Qigong For Health and Wellness
Before me is a journal that I wrote in 2002. I have a difficult time reading it. I donít know what made me write a journal that year. Iíd tried journaling my illness before on and off in the 21+ years Iíd been ill. Iíd always quit after a while; it seemed so hopeless to continue writing in them.
Perhaps I wrote it because I felt I was dying and needed to write down how I felt? To read it is a horrible insight into severe illness. I could no longer walk to the end of my driveway to get the mail on most days. I was on so many drugs, some for pain, some to keep my blood pressure high enough to sustain me in an upright position, some to manage my deepening depression resulting from my horrible physical state. It scared doctors to see so many meds on my chart. If my doctors were not available new doctors refused to even see me at times because they didnít understand what was wrong with me. I had myoclonic jerks that went on all day and most of the night so I had to take drugs to slow them down. Pain was a constant despite long acting morphine and breakthrough pain medication.
I had recurring shingles, that is, they never went away. I was on antiviral medication for them and if I missed a single pill Iíd get a new line of very painful vesicles somewhere on my body. My immune system didnít seem to fight anything very well.
My left leg from my spine on down was so painful due to a cyst on my spine. My foot would drop when I tried to walk, tripping me. Sometimes it seemed the pain ascended up my left side, though my doctors told me it was impossible. Then again they didnít understand very much of what was going on with me. They were trying to send me to the Mayo clinic to find out why my autonomic nervous system was so messed up but the insurance was holding things up.
I had chronic migraines on top of the headache that had been with me since the start of this illness.† I had so much pain from various sources that I was totally exhausted all the time.
I knew I was dying. I was scared and tried to find an answer to what was going on with me. I am a registered nurse and I scoured the Internet to find something that would help me. I prayed for help. I really couldnít do much of anything anymore.† Good days were few and far between.
I was only 26 years old when the sickness started. My children were five and four years old. My oldest son was in kindergarten and he had a case of strep that would not go away. We all caught strep throat from him and it lasted months even with antibiotics. I suspected something more was going on so I requested that my son be tested for mononucleosis. He tested positive. Since my own glands were so swollen and sore I asked them to test me. They were reluctant but finally did. I too had mono. My husband and my younger son didnít have it.
This was the early winter of 1979. In January of 1980 I awoke one day with a horrible headache. Iíd never had a headache in my life. It just refused to go away. I went to doctors, they said it was probably the mono and to take it easy. It did go away a year later and I felt fine.
Then a year after that it came back and once again I tested positive for mononucleosis. I was sick again for a year or so and this time there were more aches and pains in my body in general. Then it went away again, but this time I was only well for 9 months.
The headache was always the heralding symptom. I was sicker this time around and this time it lasted for years and years. I was once again positive for mononucleosis. My liver and spleen were enlarged. My joints ached. I had no stamina at all.
The symptoms would wax and wane over several years, never going away completely again but slowly getting worse over time. They eventually diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Over the years many doctors disputed this diagnosis. I feel the diagnosis was given because my symptoms didnít fit into any category they were familiar with. One doctor who specialized in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome told me I was too ill to have it!
Over the years I learned all I could about CFS, joined support groups and tried to understand it. I did not meet anyone who had the same symptoms that I had. I suspect CFS covers more than one illness and that itís different in everyone.
I tried many therapies to help myself over the years. I was in medical studies dealing with CFS. In one study I was given human immune globulin and it helped me tremendously. Unfortunately it didnít help the majority of people in the study so it was not approved for CFS and I was not allowed to continue taking it. Six months after that treatment ended I relapsed and was far sicker than I had been prior to that study.
I kept reinventing my life, finding something, anything, that I could still do. Years went by and I got sicker and sicker. My autonomic nervous system began to fail in 1990. . I felt full way to fast after taking a few bites and my stomach stayed full for a very long time. My weight dropped. Soon I had symptoms of gall bladder problems with pancreatitis. After dropping 80 lbs. because I could not eat without getting great pain from pancreatitis my gall bladder was removed, my bile sphincters were cut and I still couldnít eat. When they finally cut my pancreatic sphincter (the pressure was several times what it should have been) I could eat again.
My ANS (autonomic nervous system) caused so many weird symptoms, blood pressure that would drop and make me faint, a stomach that still didnít empty well, bladder problemsÖall the things that your body does without thinking about it seemed to be affected.
