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ENERGY

Robert Ellal | Master Lawrence Tan

WARRIORS

OVERCOMING
CANCER
and Crisis with the

Power of Qigong

photographs by Toni Josephson

Table of Contents
Foreword by Toni Josephson������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Introduction by Lawrence Tan ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Part One
Energy Warriors: Confronting Cancer
and Crises With The Q igong Edge
By Bob Ellal
Dedication ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Acknowledgements������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 1: Soul Brother Beowulf���������������������������������������������������������������00
Qigong—Mind/Body Medicine, or All in My Head?������������������������������������������������� 00
There Are Doctors….��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
And Then There Are Doctors….������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Finding the Right Teacher—Synchronicity or Coincidence?����������������������������������� 00

Chapter 2: On My Back, on the Cold Metal Rack��������������������������00
Decoding the Language of Great Birds������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
A Last Wish for Christmas?��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
A Painful Journey to the Center of My Immune System ����������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 3: The Mark of Cain���������������������������������������������������������������������������00
Rallying the Troops ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
New Evidence for a Flat Earth ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Norman Rockwell Meets Salvador Dali ����������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 4: Ergonomics and Existentialism ���������������������������������������00
Commuting to the Promised Land��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

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Sometimes the Magic Works, and Sometimes…��������������������������������������������������������� 00
Pyramid Power at the Cancer Clinic ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
“Man Eats Poison Apple—and Lives!”��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 5: Stillness�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������00
Embrace a Tree—Or Impale Myself on One? ������������������������������������������������������������� 00
The Man in the Poison Mask������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Why Me? The World’s Stupidest Question������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Never Ask a Question in Which You Do Not Know The….������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 6: Human Monkey Wrench �����������������������������������������������������������00
If It Could Be Talked About, Everyone Would’ve Told His Brother…. ����������������� 00
Quitting is Not an Option������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Prescription RX: Don Rickles, M.D.����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 7: The Universe Solved—for a Second�������������������������������00
A Hero Needs His Pants��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
The Return of the Mummy ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Pure Despair ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 8: Implosion�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������00
Fighting Fire With an H-Bomb ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Finding the Holy Grail ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Be Careful What You Wish For��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 9: The Hardest Metal Fatigues �����������������������������������������������00
At the Turning Place ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
You Never Get Away “Clean”������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Rebirth in the Rose Garden��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 10: The Leavings of the Wolf�����������������������������������������������������00
The Temple Guard������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Last Words��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Fusing Your Mind/Body/Spirit: Master Tan’s Qigong Manual������������������������������� 00

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Part Two
Energy Warrior Q igong Manual
By Master Lawrence Tan
Chapter 1: What is Qigong?�������������������������������������������������������������������������������00
What is Qi?��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Qigong Background����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Basic Qigong Theory��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Human Energy System: Meridians, Vessels, and Cavities ��������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 2: Qigong and Health�����������������������������������������������������������������������00
Qigong and Cancer������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Eastern Western Medical Models����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Complementary Medicine ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 3: How To Use The Manual�����������������������������������������������������������00
1. Practice Daily������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
2. Determine your present fitness level������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
3. Create a realistic routine ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
4. Customizing Qigong Postures������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
5. Repetitions and Time��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 4: Three Keys To Qigong ���������������������������������������������������������������00
Posture, Breathing, Concentration��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
1. Posture: Body Alignment��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Stance: Connecting to Earth������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Body Alignment: Connecting to Heaven and Earth ������������������������������������������������� 00
2. Breathing: Abdominal Inhalation and Exhalation ����������������������������������������������� 00
Qigong Breathing Guidelines:����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
3. Concentration: Mental Focus������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 5: Guidelines for Qigong���������������������������������������������������������������00
Preparing for Qigong Practice����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 6: Triad Principle �������������������������������������������������������������������������������00
Triad Principle: Heaven Earth and Human����������������������������������������������������������������� 00

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Chapter 7: The Foundation���������������������������������������������������������������������������������00
Exercise #1: Natural Standing Posture (Wuji)������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Gradually Increase Duration of Standing��������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 8: Qigong Warm-ups ���������������������������������������������������������������������������00
#1. Vertical Arm Swings (Swei Sho)������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
#2. Horizontal Arm Swings (Swei Sho)������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
#3. Basic Spine Stretch����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Phase 1: Bending and Flexing to Release the Energy����������������������������������������������� 00
Phase 2: Raising and Aligning the Spine��������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Guidelines for Qigong Back Stretch������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 9: Still Meditation�����������������������������������������������������������������������������00
#1: Standing Post Posture (Zhan Zhaung)������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Raise the Spirit and Sink the Qi������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Holding the Balloon and Embracing the Tree������������������������������������������������������������� 00
#2. Universal Form������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Four Hand Positions ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Universal Form #1: Palms Push Forward��������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Universal Form #2: Palms Push To the Side��������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Universal Form #3: Palms Push to Earth��������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Universal Form #4: Palms Push to Heaven����������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 10: Qigong Meditation and Visualization�����������������������00
Meditation Technique #1: External Muscle Scanning Visualization.��������������������� 00
Meditation Technique #2: Internal Energy Dissolving��������������������������������������������� 00
Stillness and Silence Lead to Serenity��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

