Gourd
Knee Injury Healing with Qigong Practice by David Gourd
Pain and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Qigong Practice by Jill Gonet
Qigong and the Very Difficult Year by Christina Brugman
Healing Dream and Qigong Practice by Jack Snowden

Cancer and Qigong
by Joyce Greenberg

When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in December of 1996, I was given no hope and no cure by my oncologist. I felt relieved that radiation and chemotherapy where deemed ineffective for the stage of my disease because given the choice of those options I would not choose them. I sought out homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathy, macrobiotics and organic foods. Meanwhile, my family and friends helped me to research other options like clinical trials and other alternative treatments. I was buoyed by the outpouring of love and concern as fear, confusion and grief were my constant companions at that time. Being presented with a life-threatening disease made me suddenly question if I had any control over my fate. Simultaneously, I felt both utterly alone and completely embraced. Life became so much more mysterious than I ever suspected it was.

One day, several months later, while I was at Greenline Organic Juice Bar in Kirkland, the owner, Kuang Lin, suggested I try Qigong to heal my cancer. I was very affected by the Kuang's vital sincerity as he went to great lengths to make a copy of a videotape of a Qigong master for me. In the next week I saw a flyer for a 10 week Qigong class offered through Evergreen Hospital by Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun of the Institute of Qigong and Internal Alternative Medicine. I signed up. Within the first few classes, I started feeling energy sensations. I felt something changing in me and I experienced a visceral exhilaration every time I practiced Qigong. For the first time I was feeling my self as if there was a self rather than being only a person whose reality was her response to someone else or to her environment. I felt the privacy of my being; it felt velvety and serene and strong. All of these sensations where the result of increased energy flow and stimulation which is intrinsically transformative to body systems.

The measuring stick I had for my disease was a 3 cm. tumor in my groin that I had had for 6 years previous to my diagnosis. In the course of this 10 week class, my tumor had all but disappeared. I suspected it was getting smaller around week 6, but dared not hope or expect it. By week 8, I could not deny that it was disappearing. My oncologist said I had a "spontaneous remission." I however feel that there was nothing spontaneous about it. I worked very hard, practicing Qigong every day as well as directing loving attention to my body through all the other healing modalities that I employed. It all totals up to self-care. It is over three years now that I am symptom free from cancer. However, I work at health every day with Qigong practice, organic foods and other decisions which affect the quality of my life.

Life is still a mystery to me but now I am a more informed participant.
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Chronic Headaches and Qigong Practice
by Jan Berlage
April 22, 1999

I started studying Yi Ren® Qigong with Dr. Sun two years and six months ago. At the time, I had chronic headaches and constant fatigue. After practicing consistently for about six months my headaches greatly subsided. Now on the rare occasion I do develop a headache. I know Qigong exercises that can diminish the discomfort. Also, as a result of my Qigong practice I noticed a significant increase in my energy level. My life, at this point began to shift in ways I never expected. My existence prior to Qigong was fairly circumscribed. Now I am able to live life more fully.

I have also found Yi Ren® Qigong to be an effective tool for reducing stress and increasing mental clarity. Qigong also seems to accelerate and support an other healing modalities.
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Health and Qigong Practice
by Sharon Gilman
August 16, 1996

Five years ago, I was involved in my job as an instructor in the community college system and physically active as a competitive rower. One night I was driving to an executive board meeting when a car made an illegal move, and I was injured. In an unsuccessful attempt to regain my health, I became immersed in Western medicine and physical therapy approaches for over a year. At the end of this time, my PIP insurance declared me restored to health. Nothing could have been further from that as I was left with the following problems:

- Chronic pain from three herniated disks in my neck, a frozen and a separated shoulder, and TMJ.

- An almost daily occurrence of migraine headaches that started at 10 am and disabled me by 3 p.m.

- An inability to control my weight and my resulting depression.

- An inability to sleep due to pain--which I finally resolved by numbing as much of my body as possible by making a bed of ice packs and sleeping on them.

I struggled for another year. However, help was available with qigong and within a matter of months, I had distinct and noticeable improvement. Today (one year later), through direct qigong exercises and the guidance of Dr. Sun, I have lost 30 pounds, eradicated my depression completely, am pain-free, and physically active without the fear that I may re-injure myself. I readily achieve deep and restful sleep. My Western physicians have been surprised at my vitality and health. I plan to return to rowing this spring. My health is the direct result of qigong practice.
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Grief Releasing with Qigong Practice
by Janet Weedman
April 2, 1999

Six months after becoming unexpectedly widowed and being in what was beginning to feel like a state of habituated grief, I took my first qigong class from Dr. Sun. Through beginning qigong practice, I learned how to move my energy and by doing this was able to get out of the state of low energy and depression I was experiencing. Although I was experiencing more energy, my emotional state was still very sad and unstable. One of the exercises we learned towards the end of the class was how to circulate the energy from the heart to the kidneys and back to the heart. When practicing this exercise, it felt like my heart was being cleansed and renewed and healed; like it was receiving the healing "medicine" it needed. My episodes of extreme grief began to lessen in intensity and frequency and I began to rediscover myself. By the time of one year anniversary of my husband's death, I felt redirected and optimistic about the future. I attribute the speed and completeness of my recovery to qigong practice.

