For Ms. Zhang Shuyun 張淑云, walking qigong is not just another exercise, it is her means of survival. Visitors to Beijing can meet her in person each day from 8:30 -10:00 a.m. about 300 yards from the east gate of Heaven Temple Park, among many other exercise groups. When Edward Zheng from Oriental Healing of South Jersey met her there in Sept.1998, she was heading a qigong group and was not any different from a healthy person.
Her history is a showcase of long bitter battle between Qigong and chronic diseases. In March 1971, she was admitted into Chaoyan Hospital with diagnosis of systemic lupus erythmatosis (SLE), following a spontaneous abortion, with persistent high fever, blood sedimentation rate >100, abnormal liver function and enlargement, and active lupus cells. She was initially relieved by hormone therapy and discharged after 1 month. SLE recurred in December and was controlled by hormone plus herbs. With the birth to a boy in 1974, her SLE worsened. In 1976, her kidneys were involved and platelet count fell to 20-30k. Life was in grave danger.
Tipped by a neighbor with a book "New Qigong Therapy", Ms. Zhang started to follow Guolin in April 1977. The beginning was not easy, her joint in severe pain, platelets range 30-60k, urine protein +~++, 3T liver function 9 units. After 1 week, her appetite, sleep, and energy improved. Family members were all surprised and rejoiced, and it fortified her determination to carry on the exercise. She practiced so well that she became Guolin's assistant instructor 1 year later.
The improvement was encouraging. In the 1st year, joint pain was gone. Appetite, sleep, and energy restored. The 2nd year, she had no flu, fever, or cough. Even hemorrhoids left her. The 3rd year, her hormone dosage was cut in half, liver size and function turned normal. The 4th year was a harvest year in her own words. Her drug was cut by another half pill. The test showed normal values for all liverfunction, ESR, protein electrophoresis, rossette test, anti-O antibody, blood smear, IgG, and most exciting was the disappearance of lupus cells. The 5th year she finally stopped 10-year old hormone intake. The 6th year, she learned New Five Animal Frolics. After bear frolic, all but one fungal nails healed. After deer frolic, platelet counts lingering between 50-60k for years were normalized. After tiger frolic, nasal and throat dryness, nose bleeding, dry cough all left her. Guolin happily remarked, "Zhang Shuyun can now work again."
However, she stumbled again into a life-death struggle in 1983. Her SLE-damaged kidneys evolved into a full-blown uremia. Her urine protein turned 3-4+, urea nitrogen 55.5 and acidified, white cell counts down to 1k. Hospitalized, drug therapy stopped, she was given blood and plasma transfusion. She saw other uremic patients in the same ward died one after another and felt that her final days were near.
In Jan. 1984, Guolin visited Zhang and enquired about her health condition and Qigong practice. As Guolin learned that Zhang lost practice due to swollen feet, she was very concerned and began teaching Zhang about pickup Qigong: Start with 5 minutes walking Qigong. Increase by 5 minutes each week. Sit outdoors for 1 hour for fresh air each day. Rescue kidneys by various breathing exercise. Natural walking qigong 30 minutes. 1-2-3 Step Qigong 30 minutes. Pickup Gong by this progressive order. Plus 2 Gongs done on the bed. That visit was the last time she saw Guolin, who died from stroke in Dec.1984.
Zhang kept exercise and fully recovered in 1986. She withdrew from drugs and herbs and resumed teaching Qigong in the park. For a total of 23 years, she fought off her diseases with the help of walking Qigong. She is now senior advisor of Beijing branch of walking Qigong society. A videotape of Zhang teaching in Beijing can be viewed in the Oriental Healing office.
It is difficult to evaluate how walking Qigong contributes to Ms. Zhang's eventual health. With a proper lead, human body has a strong natural tendency to repair the damage. Walking Qigong may be such a lead. Qigong readjusts the mind, the body, and the breathing. The peace of mind, the strong motive and faith to get well, combined with all the benefits from this holistic exercise, promote the body's neuroendocrine systems to adapt to the new mental and physical changes, which in turn triggers the immune system to function at higher and more competent levels. The end result is increased resistance to fight off diseases.
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