&quot;Qigong&quot; has existed for a long time, but it did not become popular until the 1950s when it gained public acceptance over other traditional and more abstruse terms until recently. However, there is still much misunderstanding of Qigong due to some conceptual confusion.
These terms are self-explanatory and are indicative of Qigong’s origins in internalized self-care exercises and life-nurturing activities.
Let me give two examples of early proof of qigong meditation in Chinese history… The description on the jade pendant is very similar to the Daoist art of Internal-Elixir qigong, practiced in modern time.
Adjustment also implies regulating or alignment.
Shorten to the essence – medical qigong is qigong directed by the teacher and student toward health
If you have this slide, I would take out slide above of effects on cancer/rats.
Delete – you already said a lot of this
What are the known mechanism of meditative therapy for stress management?
TCM Qigong Self-Healing in Cancer Recovery
TCM Qigong & Self-Healing in
Kevin W Chen, Ph.D. MPH
Center for Integrative Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine
What Is Qigong? -- the Term
Pronounced as “Chi Kung.”
Qi = vital energy, breath of life.
Gong = skill or achievement.
Qigong is a general term for various forms of
traditional Chinese mind-body exercises and
The practice has a history of 3,000+ years
Had many other names in the history
Other Names of Qigong
Tu-na ( 吐纳 ) - exhalation and inhalation,
Dao-yin ( 导引 ) - guiding and conducting exercise
An-qiao ( 按蹻 ) - massaging/stepping on the body
Xiu-lian ( 修炼 ) - cultivating and refining
Jing-zuo ( 静坐 ) - tranquil sitting, sit meditation
Yang-sheng ( 养生 ) – life nurturing
Cun-si ( 存思 ) - mind-visualization
Guan-xiang ( 观想 ) - observing-imagination
Xing-qi ( 行气 ) - circulating Qi
Example Relics of Qigong
Right: A jade
of qi meditation &
(around 600 B.C.)
• Left: a painted pottery jar with a sculpture in human
shape on a standing meditation post, and gulping Qi…
(around 3000 B.C.)
Concept of Qi in TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) posits the
existence of a subtle energy (Qi) circulating
throughout human body.
Good health is result of a free-flow, well-
balanced qi system, while sickness or pain is
the result of qi blockage or unbalanced qi.
All TCM therapies, herb, cupping, acupuncture,
massage & Qigong, based on this perspective.
The same concept can be found in other
cultures: Ki (Japan), Prana (India), Mana
(Hawaii & Philippines), and OD (German).
Textbook Definition of Qigong
“The skill of body-mind exercises
that integrate body, breath and
mind adjustments into one.”
1. Contents: 3 adjustments
2. Purpose: Integrate 3 adjustments
3. Classification of discipline: It’s
body-mind exercise – both
physiology and psychology
4. Category of knowledge:
operational skill or technique
Qigong and Healing
Qigong practice has health benefits.
o Most people agree.
Qigong therapy can heal diseases
o Most skeptic… or don’t know
Qigong practice can help cancer recovery!
o Most people not sure…
Medical Qigong 医疗气
Emphasize how to use vital energy (qi) to help take
control of illnesses/diseases, and how to prevent them.
Influenced by Daoism philosophy but developed
independently mostly by TCM practitioners.
Historically, most famous TCM doctors were also
good qigong practitioners (e.g. Hua Tuo; Li Shizhen).
Guide medical practitioners to use inner qi for
diagnosing, healing and preventing diseases.
Concept qi & qigong techniques--foundation of TCM
Ancient Medical Qigong Book
General Treatise on Etiology and
Symptomology of Various Diseases
( 诸病源候论 )-- 610 A.D.
The oldest specialized medical text
to explore etiology & pathogenesis.
50 volumes cover 67 subjects and
No herbal formula or acupuncture
But recorded 213 various ‘Daiyin
movements’ (Qigong) for 110
different symptoms or diseases!
Variation in Medical Qigong
Although Qigong is considered as a self-
healing therapy (see definition), the emission
of Qi (or external Qi therapy) has always been
part of the medical qigong practice so as to
help patients to regain health or qi balance.
Need to distinguish between internal qigong
training and external Qi therapy
Internal Qigong Practice
Self practice or cultivation to
Major part of Qigong therapy.