Chapter 11: Qigong Moving Meditation �������������������������������������������������00
Exercise #1: Energy Ascends To Heaven����������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Exercise #2: Raise and Lower����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Exercise #3: Expand and Contract��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Exercise #4: Energy Descends To Earth����������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Exercise #5: Tiger Plays With the Ball ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
Ending Practice Session: Gathering Your Qi��������������������������������������������������������������� 00

About Bob Ellal������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00
About Lawrence Tan ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 00

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Foreword
By Toni Josephson

T

his book is for tough guys, and the phrase “tough guys” is not meant
in a gender-specific way. It is meant in a way that understands crisis,
stands up to it, and leans into it. What exactly constitutes a crisis?
Webster’s Dictionary defines crisis as: 1) a: the turning point for better
or worse in an acute disease or fever; b: a paroxysmal attack of pain,
distress, or disordered function; c: an emotionally significant event or
radical change of status in a person’s life; and 2) a: an unstable or crucial
time or state of affairs in which a decisive stage is impending; especially:
one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome; b: a situation that has reached a critical phase.
Got crisis? You are a tough guy if you are fighting for your life. Forging
ahead through a crisis is not for the faint of heart. It is a war between you
and the monster. You are a tough guy. A warrior.
Preparation for battle ultimately comes down to one thing: being in
the moment. It seems simple, but this requires precision. A warrior learns
to be as sharp as the edge of his sword. Combat training teaches you how
to leverage your resources, devise strategies, tactics, weapons, and to find
your strength. And your courage. Fear is a thief, it steals resolve, rhythm,
and breath. It must be tempered and not toxic on the battlefield.
Stress drives us all: fight or flight is a safety gauge, and there is power
inside of it. A warrior understands this, using the adrenalin/cortisol rush
to his advantage. Enough is fuel, too much is overtaxing, exhausting, injurious. The warrior controls its flow; he does not let it control him. He does
the same with the flow of his life force, his qi (chee). The refinement of this
is called Qigong (chee-gung), or energy training. It is a method to cultivate and circulate your life force energy to promote mental, physical, and
spiritual wellbeing. This keeps you focused, lucid, calm, and able to gain
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energy. It is the art of war, and the art of life. In this book, the tough guy,
the warrior, is an “Energy Warrior.”
This work is actually two books in one: first, a literary account, and
second, a how-to manual. Energy Warriors presents two perspectives on
the value of Qigong. It is Bob Ellal’s personal story, and there is an Energy
Warriors Qigong Manual to introduce you to the exercises.
Bob chronicles his journey to triumph over cancer. His prose is
immaculate: vivid, haunting, darkly humorous, and inspiring. “Corporate
Bob,” out of sheer determination to survive, transforms himself into an
Energy Warrior. Bob used the traditional healing art of Qigong to complement conventional allopathic medicine and to combat stress, distress,
pain, and illness. His Energy Warrior has a name: “Beowulf.” In the epic
poem, the hero slaying the monster is not the glorious end of the story.
The victory was short-lived, as there was another, bigger monster to slay.
Like Beowulf, Bob was victorious; he won his first battle with cancer.
But another monster reared its heads. His cancer would return three
more times.
This is not an inspirational feel-good story. Bob bares his private hell;
his fears, pain, anguish, and the tragic collateral damages at work and
home as he copes with illness, doctors, hospitals, chemo, the possibility of
death, and ultimately, recovery. It is gritty and brutal. After all, war is ugly.
But because it is so real, it may help prepare you for your health challenges and life crises. You can have an active role. It is not what happens to
you that defines you, it is how you manage it. Bob did that. He mastered it.
Facing the reality that time may have indeed been running out, he learned
to be in the moment. He delivers the message that you can meet obstacles and make better decisions if you have clarity. He found the discipline
through Qigong.
This book is not about how Qigong is a miracle cure that saved his
life. There is no New Age magical thinking. Bob’s story is too honest. He
painfully took his medicine, but by practicing these Chinese mental and
physical energy exercises, he covered the gaps that Western allopathic
medicine did not address. Qigong meditation helped calm his mind’s fears
of uncertainty during this harrowing experience and the exercises made
his body stronger by boosting his immune system. The integration of

