“The world of pain is well known by those that have truly experienced
pain. Pain changed my life. The first and foremost reason I started practicing
Qigong was because of my fear of pain. It was necessary for me to move,
work, and support my family. I was not going to let pain or drugs control
my life. It was then that I vowed to find natural ways to deal with pain
and disease. I discovered Qigong and have never looked back.”
Thomas McGuire, Certified Qigong Instructor & Functional Aging Specialist
What is Qigong?
The Chinese call the energy in a person’s body ‘qi’.
The word ‘gong’ means ‘the flow of’ or ‘the
practice of. Thus, Qigong is the practice of energy. The Chinese have
been practicing qigong for over twenty-five hundred years (that’s
2500 years in written documents, over 5000 years in pictures and carvings
on cave walls) and is commonly practiced in most hospitals in China as
an adjunct to everyday medical practice. Medical doctors in China prescribe
Qigong for prevention and maintenance of illness.
There are three levels of Qigong practice. The first level involves the
performance of the movements. Secondly, breathing becomes significant
as there are actually four parts to breathing; the inhale, short pause,
the exhale, and a short pause. These first two steps lead to the third,
which is a very relaxed, meditative state. The Chinese refer to this as
the ‘Nothingness’. It is in this state that change and healing begins.
Complimentary Qigong for all of our Patients
Classes are on Mondays at 7:00 pm, Wednesdays at 12:00 pm, and Fridays
at 3:00 pm. Read more about Qigong
Qigong in Integrative Medicine
In the summer of 2016, I met two older men who were in need of alternative
ways to exercise. One was paralyzed from the waist down; the other had
had multiple back surgeries. Both men were struggling with very high levels
of pain. In April of 2017, we started practicing Qigong as an adjunct
to their exercise and medical regimes. By July 2017, both men started
coming to Qigong practice without using their canes! This was inspiring
for all of us and intensified my research and study.
Pain is not the only ailment Qigong is used for. Other ailments such as
cancer, diabetes, headaches, depression, sleep disorders, and arthritis
are addressed via Qigong practices. For example, studies show that the
practice of Qigong positively influences the quality of life, fatigue,
immune function, cortisol levels, and cognition in individuals with cancer.
We currently offer Qigong classes for the patients at The Alaska Cancer
Treatment Center - Alaska Medical Specialties. Spouses, family, and loved
ones are invited as we are creating a sense of community. The gentle movements,
breathing techniques, and meditative exercises of Qigong can be practiced
sitting or standing up. Any age or level of fitness can join us in our
journey as we explore and discover new perspectives for physical and emotional