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Qigong Transformation

by Anne Wharton(more info)

listed in chi energy martial arts, originally published in issue 29 - June 1998

Anne Wharton was only 43 years old, but she felt as if she was dying, conventional medicine had failed to diagnose the symptoms of intense neck pain, numbness and blackouts, suffered by the former Nurse and exercise instructor. . . It was only when she turned to the ancient Chinese treatment Lamas Qigong (pronounced Chee - Kung) that her condition improved dramatically.

Master Sikung Lowe, of direct lineage to the Lamas Qigong Practitioners of ancient China

Anne (now 46) began suffering the symptoms when working as Commercial Manager for an international health care company. What Anne was experiencing was partly the result of minor whiplash injuries sustained in a car accident eight years previously, this coupled with the stressful nature of her job, and her addiction to exercise, meant her body had gone into complete burn out, and had attacked her weak area, the neck.

Anne experienced many ME type symptoms, fatigue, bleeding gums, muscle aches and pains anxiety and frustration. Ironically, for the first 12 months she suffered her symptoms she still ran almost everyday, practised aromatherapy and reflexology, and held down her demanding job. Her desperation grew, as her physician and neurologist couldn’t agree on a diagnosis, she eventually became so ill that she spent two weeks in hospital.

It was Dr Stan Switala, a visiting cranial osteopath at the Chinese herbal clinic she had been attending in York, who finally gave Anne some hope, and told her she wasn’t going mad, and that her symptoms were definitely not psychosomatic. Anne says her GP never actually said this, and although he listened and appeared sympathetic, he was of the opinion that she was premenopausal and depressed, in fact probably quite neurotic.

Dr Switala advised a neck scan, which despite the pains in the neck area and shoulders, had never been carried out. Dr Switala’s findings were that the cervical spine had rotated to the left with muscular atrophy on the right side involving the anterior cervical musculature, and quite severe spasm of the right-sided musculature resulting in compression of the right brachial plexus. There was rotation of the 1st cervical vertebra resulting in inflammation and spasm of the suboccipital musculature and irritation of the occipital nerves, there was also denervation of the C7 nerve.

Anne was so relieved, following this diagnosis she could now understand the theory behind the physical symptoms, and coupled with the burn out situation no wonder she felt so ill. Armed with a renewed sense of focus, Anne put together a plan of action to facilitate her recovery.

However, she was not prepared for the setback that followed. She began having twice weekly treatments from Dr Switala, feeling that this was the best course of action, the neurologist had recommended physiotherapy following his findings from the neck scan, but Anne declined, and went along with her instincts, after all it was Dr Switala who had diagnosed the problem in the first place. It was to be a long painful road back, one of “bloodless” surgery to gently realign the head and neck, a very delicate operation given the tightness around the area close to the brain stem.

After a few weeks of treatment, it became very obvious that Anne was too weak to stand up to the treatment from Dr Switala. He was only able to apply about one quarter of normal pressure, and Anne would go into uncontrollable muscle tremors, and feel very ill. The burn out meant she was very weak, and could not tolerate having the inflamed muscles worked upon.

As an aromatherapist, reflexologist and physical therapist, Anne felt she had to look at the alternative field of medicine, to work in conjunction with Dr Switala’s treatment.

One day, when Anne was feeling particularly ill, she saw an article about Lamas Qigong and how regular practice could restore health and vital energy. Anne went along to the class and found she couldn’t stand for longer than twenty minutes initially, she felt quite light-headed with the abdominal breathing, and nauseous. However, something told her to persevere with this course of action and she is pleased that she did.

Heading up the Lamas Qigong association is Tai Ku Sikung Lowe, a leading authority in the art of Qigong, and a renowned Chinese Practitioner.

Anne went to see Sikung Lowe at his Nottinghamshire clinic, and told him she was desperate to regain her quality of life.

He told her that in addition to her physical problems with her neck, her immune system was near to collapse, and her nervous system was severely traumatised – the result of many years in a stressful job, and her addiction to exercise. He prescribed three months of gentle Lamas Qigong exercises and breathing techniques, coupled with his own treatment, for which Anne took time off work.