Involve guided imagery,
breathing skills, relaxation,
inward attention, body
posture, mindfulness training
through three adjustments.
Three basic forms: dynamic,
static, and standing post.
External Qi Therapy
EQT -- Qigong practitioner
direct or emit his Qi energy,
intention, or bio-info to help
other regain health.
Practiced through use of Qi
(vital energy), or Yi (intention
or mind) therapy, or a
combination of the two.
Most schools of medical
Qigong teach both techniques.
Study of External Qi
The physical nature of Qi remains as yet unproven,
there are some intriguing reports suggesting
possibility of physical, biophysical or biochemical
alterations induced by EQT or “Qi-emission.”
Chen (2004) “Analytic review of measuring external
qi in China” -- presents a lot of studies that applied
physical, chemical, biological and life detectors in
verifying the existence of external qi.
There is a small but growing body of scientific
evidence that suggests the physical existence of Qi,
and the healing power of Qigong therapy
Chen (2004), Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(4): 38-50
What is found in external qi?
Studies suggest 3 components in
“external qi” healing process:
1. Matter – such as mm micro-
wave, VLF electromagnetic
field, photon, particle, etc.
2. Energy – Gamma ray, far-
3. Information – bi-directional
effect on bacteria growth
TCM View of Cancer
A slowing or stasis of the
Qi-blood flow in the body
(deficiency of Zheng Qi)
Sometimes, there may be
external toxin, but only
working through internal
dysfunction or imbalance.
Treatments focus on
cultivating Zheng (qi) and
dispelling Xie (toxin, evil)
Qigong and Cancer Recovery
Huge literature (many in Chinese).
Mostly observational studies on cancer patients before
and after qigong practice
Some randomized controlled trials in recent literature
Many positive in-vitro and in-vivo studies of external
qi therapies for inhibiting cancer growth
Many Qigong schools or clinics do not take patients
with cancer openly due to high mortality rate….
Two Qigong forms specifically target cancer: Guo-Lin
New Qigong and Taiji Five-Element Qigong. Both
have reported many successful cases.
Chen & Yueng, 2002, Integrative Cancer Therapy, 1, 345-370 17
Qigong Therapy for Cancer
Chen & Yueng (2002) reviewed 50+ research studies of
qigong therapy for cancer in the past 20 years.
Group treated with qigong had significant more
improvement or a better survival rate than those treated
with conventional method, with less side effects.
The cancer cells used in-vitro and in-vivo include breast
cancer, erythroleukemia (K562), leukemia, CNE-2, SGC-
7901 gastric adenocarcinoma, spleen cells, lung tumor cells
Most studies demonstrated the inhibitory effect of qigong
on the growth of cancer cells in comparison with the
control and sham-treated groups.
EQT on Transplanted
Hepatocarcinoma in Mice
30 nude mice injected w/ hepatocarcinoma cells.
randomly assigned into 3 groups: control, sham &
external qigong treatment.
EQT towards mouse cage (10-15 am away) 10 minutes
every other day, a total of 4 sessions.
Mice sacrificed 72 hrs after last EQT. Tumor mass
isolated & weighted.
The three repeated trials showed, compared with control
the tumor growth-inhibitory rates of EQT group were
70%, 80%, and 79%, respectively (p < 0.0001).
Chen et al. 1997, Asian Medicine, 11, 36-38
Fig 1. Inhibitory Effect of EQT on Live Cancer
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3
Pictures of Electron Microscopy
A (2200x) shows cell shrinkage,
some with nuclear condensation;
some apoptotic bodies in cells.
B (8000x) shows apoptotic cells,
karyorrhexis, nuclear fragments,
and cytoplasmic aggregation.
D (6000x) shows apoptosis: cell
shrink, pyknosis and cytoplamic
E (3900x) shows clustered
apoptotic bodies in intercellular
Inhibition of Cell Culture Growth
Study of EQT inhibiting
breast cancer cell growth
4 BC cell lines (BC-123;
BC-125; BC-HT-20; BC-
T47d) were grown in 4
All plates were re-incubated
for 16 hours. Total RNA
was extracted to determine
the levels of beta-PPT-I.
Treatment: Qigong (10Treatment: Qigong (10
min), sham (10 min),min), sham (10 min),
incubator control & roomincubator control & room
temperature control.temperature control.