It has now been a little over a year since that first qigong class. Qigong practice has become central to my life as a health promoting and integrating force. I would recommend qigong to anyone who would possibly be interested at this point in time and believe that eventually, this kind of knowledge will be considered to be one of the essential disciplines of a well educated person.
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Emotional Strength and Qigong Practice
by Sara Hiemstra

I began taking a Qigong class with Dr. Sun in the fall of 1997. My hope was to learn a practice that would help relieve mental stress as well as physical tension. I usually hold physical tension in my back and have had ongoing B.E.S.T. chiropractic care and massage for a number of years. Within the past 9 months my need for chiropractic visits has decreased significantly and my body responds much more rapidly to adjustment.

My sense of mental and emotional well being has been greatly enhanced. I now have an effective way to calm my mind when it feels too "full" or too scattered. Emotionally, for many years, I have experienced a familiar sense of anxiety when presented with it feelings of hopelessness and sadness which would deplete my physical energy and make taking action more difficult and effortful. I no longer have this anxiety response and I am very grateful. I have developed greater emotional strength, flexibility and assurance.

I feel that Qigong practice is a gift which has enabled me to enhance healing on several levels, as well as allow me to become more aware and more understanding of myself.
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Refreshing with Qigong Practice
by Lucy Baker
March 22, 1999

One of the things I most appreciate about the Qigong class is that no matter how tired or out of sorts I am, when I go to class, I always feel rejuvenated and refreshed afterwards. I have also noticed that there seem to be more noticeable results when I am in class than when I am working on my own at home.

It seems that my outlook on life has improved. The stressful things don't seem to latch onto my mind, take root and grow, like they used to.
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Insomnia and Qigong Practice
by Lucy Baker
March 18, 1999

One of the major problems I have had in the past ten years has been insomnia. Up until the time that I started menopause I did not have any trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. I had tried several herbal remedies, seratonin, melatonin. They seemed to help for a while, but then lost their effectiveness. I did not want to try prescription drugs because of their side affects.

After working with some of the exercises that Dr. Sun showed us in class, I found that I was falling asleep within five minutes of going to bed. I would wake up during the night, but had no difficulty going back to sleep. At this point, I find that I still have to do the exercises every day, but it is well worth the ten to twenty minutes that it takes.
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High-Quality Sleep and Qigong Practice
by David Gourd
April 28, 1999

When I started taking classes from Dr. Sun (1994), I generally slept nine hours per night, usually 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. If I got less than this I usually was tired most of the day. When I started practicing qigong, I would practice every evening before going to bed, usually 8:15 p.m. or so to 9:00 p.m.

As time went by, I found myself practicing past 9:00 p.m. because I enjoyed the practice very much. What was strange to me at the time was that even though I still got up at 6:00 a.m., I was not tired. I found myself practicing past 10:00 p.m. and actually being less tired in the morning. This process continued over several years. I found myself starting practice later, usually 9:30 p.m. or so and ending after 10:30 to 11:00 p.m. Despite a very demanding job, my need for sleep was reduced.

At this point, almost five years after I started, I usually go to between 11:30 p.m. and 12:00 midnight and get up between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. My need for sleep has been reduced from nine hours per night to about six hours per night.
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Knee Injury Healing with Qigong Practice
by David Gourd
April 28, 1999

When I started taking classes from Dr. Sun I only wanted to learn about qigong. I had a chronic left knee problem, but I didn't know that qigong could help. I had injured my knee playing football in high school (1970) and had reinjured it at a fundraising car wash for my daughter's band in 1994. I was taking huge amounts of ibuprofen to get through the day and could no longer walk upstairs or ride my bicycle. At that point I was facing surgery.

I started classes and practicing regularly. Dr. Sun mentioned that qigong could help heal physical problems. I asked him if qigong could fix my knee and he replied that it was certainly possible. He gave me specific qigong exercises to do, which I practiced faithfully.