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eastern movement and western medicine helped him to survive. And share
his story. Bob is a tough guy, an Energy Warrior.
There is also an instructional Energy Warrior Qigong Manual by
Martial Art Master Lawrence Tan. Lawrence is a unique breed of martial
art cat. He definitely knows how to fight. But, he sees how the fighting art
and the path to wellness are inextricably linked. This truth is present in his
TanDao system, where everyone, even the biggest, baddest combat dude, is
as proficient in a standing meditation and Universal Form (the signature
exercise Lawrence created), as he is in a spinning wheel kick. Lawrence
was arguably one of the first people to use the term “mind/body/spirit”—
and to also understand exactly what it means.
Years ago, Lawrence (my partner in work and life) and I were in the
New York City’s Sutton Park on a warm spring day. A few feet away, near
the railing that overlooks the East River and the 59th Street Bridge, sat a
frail, elderly woman in a wheelchair beside her attendant. The old woman
seemed lifeless; her lap neatly bundled in layers of blanket.
Lawrence started to do Universal Form. Noticing his movement, the
woman became alert and present. As he completed the form, she began
to move her hands, then her arms. He smiled at her, moved closer, and
started again. She followed his hands movements. On this beautiful afternoon, the park-goers’ gazes were not fixed on the boats going by, or the
sunlight on the water. They were watching this woman and Lawrence. Of
all the special moments we have experienced in our TanDao travels, this
was one of the finest. Pure mind/body/spirit. Life force. Qi.
Qi energy can be cultivated and refined. The Energy Warrior Qigong
Manual introduces you to a series of ten core Qigong exercises. Qigong
is a system of knowledge based on Chinese philosophy, martial arts and
medicine. This manual provides an overview. The traditional theory and
terms have been kept to a minimum, as the goal is to provide simple and
practical information that you can put into practice right away. These
exercises are gentle, safe and easy to learn.
If Bob’s story and Lawrence’s manual inspire you, perhaps you will
further explore the tradition by seeking out a qualified Qigong master for
guidance. You already have two tough guys standing tall with you on the
battlefield. May Energy Warriors be a formidable start to your journey.

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Introduction
By Lawrence Tan
Q igong and Martial Arts
It may seem incongruous that a martial artist is co-authoring a book
on health and healing. For nearly half a century I have been studying,
practicing, and teaching Chinese martial arts. You may wonder, what
does gentle energy exercises have to do with kicking and punching? For
three decades, I have discovered the value of integrating Qigong with
self-defense. All of our students, from combat practitioners to wellness
enthusiasts, do standing meditation, moving Qigong, and my signature
exercise, Universal Form.
And how is this relevant to Bob Ellal’s testament of overcoming
cancer? Many ancient Chinese martial arts masters transformed their deep
knowledge of qi anatomy, physiology, and psychology to develop physical
and meditative exercises to promote health, healing, and longevity.
Martial arts, after all, are about empowerment. Traditionally Kung fu
masters pursued the guarded secrets of Qigong energy training to attain
superior mental, physical, and spiritual power for extraordinary feats of
strength. In time, they discovered that energy is neutral; qi can be used
negatively or positively, to injure or to heal.
Mature martial artists who are initiated into deeper meaning of the
art, realize the aim of qi for self-protection expands beyond fighting; it
is also preventive exercise against the assaults of life’s afflictions: stress,
injury, illness, and the debilitating effects of aging. As such, Qigong has
value for everyone. Especially for Energy Warriors, like Bob, who cultivate
their qi energy for healing. Qigong was incorporated into Bob’s allopathic
cancer treatment. Naturally, those who are healthy may enjoy the preventive benefits and a sense of wellbeing.
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Energy Warriors
I am fighting the cancer. I have attacked the Monster: I meditate, exercise, eat
right, take herbs, maintain a positive attitude, and never quit. In the face of
the horror of that battle, I am a warrior. —Bob Ellal

Bob Ellal is an Energy Warrior. What does that mean? As with all practitioners of Qigong, the ancient Chinese system of self-care, he is dedicated
to cultivating the life force energy for optimum health, wellbeing and
longevity. But unlike most practitioners, Bob had been diagnosed with
terminal cancer. Undaunted, after doctors advised him to get his affairs in
order, Bob discovered Qigong as one of his weapons against cancer.
He became an Energy Warrior, one who uses these energetic psychophysical exercises to complement allopathic treatment in his fight against
pain and disease. From the perspective of Western medicine, he overcame
the statistical odds of surviving Stage Four cancer. Yet, even more remarkable, he averted the fatal consequences, not just once, but four times.
Bob’s courage and determination to practice Standing Post meditation, visualization, and breathing, helped him cope with the demoralizing
ravages of chemotherapy, depression, and chronic pain. As such, Bob is an
Energy Warrior who conquered his battles with cancer, provides insight
for others incapacitated by health challenges. He introduces the practical
benefits of Qigong as a supplement to conventional treatment to help
others alleviate physical pain, diminish emotional anguish and, perhaps,
triumphantly survive.
We are not proposing that Qigong is a magic cure for cancer or
disease. Like many re-discovered ancient secret methods, there are extravagant claims on the so-called supernatural martial and healing powers of qi
touted by enthusiasts, well-intentioned but misguided. Much is nonsense
based on pseudo science, wishful thinking, or uncritical reasoning, and
perpetuated by unscrupulous experts for ego gratification or commercial
benefits. Some are charlatans. Be prudent.
That said, there is real power and magic to Qigong. Sadly, the great
value of this holistic knowledge for stress control, enhanced health and
healing is not yet appreciated in the West. Our Energy Warrior Qigong

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Manual is a basic introduction to guide you to practice, discover, and experience the magic of qi for yourself. Qigong’s still and moving meditations
are simple to learn and easy to do. Millions of people worldwide practice
Qigong every day. Won’t you join us?