Chen & Yueng (2002). Integrative Concer
Results of Our In-vitro Study
Compared to sham-
treated cells, in all 8
trials (4 BC cells in
two trials) the Qi-
treated cells had
slower growth than all
sham group (p = .
0038 in cumulative
Effects of External Qi on PPT-I Expression on
Control 1 Control 2 Sham Qigong
Bengston & Krinsley, 2000, Journal of
Scientific Exploration, 14: 353-364.
“Laying On of Hands” on Transplanted
Breast Cancer in Mice (U.S.)
Bengston & Krinsley (2000) tried to
apprentice “laying on of hands” technique on
transplanted breast cancer in mice.
First study: 5 mice on each group.
Cancer: mommary adenocarcinoma (H2712).
Host strain: C3H/HeJ, which had a predicted
100% fatality in 14 to 27 days.
Attempted to observe the prolonged life…
Laying on Hands for Breast Cancer
Bengston treated the mice 1 hour a day for a
The tumors developed a “blackened area”,
then ulcerated, imploded, and closed.
The treated mice survived 100%! And lived
their normal life cycle.
Three replications using skeptical volunteers
in different labs produced an overall cure rate
of 87.9% in 33 mice.
Resonance effects on control mice…
On-site control survival rate was not 0%, but
69% in 2000 report, and 80.5% in 2007
report (tx group at 91.7%).
Replicated in four trials!
Off-site control survival rate remained at
Bengston & Moga, J of Alter & Comp Med, 2007; 13(3): 317-327
Summary of Remission Patterns
from Laying-on-hands study
Experiment Control on-site Control off-site
More Exciting Finding
from Laying-on-Hands Study
Re-injections of the same breast cancer into the
mice after remission did not take their lives.
It suggests a stimulated immunological
response to the bioenergy treatment.
If this immune response is transferable, we
have a cure for this type of breast cancer –
found out by a sociology professor!
Review of Clinical Studies
Oh et al (2013) critical review of RCTs in Medical
Qigong for cancer patients: positive improvement
for quality of life, mood and fatigue parameters.
Zeng et al. (2014), a systematic review of health
benefits of Qigong for cancer (13 RCTs): Qigong
had positive effects on QoL, fatigue, immune
function and cortisol level.
Lee et al (2007), a systematic review of controlled
trials (9 studies)– poor study quality, related to
palliative supportive care, not as a curative
treatment. Evidence inconclusive.
Recent Clinical Studies
Chen et al (2013, Cancer), RCT (n=95 BC pts),
Guolin Qigong 6 wks; Qigong group had less depress
(p < .05), less fatigue (p < .01) & better QoL (p < .05).
Oh et al. (2010), RCT (n=162), medical qigong for 10
weeks, Qigong improved QoL (p < .05), fatigue (p < .
001), and mood disturbance (p = 0.02).
Bower et al. (2015, Cancer), (n=71), Mindfulness
meditation, RCT for BC survivors, reduced perceived
stress (p < .01), depressive symptom (p = 0.09), &
reductions in proinflammatory gene expression (p < .
01) & inflammatory signaling (p < .01).
Successful Case Study
Yun Liao – recurrent breast
cancer metastasized to bone
(surgery in Aug. & Nov.
1991, metastasized in 1993)
Doctor told no hospital bed
for her since the situation
was too late to treat….
Age 52 when first coming to
Qigong class in 1993
Qigong for 8 months…..
Case Study (Yun Liao)
ECT whole body scan in
Nov. 1993 showed significant
ECT in 1995 showed no sign
of cancer metastasis….
She is still living and healthy
today; volunteer to teach
other cancer patients qigong,
with 800+ students in Liu
Successful Case Study
Manli Liu – Progressive brain cancer,
malignant intracerebral glioma (1994)
Age 32 when coming to qigong in 1994
before Gamma ray-therapy (14 sessions),
tumor grew to the size of 4.3x3.6x3.9cm.
Started qigong practice in Dec. 1994,
Two months later, tumor size 2.5 x 2.2
One and half a year later, her seventh MRI
showed no sign of Glioma….
Successful Case Study
Maoxun SHEN, recurrent liver cancer
Initial diagnosis of liver cancer in 1989, underwent
three liver surgeries in 1990, 1991, & 1992…
recurrence of liver cancer found in Sept.