In particular Sikung Lowe used Manumission, a transfer of energy or “Chi”, the “Chi” was stagnated in Anne’s case, Tui-na An-mo, a Chinese massage technique, and herbal treatments. Within 3 months Anne was strong enough to return to Dr Switala, her depleted energy levels restored, the progress was dramatic.

Dr Switala was amazed at such a transformation; the improvement in Anne’s overall health was remarkable. She was able to restart the cranial osteopathic treatment at full force, and 12 months later, only attends every 6 weeks. The numbness in her hand has disappeared, along with the blackouts, and fatigue, and she is working in a busy full time responsible position, although less stressful than her previous post.

“Had I not taken control of my own health and practised Lamas Qigong exercises to maintain a positive approach, I feel certain I would have been another statistic labelled premenopausal and neurotic, or prone to panic attacks and depression. I would have been prescribed from the endless list of anti-depressants, hypnotics, beta-blockers and anticonvulsants, all of which I was offered and refused.”

Transformation with Qigong –
Anne Wharton – before and after
Note the neck tension and forehead.

August 1996
August 1996
May 1997
May 1997
January 1998
January 1998

How Qigong cures disease

In Chinese “Chi” means breath air as well as life force energy. Qigong means breathing exercise, it is the skill of breath!

Many thousands of years ago in China, Qigong was applied, and still is as a field of medicine for the treatment of chronic diseases. Qigong therapy has been proven effective for diseases including neurosis, hypertension, ulcers, chronic constipation, arthritic problems, not to mention stress related illness, panic attacks and anxiety phobia etc.

The basic therapeutic principles behind the effectiveness of Qigong is its ability to have restorative value for vitality, and increase storage capacity for physical energy, because of its massaging action of the visceral organs. Qigong also replenishes depleted energy, the reserves of the body that have been lost through disease or physical exertion. It encourages proper rest and recuperation, aiding our physical and mental systems through normal organic function.

The deeply relaxing state achieved by the practice of Qigong suppresses the excitation perimeters of the cerebral cortex (in the brain). This internal inhibition or suppression of over excitation and fatigue of the cerebral cortex allows a quiet calm state for extended periods, and this provides a receptive medium for the restoration of the brain to its normal calm and alert condition. Hyperactivity is quietened by internal control, which means conditions in the central nervous system become more conducive to the regeneration of vitality, and recovery of health from disease.

The therapeutic principle of storing physical energy is essential to the practice of Qigong. Physiological studies where Qigong is practised have shown an energy-storing phase, this refers to a state of parasympathetic tornis, ie that which may be visualised or seen in deep relation or sleep. When oxygen consumption is reduced by 30–35% the metabolic rate decreases around 20–25%. This energy-storing phase over a period of time stops loss of energy, and encourages and facilitates storage of refreshed energy supplies. In boosting one’s level it therefore boosts effectiveness in combating chronic and debilitative conditions, as well as aiding those with a weak physical constitution.

The action of deep breathing “massages” the organs in the abdominal cavity, this mechanical type of primordial breathing serves to massage and stimulate the activity of internal organs. Breathing techniques practised in Qigong have a remarkable effect on the vital organs. The special breathing techniques of movements of the diaphragm become four or five times greater than that which occurs during normal breathing.

The movements of the diaphragm encourages the visceral organs to stimulate the functions of the stomach and intestines, thereby improving digestion, and absorption, also reducing congestion of blood in the lower abdomen, this also improves skin toning and texture, performance and efficacy are dramatically enhanced.

Qigong therapy may be said to be a holistic approach which deals with the basic cause of disease. While being able to cure main elements it also provides an improved functional state of nerve control centres, and by doing this corrects abnormalities in numerous parts of the body. Our immune system becomes more effective in dealing with main ailments, and it is reasonable to understand why Qigong can cure several diseases simultaneously and prove beneficial in combating others.

Further Information

Qigong is recommended for such conditions as depression, stress related illness, hypertension, skeletal and arthritic complaints, menopausal problems ME type symptoms, MS, fatigue, and panic, anxiety attacks.

Further detail can be obtained from Lamas Health Therapeutics Telephone 01909 482190 (24hr ans/fax).

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