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Part 1

Energy Warriors:

Overcoming Cancer and Crisis
with the Power of Qigong
By Bob Ellal

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Dedication
To Geoff and Dylan, my sons, now men and on brilliant paths, and to
Sheryl—we made it. A different direction for all of us, but survivors all.
Survival is like virtue—it is its own reward.

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Acknowledgements
The land of rugged individualism? It’s a myth—no one makes it alone. This
book would not have been possible without the guidance of my good friend
and mentor John Joss. At a time when my confidence was at ebb, John
gave me the courage to press on. Courage is something John possesses in
great measure—it takes much to fly F-14s on and off carrier decks. Then
write about it in brilliant prose. John’s impeccable courage and impeccable
writing skills inspire me.
Thanks so much to Marilyn Richard, who believed in me when few, if
any, did. And you, too, Joanie St. John, for spiritual support. And to Mike,
my chess master at the “99,” for always listening.
Many people helped me beat cancer. My father, who was a real
soldier bringing me to my chemo sessions. My ex-in-laws, Ed and Annette
Stradczuk—we never would have made it without you. I was extraordinarily lucky to have you as a second set of parents for so many years.
Ed and Annette—you’re the two best people I ever met. Geoff and Dylan,
my sons, who always wanted me around no matter what the other kids
thought—even when my hair fell out and my head was swollen twice its
size from steroids. You gave me courage. Mostly, my extraordinary ex-wife,
Sheryl: beautiful as sin, highly intelligent, tough as nails. You stuck with
me through the cancer battles and beyond—no one else could’ve taken it.
Doctors and nurses: Dr. Denis Miller, absolutely the best doctor I’ve
ever encountered—and I’ve been around more doctors than any man ever
should be. Dr. Stacy Nerenstone, brilliant oncologist—I’m glad you were
calling the shots. And to Laurie, my chemo nurse—and to all the oncology
nurses who kept me from going around the bend in those transplant
rooms.
With greatest respect to the Kung fu masters, such as Dr. Yang JwingMing, for bringing the knowledge of Qigong to the West.
Finally to Master Lawrence Tan, a great Kung fu master and innovator, who infuses his Qigong with the all-important martial spirit—and

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teaches with clarity, humility and humor. And of course, to his partner/
producer/second-in-command, Toni Josephson, who provided beautiful
photos, kept the project on its inexorable course, and always kept me
laughing. You are my friends and teachers; without out you this book
would not been possible.

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Chapter 1

Soul Brother
Beowulf

U

nless he is already doomed, fortune is apt to favor the man who keeps
his nerve. The maxim from the ancient Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf
reverberated in my skull, like a mantra, until the words no longer made
sense and were simply a collection of sounds. My breathing slowed and
deepened; my mind felt calm. I felt far away from the isolation room in
the bone marrow transplant ward, though high-dose chemotherapy drugs
dripped through IV tubes into a catheter implanted in my chest.
Minutes ago I’d been anything but serene; anxiety had welled up
inside my chest like a giant palm pressing on my diaphragm.
I watched the nurse open the plastic levers on the IV lines and prepare
to exit the room. She stood briefly to give me words of encouragement
when she noticed the small stack of books on the wheeled tray near my
bed.
“Beowulf ?” She picked up a translation of Beowulf with a photo on the
cover of an ancient Anglo-Saxon war mask, iron mouth smiling, spaces for
a warrior’s eyes hollow.
“God Almighty, you should be reading something lighter, like War
and Peace.”
“I can’t help it—Beowulf is my soul brother. You see, we’re both born
monster killers.”

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“Oh, I see.” She shook her head. I forged a smile on my face, hoping it
looked grim and determined like the mouth on the iron war mask. As she
closed the steel door to the tiny isolation room, signaling the beginning of
the month-long transplant process, I scanned my surroundings.
Fifteen years ago the room was state-of-the-art, built specifically for
the transplant procedure. At that time, the medical experts thought that
any hint of a germ would be fatal for the patient after his blood counts
dropped to ground zero, so they designed the room to resemble something
out of the space program, a combination of the sterility of a NASA “clean
room” with the roominess of an Apollo space capsule.
The walls and ceiling were composed of aluminum sheets joined by
riveted metal strips, all painted hospital white; the room itself was about
12’ by 12’ and perhaps 6-1/2’ high. The bed dominated the workspace,
leaving room for only a single chair, medical monitors and equipment, and
the portable commode with its high back and arms for comfort (useful
when diarrhea struck every 15 minutes).
A single window provided a view of the outside world, in this case the
hospital parking lots. Its double-paned glass slightly warped the vista and
was dense enough to be bulletproof. Terrific—no assassin’s bullet would
find me! I was really worried about that possibility….
Those were the old days; today the human contact is slightly less antiseptic—the nurses and doctors condom themselves with disposable gowns,
gloves, and filter masks, bypassing the screen entirely.
Panic. Shallow, quick breathing and thoughts of death pinball through
the mind. It’s that door—once the door clicks shut and the air no longer
flows naturally into the room, the panic sets in. The noise of the compressor
blowing filtered air into the cramped room increases the sense of claustrophobia and constriction in the chest. Is this how the gas chamber feels?
Quick: rip the tubes from your veins and escape into the corridor.
They can’t hold you here! From outside you hear the sounds of the workmen’s tools as they modernize other rooms on this floor to accommodate
future transplant patients.
Steal a hardhat and a pair of coveralls and escape into the working
world. It’s Friday, and you imagine returning home after a long week of