1992, CT show 2.5 x 2.5 cm tumor in right lobe…
Age 60 when fist coming to qigong class in 1992
Practice TFQ intensively for a few months, the
tumor became smaller; by Jan 27th
, 1993, Ultrasonic
scan found no sign of tumor in liver…
Lived a healthy retirement life. 34
Case Study of Qigong Healing
Mr. T, a NJ psychologist, had suffered from
hypertension, cardiac problem, hay fever, allergy,
asthma and some permanent injuries caused by car
accident for long, plus elevated PSA (12)….
Took 8 medications daily before qigong therapy
Attending a 20-day intensive qigong training and
Felt confident enough to stop taking all medications.
Soon after, his PSA index back to normal; Blood
pressure dropped from 220/120 with medicine to
120/80; asthma & allege gone, all other symptoms
Pain caused by auto accident also disappeared.
Chen & Turner, 2004, Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 10. 159-162
How Qigong Works for Cancer?
-- A long way to go….
Qigong helps reducing stress hormones (cortisol)
Qigong practice can improve immune functions –
confirmed by in-vitro, in-vivo and human studies
Qigong practice may increase micro-circulation
functions (more efficient metabolism)
Qi energy may direct turn off the cancer cells and
produce apoptosis effect (in-vivo studies)
Qigong meditation can raise the pain threshold –
confirmed by in-vivo and human studies
Qigong Practice for Stress
– Mind Management
Work on relaxing, or relieving your mind – less
worry and less attachment….
“No-action” means less attached to things around
that stress you…
An attitude change
Mindfulness -- through
slow breathing and
and mind-body exercise
Counting breaths method
Qigong -- an Optimal Method
for Stress Management
When breath-mind-body are integrated into
“one”, you would breathe at the “resonant-
frequency” – optimal state of autonomic
TCM believes that “Qi” goes with “Yi” –
when meditation with inward attention, one
can gain energy, and recover much rapidly
than other relaxation methods.
Qigong Therapy for Pain Relief
Strong scientific evidence that relaxation and
breathing techniques help relieving pain….
Qigong practice can raise the pain threshold –
confirmed by in-vivo and human studies
An effective alternative for pain relief –
either self application or external treatment.
E.g. reports on complete cure of arthritis and
degenerated disc disease with qigong therapy.
Lee et al. (2007) reviewed 5 RCTs. The
results not conclusive but very encouraging...
Lee et al. Journal of Pain. 2007; 8(11):827-31
More on Mechanisms
Stress Response/Effect Qigong Effects
Heart rate to supply more
heart rate, HRV balanced
blood supply (Ng & Tsang. 2009)
Immune system, WBC
NK activity, WBC count,
lymphocytes, antibody (Ng
& Tsang. 2009; Yang et al. 2008)
Blood pressure to supply
Blood pressure with adjusted
autonomic nervous system (Paul-
Labrodor et al. 2006)
Respiratory rate to get
Respiratory rate -- calm down
the entire body (Ng & Tsang. 2009)
Explore Mechanisms (con’t)
Stress Response/Effect Qigong Effects
Adrenaline and cortisol
cortisol, melatonin (Lee et
al. 2001; Guo 1996)
Deficient production of
insulin, risk of obesity
Insulin resistance (Paul-
Labrodor 2006) total cholesterol
(Ng & Tsang. 2009)
indicator of Inflammation
Interleukin (IL-6) (Pace et al.
Negative mood/affect Anxiety and depression (Ng &
Tsang. 2009; Li et al. 2002)
Clinical Application of TCM
Qigong Skills & Principles
in Cancer Recovery
Qigong Self Healing Retreat for Cancer
Patients & Their Family
Current tx focus on cancer itself, but hardly on the
environment that cultivated cancer growth in the first
place high relapse and failures
All therapies work with patients’ immune & self-
Real health is not simple absence of disease/tumor, but
a full mental and social balance & health.
Cancer-phobia is the leading cause of death among
cancer patients, but no effective treatment so far…
We introduce the missed component in cancer therapy
– YOU (the patient’s self-care & self-empowerment).
Search Help Within
Most people with cancer tend to search for
help outside – the best doctors, the hospital,
effective therapies, innovative drug(s)….