From 1990 on I was on a steady spiral of worsening physical problems. They put me on long acting pain medication which enabled me to move about. Without them I was more or less immobile. I had dry eyes, mouth, etc. I had arthritis in several joints. No one seemed to be able to help me. I tried to help myself, I tried to cope, I tried to live.
From 1998 on I could do very little. I could medicate myself so that I could go somewhere but Iíd wind up in bed for days after an outing. Rich, my husband, did all the cooking, cleaning, and general care for me. I could barely take a shower; Iíd have to sit to take one and was exhausted afterwards. I took on yet another hobby; I raised some birds, canaries and tiny parrots. I reasoned that they would need me to feed them and care for them so I would be forced to move about the house.
This leads me to where I began this story, in the year 2002. Life seemed pretty bleak at that point and I was very very ill.
One day a friend of mine, Camille, came over and looked very concerned when she saw me. I must have looked pretty bad because she said ďOh Cathy, I know someone who can help you!Ē
Now, when you are chronically ill everyone seems to have a cure or a way to make you better. Iíd tried so many things along the way. Most didnít help me at all and some even made me much worse. People mean well but they donít know whatís gong on in your body. They hear about something or try something themselves that helps them and they want to share it with the world. Few people realized how sick I really was. I didnít go many places and I tried hard to hide it when I was with people so they wouldnít be uncomfortable around me. I didnít want to burden people with my problems.
I smiled at her and said ďWell, Iíll think about it.Ē
Another month went by and Camille came over again and insisted ďCathy, you NEED to see this man, he can help you!Ē
I looked at her and I knew she was sincere. I then noticed something almost indescribable in her. She seemed calmer, younger, looked healthier than I remembered. Iíve known her for years and Iíd never noticed this before. I said ďOk, give me his number and tell me more about it.Ē
She told me about Chunyi Lin and Spring Forest Qigong. She gave me a newspaper clipping about his classes. I gave his number to two friends who I felt had worse problems than I had. After one of my friends made her appointment she called me and said ďYou call now!Ē I did, and had to wait three months to see Chunyi.
When I saw Chunyi in October of 2002 I didnít really know what to expect. I just closed my eyes and my heart was beating so hard. Prior to seeing Chunyi I felt that I was dying. I lost that feeling that day. I didnít even remember what it felt like. Just like that! Gone! I knew I had to go back.
I saw him 4 times. I went to a Spring Forest Qigong conference while I was seeing him and I bought material for all four levels of Qigong. I knew I had to do this even when Iíd only seen Chunyi twice because I felt a light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
The fourth time I saw Chunyi he told me that my channels were open and that I had to continue on my own. Oh how this scared me! I knew Iíd have to do this for myself but I didnít feel ready for that step without seeing him. I did feel better but I was still on all the pills I had been taking. I was afraid I couldnít finish what he had started.
I went home and began practicing Qigong in earnest. Up to that time I had been learning how to do the exercises and meditate but didnít have a good schedule. I found the more I practiced Qigong, the better I felt. Small Universe helped me so much as well as the movement of yin and yang in the level one exercises. I grew to love the harmony of the universe movement. I found that when I felt the least like doing the exercises, if I made myself do them the benefits were immediate and profound.
I recovered so quickly it still amazes me. In February of 2003 I was off about half my medications and I began to take walks outside. Soon I was walking 3 miles a day. By March of 2003 I was off all my medications except thyroid hormone and I was on a much-reduced dose of that. I began catching colds! I had not had a cold in 20 years! Everyone around me would be sick with whatever was going around and I just got sicker but never seemed to get full blown cold symptoms. But now I had colds, good old-fashioned sloppy colds! I knew my immune system must be working!
So may things have changed in me. Many things I didnít even realize were a problem disappeared. There is so much more to this story but for the sake of keeping this story short I can say this: I am healed! I am still getting stronger, every day. I can do more now than Iíve done in years and I feel great! Words cannot express how grateful I am that Spring Forest Qigong is now in my life.† Not only am I healed but also I am now helping others to heal with Spring Forest Qigong. Spring Forest Qigong is the tool that made the difference in my life. It gave me a path to follow to find out who I am and why Iím here.
Life is beautiful!
My Healing Story by Cathy Beedle