Jun 6, 2017
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive tumor that usually forms in the lungs or the linings of the chest walls. Most cases can be traced back to some kind of asbestos exposure — considered a type of cancer, this condition is malignant and while currently incurable, it can benefit from treatment.
The following guest article focuses on cancer and complementary therapies, more particularly QiGong. It is not meant to be, and should not be considered medical advice. The author, who wishes to remain anonymous to better protect their privacy, is a mesothelioma patient, writing from personal experience. For more details, please read the full disclaimer below.
When it comes to dealing with lung cancer and tumors most people will tell you the same thing: go to a doctor and take the medication they give you. While this advice should still be taken seriously, the power of Chinese medicine, can help you to feel better than conventional medical aid alone would allow for. Some complementary therapies can even make it easier to bear the side effects medications might introduce.
Pronounced 'Chee Kung', QiGong is an ancient and holistic method of healing that utilizes a system of coordinated body movements, breathing, and meditation. Said to date back more than four thousand years, QiGong is considered an important component along the path to both enlightenment and good health. Even better, it can be utilized alone and in the safety of your own home.
This ancient Chinese art is based on the idea that the human body holds a certain amount of qi and that both deficiencies, and over-abundance of qi levels cause physical illnesses — these illnesses range from typical aches and pains to breathing issues and even to cancer. QiGong's main goal is to balance these energy levels, returning the body and spirit into a state of equilibrium. Many modern forms of Qigong were devised by people who had seen the Chinese style work for them, such styles are often rather simplistic, but the more ancient forms are elaborate and bear many similarities to yoga.
Recognized as a standard medical technique in China since the 1980s, where these treatments are often taught in medical universities — Chinese medical techniques define the skill as "mind-body exercises that integrate body, breath, and mind adjustments into one". In many ways, these exercises and treatments are considered to be structured around the idea of regulating the three sections of consciousness into a balanced system. The respiratory functions of the style are the most vital to the treatment of breathing issues such as the ones caused by mesothelioma. According to the Chinese Medical QiGong textbook, the physiological effects of this treatment include improved respiratory and circulatory functions as well as benefiting neurological processes.
Besides its immediate benefits on your respiratory and circulatory systems, the gentle movements of QiGong help you remain active without exerting yourself too much, which can often be the only option, when suffering from a chronic condition. Practised the right way, QiGong can also be considered meditation in and through movement. Meditation itself has been clinically proven to help in dealing with chronic pain, another invaluable benefit that can make you feel better almost instantly, thus improving the quality of everyday life.
Complementary therapies may always be considered when dealing with cancer because they improve one's mood, which can greatly affect the outcome of the illness. Focusing on regulating breathing as well as relaxation can help the body to heal itself naturally. We’ve seen the placebo effect with medicine so why should this not be considered when controlling our thoughts regarding mood and illness? QiGong’s ability to help people relax is clearly not going to cause issue. More people could benefit from using complementary therapies when dealing with illness.