External help won’t work or cure cancer
unless you change the internal environment,
which offered the place to cultivate cancer
growth at the first place…
Everyone is born a healer! We need reveal
and activate that healer within!
1. Attitude Adjustment (cognition)
Cancer is not your enemy!
Everyone may have tumor or carcinoma in the
body during life time…
A diagnosed cancer is a warning, alert about your
lifestyle, diet & internal environment! --- You
need making changes….
It is the immune system & self-healing power that
survive & cure the cancer.
Cancer could become your friend if you treated it
in a right way…
Don’t Blindly-Believe( 迷信 ) In
What doctors said
What science knows
What Qigong master can do
Believe in yourself, and in your self-healing
2. Focus on Reducing & Managing
Practice mindfulness in daily life
Become mindful at any time by paying attention to
breathing (RFB, Counting breath)
Be mindful of thought/emotion (acceptance,
detachment, non-judgment, positive reframing)
Be mindful of body/spirit, mind-body connection,
body used to facilitate stress reduction (mindful
Build a positive, present and detached mindset
3. Qigong Systems Designed for
Two evidence-based qigong systems
o Chinese Taiji Five-element Qigong (Mostly
o Guolin New Qigong (Anti-cancer Wellness Methods,
Cultivate mindfulness & energy in practice
Rapidly rebuild immune & healing system
Students learn both forms of Qigong and will
leave with the skills to continue daily Qigong
practice once returning home. 49
4. Behavioral & Life-Style
Become a benefit-finder instead of fault-finder
in daily life (daily gratitude ritual)
On relationship issues (patient, care-givers &
other family & friends)
A healthier daily routine and schedule
Minimize exposure to electromagnetic fields
Diet and Nutrition – based on science and
5. Evidence-Based Self-Healing
Information water (Daoist healing)
Self-acupressure, introduce points to help
pain and other symptoms,
Grounding for discharging positive ions and
electron magnetic field, & gaining energy!
Energetic fasting as a therapy (turtle
breathing and skin breathing) 51
Positive Feedback from Participants
“The healing Qigong workshop surpassed my
expectations by a long shot. I came home with a
renewed vigor, confidence, feeling of normalcy and
hope that I had wanted!”
“I am on a quest for Total Health after stage III cancer,
and I felt needing something more than what I was
doing --- This is it!”
“Phenomenal! Passionate! True very best! Opened my
mind, body & spirit!” “If I had this course 2 years ago,
I would have taken less treatment and relied more on
this practice.” -- A physician from Maryland.
Chen K, & Yeung R, 2002. "Exploratory studies of qigong
therapy for cancer in China." Integrative Cancer Therapies.
Chen K, 2004, “Analytic review of studies measuring external qi
in China.’ Alter Therapies in Health & Medicine, 10(4): 38-50.
Chen K, “Qigong therapy for stress management.” Pp. 428-48
in Lehrer et al. (eds.) Principals & Practice of Stress
Management, 3rd Ed. New York: Guilford Publications. 2007.
Chen KW, 2008. “Inhibitory effects of bio-energy therapies on
cancer growth—An overview of recent laboratory studies in the
U.S. and its implications in cancer treatment.” World Sciences
and Technologies –Modernization of Traditional Chinese
Medicine and Materia Medica; 10(4):144-152
Lee MS, Chen KW, Earnst E. 2010. Supportive Cancer Care
with Qigong. Pp. 77-94 in W.C.S. Cho (ed.) Supportive Cancer
Care with Chinese Medicine, London: Springer Science.
Zeng YC. et al. (2014). “Health benefits of qigong or tai chi for
cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.”
Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 22, 173-186.
Oh B. et al. (2012). “A critical review of the effects of medical
qigong on quality of life, immune function, and survival in
cancer patients.” Integrative Cancer Therapies. 11(2), 101-
Chen Z. et al. (2013). “Qigong improves quality of life in
women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer: Results of a
randomized controlled trial.” Cancer, 119(9): 1690-8.
Bower et al. (2015). Mindfulness meditation for younger breast
cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Cancer, 121:
Oh B. et al. (2010). Impact of medical qigong on quality of life,
fatigue, mood and inflammation in cancer patients: a
randomized controlled trial. Ann Oncology, 21(3), 608-14.