In the first few weeks, I didn't notice much difference. After a few weeks, my knee started feeling more pain at times. I talked to Dr. Sun about this and came to understand that this was part of the healing process. My knee had been injured and the qi did not flow through the area well. The extra qi I was putting in with the exercises could not go through smoothly and therefore worked to heal my knee. This caused some pain. The good thing is that after about six weeks, my knee started feeling a little better some of the time. After about three months, my knee started feeling better most of the time, and by six months I was virtually pain free. This process was amazing to me.

I am very grateful to Dr. Sun for teaching me how to use qigong to heal my knee.
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Pain and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Qigong Practice
by Jill Gonet
April 26, 1999

I am writing as a student of Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun. Dr. Sun has been my Qigong teacher for the past three years, and in that time I have experienced enormous positive changes in my physical and emotional health. These changes I attribute entirely to the very effective Qigong program he has been offering in the Seattle area.

When I first met Dr. Sun, I was spending so much money--mine and my insurance company's--on my health care, and getting such poor results in return for so great an expense that I felt health and pain-free living were just some idealistic dream. I was 35 years old, had already lost two years of productivity to chronic fatigue syndrome, and was in constant pain in my joints, neck and back. Prior to starting Dr. Sun's program, I received treatments from practitioners of both eastern and western medicine: herbalists, M.D.'s, acupuncturists, osteopaths, chiropractors, message practitioners, Trager practitioners, and physical therapists. I had begun to believe that there was no future for my body except pain and fatigue. None of these modalities offered my any but the most temporary respite from pain and discomfort.

After I began Dr. Sun's program, I immediately felt an improvement in my general energy levels, and from the outset, a great decrease in pain. As I continued his program, as I have now for three years, the benefits have only amplified, and the pain and fatigue have faded away.

I am grateful and relieved that this practice came into my life and changed the direction things were going in. I keep up with practice and still attend classes fairly regularly, because the benefits keep coming, even though I am, for the most part, physically pain-free. Other benefits I have experienced include amplified creativity, enhanced emotional balance, and greater sensitivity and sense of connection to the natural world.

This is a practice a person might take up in order to feel less pain, but then keep it up for life, because it feels so good, and keeps delivering fresh delights.
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Qigong and the Very Difficult Year
by Christina Brugman
March 19, 1999

My story is nothing spectacular: no miraculous healing or onset of clairvoyance, just the ability to endure and grow profoundly in the midst of difficulties.

I began Chi Kung in January of 1998. For some time I had been learning an energy healing technique and had been going to healer who uses energy. I had also taken a couple of classes of tai chi at Evergreen Hospital which I liked very much. I wanted to know more about how energy works in my own body, to have more awareness of it, and to control it myself for my own well-being.

In January, too, I began to understand that my mother was going to die. She had been in ill health for a few years, and things were steadily getting worse. This realization hit me very hard on her birthday, the 27th, and I began a time of anticipatory grieving, difficult and sad.

That winter was also a time of tremendous growth spiritually and in my way of thinking about and understanding the world. Sometimes I felt like a chick hatching from an egg. It was hard work and not very comfortable. My world had become too small for me, but what lay outside the shell was unknown and scary.

I practiced my Level One exercises quite faithfully. I tried to be more
aware and feel the energy. Most of the time I just operated on faith that the exercises did what they were supposed to, as my ability to discern the energy was pretty minimal.

In January, February, and March I began to have trouble with anxiety and depression, which reached a climax in April. I ended up in the emergency room on Easter Sunday. I continued to practice Chi Kung throughout this time, struggling to stay grounded and centered. It's possible that the Chi Kung was releasing a bunch of horrible stuff. I don't know. I also continued prayer and other spiritual practices, but I felt completely overwhelmed. I started on medication at my doctor's advice. I continued Chi Kung practice and was able to discontinue the anxiety medicine after a few weeks, though I still took a low dose of anti-depressant. In late spring things settled down a lot. I was able to continue my practice and progress to Level Two. I particularly liked the more meditative parts. I got more centered and better grounded. It's a good thing.

In June my husband and I set off for a long-anticipated trip to join his
family at Yosemite. When we stopped at Crater Lake en route, he suddenly got dark spots in his eye. We hurried to Reno and found an ophthalmologist who told us that our vacation was over. Barry would have to have immediate surgery as he was in the process of a retinal detachment. We decided on the option of him flying home to have the surgery so we wouldn't be stuck in a Reno hotel for two weeks of recovery. That left me to drive home from Reno by myself. I had never driven very far on my own, but there was nothing else to do, and I surprised myself by doing just fine. His surgery went well, and we made it through two weeks of keeping his head tilted at a 45-degree angle.