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work…your sons meet you in the driveway, riding circles around the car on
their bikes as you pull up to park.
Then the scene switches. Several boys ride bicycles, including your two
sons. They seem oblivious to my presence. They are talking to each other.
“What happened to your father?”
“He died.” The older boy answers, while the younger rides his bike in
ever tightening circles.
“Was it in a war or an accident or something?”
“No, he got sick and died in a hospital.” Your wife comes to the screen
door; face puffy, eyes empty, like the hollow sockets in the Anglo-Saxon
war mask.
This is agony! I don’t want to die in this place!
Keep your nerve, man... yeah, easy if you’re Beowulf, the hero of my
long-gone Anglo-Saxon ancestors, a superman who could tear the arms
off monsters with his bare hands. But what if you’re me, Corporate Bob,
a word-weaver, a man who might be clever with people but can barely
tear the arms off a Barbie doll? How do you keep your nerve if you have
lymphoma cancer? Huge biceps and a washboard waist won’t help you
here.
Damn. I’m in for a screwing this time. This is my second transplant,
so I have the dubious advantage of knowing what to expect: Over the next
few days, the chemotherapy will destroy my bone marrow and, with luck,
all the cancer cells existing in my body. It also could destroy me by causing
a heart attack, damaging my organs, allowing infections like pneumonia to
arise, or killing me in numerous other ways.
The less lethal but uncomfortable side effects of the chemo could
include rampant diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, fevers and chills, as well
as complete fatigue and depression. In short, I am facing what amounts
to three or four weeks of a simulated cheap red wine hangover—one that
could prove fatal.
If I survive the chemotherapy, they’ll pour my stem cells (baby white
cells harvested from my blood) back into me. These little buggers are
smart: hang them off an IV pole from a bag that looks like watery tomato
sauce and they swim their way back into the bone marrow to recreate my

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immune system. Of course, something could go horribly wrong, something
mentioned in sterile print in the release form I signed before the doctors
began the treatment. Sometimes the stem cells refuse to take or engraft
properly, and you are left without an immune system. But not for long....
If the stem cells do engraft properly, you’re not home-free. No, those
nasty mouth sores prevent boredom from setting in. Once a patient’s white
blood cell count dips into the nether regions, the mouth sores appear: raw,
leprous wounds covering the tongue, the inside of the mouth, the throat,
and sometimes the esophagus. The pain is so intense that you cannot talk
or swallow—never mind eat—without the help of a morphine derivative
constantly dripping into you.
Control. I can’t lose my nerve... Okay, Beowulf, let’s step away from
this scene and observe what is happening. My mind is a tangled jungle
canopy. Thoughts careen through the foliage like frightened monkeys chattering and swinging from its vines. I am under heavy stress and in a state
of fight or flight. If this continues, the adrenal glands atop my kidneys will
continuously flood my bloodstream with adrenaline and other hormones.
Short term, this hormonal boost is positive: it gives humans the energy
to handle extraordinary situations, like fighting a monster or escaping
from its claws. But suppose the monster is within you, and you can’t fight
or can’t run away? The hormones inundating you will overload your body’s
systems and eventually burn you up.
Can’t have this! The combination of the cancer and the chemotherapy
is enough to wear anyone down. Must seek a state of stillness so my
immune system will allow the treatment to do its job without interference
from my body. How? You know how…
Seize the monkey. The monkey in Chinese philosophy is the emotional
mind that chatters unceasingly, cluttering the brain with questions,
thoughts, fears and judgments that prevent a calm mental state. This
monkey can be dangerous if you’re ill: if the mind is in a state of panic, the
body responds and triggers its panic systems.
How to center the mind? With the breathing. The breath is the bridge
that links the mind and body. Regulate the breathing with slow, deep inhalations from the bottom of your lungs, seizing the monkey, calming the