I continued my Chi Kung practice and kept my center. In July my father-in-law needed major surgery. I was chosen as the best of the children to go and help out as I have some medical background and an assertive personality. I had never driven in LA before and had never wanted to, but found myself traversing several freeways in the hour-long drive to and from the hospital each day. There were some complications of surgery and lots of advocacy needed with the medical people, but I continued my practice (this time overlooking the Pacific with a view of Catalina Island) maintained my balance as well as sense of calm and humor. This saw me through the ten-hour days of helping out in the hospital.

In August, my sister had to call the aid car for my mother who had collapsed in front of her house coming home from Church. She had ventricular fibrillation and was taken to the hospital. After a week she was able to go home, but really could no longer take care of herself. My sister and I divided up the responsibility. I was with her during the weekdays and my sister (who lived with her) took the evenings and most of the weekends. At first I thought it would be possible to work and carry on my other activities while taking care of Mom, but it became apparent that almost everything else would have to be put aside. This was a difficult adjustment for me, but I kept up my Chi Kung practice and was able to cope. My mother and I got to visit, watch her game
shows, and listen to her radio personalities together. We went through family photos and I cooked her special things. I bathed her and washed her hair and took her to the doctor and coordinated with the visiting nurses.

In September my father-in-law had another surgery but I was not able to go to Los Angeles. I did what I could by phone and prayer. I took Level Two over again, as I didn't feel I really knew the tai chi part very well. I kept up my practice, and my internal balance improved.

In late October I had to call the aid car, and Mom went back to the hospital. Every day they thought she would be able to go home the next day, but she just got worse. Finally it was apparent that she would not get better, and we decided to take her home to die. We did not want her to die in the hospital, and neither did she. So, on a Friday we took her home and set up a bed in the living room. The pets and the neighbors and the grandchildren and the friends came and went. My sister and I took care of her 24 hours a day until our other sister arrived from Ohio on Sunday. Mom died that night. It was holy and peaceful and beautiful. We were all with her. It was everything I had prayed for for so many months. It was remarkable how centered I was. I was present to the situation but not overcome by it. I was sad but happy too, that my mother's suffering was over, and she was at peace.

November was incredibly complex. My husband's first day of retirement was the day of Mom's funeral. We were in the middle or remodeling a storage room into an office for him. Our daughter came home from nearly a year in Europe the next week. November 23rd was our 25th Wedding Anniversary. All the relatives from far and near came for a series of parties on the Thanksgiving weekend. It was a blur or activity, but I continued my practice and kept my center.

December was busy with Christmas, and then in January we returned to Los Angeles to help my husband's parents with heavy work around the house. I got to practice again with a view of Catalina Island. I progressed to Level Three and particularly liked the meditative exercises. In February I returned to work which was a real adjustment.
For so many months I had plenty of time in the morning to make my practice a priority, but now I had to work at it, getting up at 5 AM to find the time. I don't regret it.

Now it is March and we are back in Los Angeles helping my husband's parents once more. Today I practiced looking over the ocean, though the island was not showing. Hawks were flying overhead.

I am no "black belt" in chi kung, just an ordinary person who finds it a
helpful and necessary anchor in my daily life. I have a lot to learn, but
I'm content to progress as the way leads. I don't see how I could have made it through all the stress and emotional upheaval of this year without it. I know it is an important component for the health of my body, mind, and spirit. I will continue to practice, and I believe I will keep my balance and maintain my center.
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Healing Dream and Qigong Practice
by Jack Snowden
April 8, 1999

Where to begin. There have been many Qigong events over the past four years of practice with you. Some of the feeling, dreams, and body healing are slight while others are overwhelming.

Recently my stomach was bothering me. There had been many changes in my life: job, life partner, and parents moving into extended care. My life had taken on more then its share of stress and it was affecting my body.

In a dream after doing an extended session of Qigong I was shown that raw cabbage, salt, garlic and olive oil would be very helpful in relieving the problem. When I made the concoction it was delicious and would devour a head of cabbage a day. Yes, the pain went away.

Today stress has subsided with continual practice and diet. Life has taken a more reflective and introspective turn. Because of the quietness of turning inside and seeing the outside reflected within, more compassion has resulted.

Over the years of classroom time I have watched the other students change to more vibrate individuals. They smile more and feel good inside their body and mind. The are able to contribute to the group dynamics and push for more intensive learning.

The ancient practice is filled with common sense, eastern magic, philosophy and a unique form of healing medicine. As I sit here today and write reflecting, it appears that Qigong is truly the root of all Chinese medicine. For me personally, it has become an important element that I carry with me each day. It has taught me to breath and enjoy life.