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emotional mind by removing the chaos of irrational thoughts. As the mind
calms, so does the body, from a state of alarm to a state of neutrality.
Fortune is apt to favor the man who keeps his nerve: the formula for
survival. That is what my Anglo-Saxon will tells me to do. But how do I
maintain my nerve over months and years of continuous battles, when
fatigue and world-weariness wears me down? What is the mechanism to
keep the will strong and prevent it from faltering?
Breathing, again, breathing. When the will falters, when we’re at the
breaking point, let go. Don’t quit, that’s different. Let go. Breathe. Let
things happen, don’t try to make things happen. As a wise mystic once told
me: stop thinking and permit. Permit. Easy to say. Hard to do.
Despite my fatigue I stand near the edge of the bed, the tubes in my
chest connecting me like umbilical cords to the IV bottles hanging from
the metal pole. Gently I bend my knees, sink my body and raise my arms in
an arc in front of my chest, fingertips a few inches apart, my spine straight,
the top of my head pressing lightly toward heaven.
My arms embrace the image of a tree, drawing its clean oxygen into me
as it pulls dirty carbon dioxide, cancer cells and toxic chemotherapy from
my body. The bottoms of my lungs fill with air, expanding my abdomen
and the area in the small of my back between the kidneys.
Focus on breathing, the intermediary between mind and body. In
and out, inhale and exhale, no pause, a continuous cycle. Gradually fear
dissipates as my mind shifts to the action of my lungs. Beowulf ’s formula
for survival echoes in my mind and quickly condenses itself to two words;
fortune as I inhale, and nerve as I exhale. After twenty or thirty breaths
the words lose meaning and merely became sounds. The pressure within
my chest disappears.
Slowly a ghostly serpent of energy arises within me and spirals its way
up my spine. It entwines itself in the intricate web of bone, nerve, muscle,
and tissue that ultimately connects to every part of my body, preventing it
from collapsing to the earth into an accordion of lifeless flesh.
This snake penetrates my brain and drifts upward through the top
of my skull into the puzzle of bony plates that seam together in infancy. I
exhale and the serpent gathers mass and structure and slithers downward

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over my forehead to slip through a vagina of skin that seems to open
between my eyes. It descends down my throat, behind my sternum, and
settles in a coil below my navel, liquefying into a molten, spinning ball of
heat that sends tiny, stimulating currents of sunlight into my penis and
testicles.
My lungs fill and this tiny sun reforms itself into a great, diaphanous
cobra that again winds its way up my spinal column. Now it’s no longer a
snake but a spiral staircase of swirling gases, a fragile molecule of DNA,
its atoms held together by the opposing forces of electrical attraction and
repulsion. Eventually its head catches up with its tail, engulfs it, and it
changes into a continuous orbit of energy revolving within my torso and
arced arms...
The snake disappears, the image of the tree dissipates, the hospital
room dematerializes. I too depart, along with the threat of lymphoma
cancer that has dogged me for five years. All that is left is a pulsing of
energy that coordinates itself with the action of my lungs, of which I am
barely aware. Corporate Bob is no longer an entity; he has melded into the
earth and sky.
I’ve seized the monkey. Monsters half-heartedly stir from their corners,
moving through me and harmlessly evaporating. Stillness descends like a
great, pealing crack of silence. What a paradox! This sensation of peace is
not one of absence of feeling; it’s as though a quiet energy pulses uniformly
within me and around me, as though the very molecules of the air are
positively charged, alive.
I am still, and this electric tranquility also vibrates in the walls,
ceilings, medical equipment and portable commode that constitute this
isolation room. It is now my room, my space, my place to heal. Monsters
cannot survive here, only warriors—energy warriors.

Q igong—Mind/Body Medicine,
or All in My Head?
“Balance your weight equally on your feet. Keep your arms curved in an
arc at chest level, fingers a few inches apart, pointing at one another. Relax

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your shoulders, tuck your tailbone and straighten your spine. Your head
should press heaven, as though it’s suspended from above by a string,
which lengthens your backbone and creates space between the vertebrae.
“Touch your tongue lightly against the roof of your mouth. Expand
your belly and the small of your back as you breathe, and open and close
the huiyin cavity between your genitals and anus at the same time. Okay,
good… now relax.
Ramel, my meditation teacher, recited the familiar list of instructions for the standing post-meditation known as Embracing the Tree. I’d
practiced it almost every day since I’d met him, and could maintain the
position for one hour without lowering my arms.
That seemed like a major accomplishment—when we first began
our private lessons six months earlier, pain from the tumor in my right
shoulder prevented me from even lifting my right arm to chest level, never
mind holding it there. Since then I’d undergone months of preliminary
chemotherapy to eradicate the cancer and prepare for the bone marrow
transplant designed to “cure” the disease forever. I’d practiced the art of
Qigong—which means “energy study” in Chinese—every day to keep my
mind and body strong.
Qigong has been practiced and developed by the Chinese people for
more than 5,000 years. The exercises and meditations are designed to
integrate the mind and body to stimulate the unimpeded flow of qi, or
bio-electricity, through meridians and channels in the body. The Chinese
feel that this vital energy permeates the universe and can be controlled in
the human body through various means such as meditation, herbal medicines, diet, and acupuncture. When this qi flows properly, good health is
maintained.
Bio-electricity? No one has ever proved that it flows throughout the
body. But the brain operates by a combination of electrical and chemical
means, as does the heart. Why not the entire body?
Acupuncture—inserting needles at various points to stimulate this
bio-electric flow—has been shown to work. Chinese doctors have used it
successfully to treat patients for many diseases. They’ve even used it in the
place of anesthesia during major operations.

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Many Western experts scoff at the notion of regulating this energy
flowing throughout the human body. They feel that acupuncture, for
example, works because of the power of suggestion: the Chinese expect
it to work, so it does. But Asian veterinarians use it as anesthesia before
operating on pets. Those Chinese sure have gullible dogs!
Other experts say that the existence of qi can’t be proven under laboratory conditions, hence it doesn’t exist. But what about the force known
as gravity? No one denies its existence, yet no one ever has seen gravity or
captured it in a test tube or beaker. But we measure its effects every time
we walk across the lawn without being sucked up into the atmosphere,
weightless.
When it comes to this energy known as qi, experience is the best
teacher—you have to feel it operate in your own body. You have to see the
puzzled looks on the doctors’ faces when your immune system and you
should be as dead as the Hittites, yet the both of you are doing okay.
If it could be talked about, everyone would’ve told his brother.
But never mind qi. Look at the benefits from a Western point-ofview: the deep abdominal breathing calms the body and mind, provides
more oxygen to the blood and better pumps the lymphatic system—a vital
component of the immune system. Stretching and slow Qigong exercises
are exercises one can do when, because of cancer/chemo fatigue, lifting
weights or jogging is impossible.
People from the East exercise from the inside out, coordinating the
mind, body, and breathing. They feel that a strong body starts with the
torso, as most people eventually will die from organ malfunction, not from
a problem with the arms or legs.
People from the West exercise from the outside in, using the mind and
breathing in a rudimentary way, if at all. You get bigger muscles, but they
don’t help much fighting disease. I never even thought about my internal
organs and bodily processes. Facing my third bout with cancer, it was time
I did.

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There Are Doctors….
Cancer, again, for the third time. Five years earlier Stage Four lymphoma
cancer had appeared in my right hip and pelvis; six months of intensive
chemotherapy eliminated it. Eighteen months later it relapsed in my left
hip. Several months of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at
Beth Israel hospital in Boston eradicated it. A year or so later a tumor
materialized in my right shoulder.
This relapse took my doctor, my family, and me by surprise. While
normal chemotherapy treatments are like heavy artillery used to bombard
the cancer, the chemotherapy used during the bone-marrow transplant I’d
undergone was the equivalent of an atomic bomb.
Why should the cancer return if it had been eliminated by this nuclear
blast? Why should it appear in my shoulder, instead of my hip/pelvic area,
the original site of the disease? What is the sound of one hand clapping?
No answers exist to these questions.
But the cancer had reappeared, in the early stages disguising itself as
a sports injury of sorts. One day after cutting some small trees from the
pond’s edge behind our home I felt a twinge in my right shoulder. The
consensus was that the ache came from some type of tissue injury, perhaps
a torn rotator cuff.
As the weeks passed the pain intensified until I couldn’t lift my right
arm. It felt as though a hive of angry wasps had been disturbed in my
shoulder, repeatedly jabbing their stingers into the bone, pumping poison
into my marrow. I gulped Tylox painkillers around the clock to take the
edge off.
An MRI test detected a tumor, and a needle biopsy proved it to be
malignant. Dr. N., my oncologist, was at a bit of a loss. People who relapse
after undergoing a bone marrow transplant usually do not respond to
additional chemotherapy.
Why? Apparently it’s survival of the fittest; the cancer cells that reappear are the ones most resistant to the treatment. They lurk somewhere in
the body, dormant, a time bomb waiting for a fuse to be lit. One day the
trigger’s pulled, they awaken and multiply with alacrity. The chemo drugs
may have no effect, because these cells have developed a sort of immunity.

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Dr. N. recommended another bone marrow transplant. She feared that
the normal CHOP chemotherapy, already used earlier to fight my original
cancer, would be ineffective. She called Beth Israel hospital in Boston to see
if the oncologists would take me into their program for another transplant.
The Boston doctors refused even to interview me. They didn’t think
another transplant would be successful, as the first procedure failed to
cure the cancer. Apparently, there was nothing they could do for me. But
I’d been told that before, at the time of the first transplant….
“…I don’t think there’s much we can do for you,” the radiologist from
Boston had said, shaking his head and staring at the MRI picture of my
left hip and pelvis. He had entered the diagnosis room a minute earlier,
holding the MRI in his hand and staring at the floor as he slowly crossed
the room to sit in the chair opposite me.
“But I don’t understand—they said I would be a good candidate for
the transplant to work…” I stammered. It was the day before my first bone
marrow transplant in Boston, and up until that point I’d been encouraged
by both doctors and nurses.
“Maybe radiation after the chemotherapy could help—but there’s no
guarantee. Of course it would have to be administered here in Boston….”
“You think that would do it?” I muttered, trying to collect my composure. “But why radiation here in Boston? My doctors in Hartford all were
trained in Boston….”
“We’d have to watch your blood counts carefully and even then....” His
voice trailed off, he sighed, got up from his chair, limply shook my hand
and exited the room. Amazing: he hadn’t made eye contact with me the
entire time.
That radiologist was like the doctors who recite statistics to patients:
“As you can see on this multi-colored computer-generated bar graph,
patients with your grade and stage of cancer have a life expectancy of three
to six months” (apparently the attractively printed chart is meant to soften
the blow).
For many patients, this news becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They
lose hope, become depressed, their immune systems shut down, and they
make the doctor look like a genius. They die within his or her predicted

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time span. Do you think some of those doctors are getting good odds in
Vegas?
Why can’t doctors frame the bad news differently? “You have a
dangerous disease, but we have tools—chemotherapy, radiation, surgery—
to combat it. People have beaten this disease. I can give you the names
of a few that you can talk to. I’ll handle the medical treatments, but you
have to be part of this by keeping a positive attitude.” That’s all we want,
Doctors—no promises, no false cheer, no warm and fuzzy New Age horseshit. Just a positive outlook and a glimmer of hope.
”…nothing they could do for me”—the brutal insensitivity of the radiologist from Boston two years earlier returned to haunt me, like the cancer
itself. To hand out a death sentence the day before I began a bone marrow
transplant! When I gathered my wits I called my oncologist at the Boston
hospital and exploded in anger at the treatment I’d received: “You shouldn’t
allow that guy to talk to flesh-and-blood people… you should lock him in
his room with his X-rays and his isotopes and turn the machines on full
blast!”
“Yes, he’s done this to other patients,” the oncologist agreed sympathetically. “It’s really unfortunate, but he’s part of our consulting staff. I
wish he was more optimistic with people, but there’s not much I can do.”
Now, two years later, and this formerly sympathetic oncologist
pronounces a death sentence over the telephone—not to me, but to my
doctor. She wouldn’t even talk to me. She let my doctor do the dirty work.
Why? Admitting me for a second transplant would acknowledge that
the first transplant did not work. Failure would adversely affect the hospital’s cure rate, which might affect future funding. It’s a numbers game, like
any other business.
Those doctors did not owe me the right to further treatment, but they
did owe me a face-to-face explanation. After all, I had endured the grueling
schedule they set up for me: months of preliminary chemotherapy and
testing, a month in the hospital for the transplant procedure, then more
tests and follow-up visits. Several times I had had to wait over three hours
for my appointments, nauseated and weak from chemotherapy treatments.
Three hours! The Pope wouldn’t make sick people wait three hours.

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But to the doctors at this transplant center, I was just an account
number that showed up at the top of every billing statement, medical chart,
prescription and computer screen concerned with me. Even the plastic ID
bracelet I wore in the hospital listed my account number before my name.

And Then There Are Doctors….
“Whatever happens, I’ll continue to treat you,” Dr. N., assured me. “Hang
in there.” We had been through a lot together during the five years I had
been her patient.
“Thanks, Doctor. I’ll hang—because if you’re born to be hanged,
you should have no fear of drowning.” I recited Shakespeare’s bravado
sentiment from The Tempest, but not with a great deal of conviction.
She nodded, gave my bicep a gentle squeeze and opened the door to the
hallway.
I turned back to look at her and said: “You know, Doctor, it’s easy to
appear macho about facing this disease… but when I think about what I
have to lose—my wife, my children—I don’t feel so macho.”
Her gaze wavered ever so slightly. It seemed to me that her eyes filmed
over. Mine did. In that instant her compassion fissured through the dam of
professionalism she maintained to insulate patients from the knowledge of
the severity of their condition, as well as keep her sanity.
After all, this was cancer she was attempting to overcome, for me and
a few dozen other patients. It was her job to break the bad news about
negative test results; she had to deal with the desperation of disease
relapses. Despite the best efforts of medical science, she had to watch
patients wither from the combination of the disease and the chemotherapy
and, often, die.
Then she had to go home and pretend it was just another day at the
office. Why did she choose oncology, when she could’ve had a brilliant
career in podiatry?
The next day Dr. N. called. The University of Connecticut Health
Center would take me into its transplant program. The UCONN program
entailed a rigorous, six-month protocol beginning with three four-day
hospital stays before the month-long transplant. During these short

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hospital stays I would be bombarded with about the same amount of
“atomic bomb” chemotherapy I’d received during my bone marrow transplant two years earlier in Boston. Then I’d enter the hospital for the actual
transplant and the more lethal “hydrogen bomb” chemo.
In the meantime, she would treat me with the CHOP chemotherapy
protocol (Cyclophosphamide, Hydroxydaunorubicin, Oncovin, Prednisone).
We hoped it would at least control the spread of the lymphoma. With luck
it would do more than contain the disease; it could plunge it back into
remission. But the odds were against that.
“Zero doubt—I have zero doubt that you will beat this thing in the
long run,” Denis Miller, M.D. said in his South African accent. He’d been
our family doctor since my wife and I got married.
I was gearing up for my transplant, soliciting advice and support that
would carry me through. Beowulf and his buddies with their war masks
would’ve smacked their shields with the flat of their sword blades to get
their blood up. How little times change.
“Protoplasm, Bob,” he explained. “You have good protoplasm. And this
lymphoma is beat-able—look at that Olympic wrestler who beat it twice.
He’s fine now.”
Dr. Miller usually didn’t say much; he’d ask a question and fix a gaze
like an X-ray on me while I spilled my guts. So when he talked, I listened.
“Besides, you’re a fighter, Bob. That will make the difference. I wish
I could write a prescription for what you have inside, and hand it out to
some of my other patients. Zero doubt, Bob.”
Zero doubt. Whenever the fear begins to take over, I’ll chant it, a new
mantra. Maybe I’ll get it tattooed on my forehead. Zero doubt. Two words
of encouragement from a doctor you respect—that’s all it takes to swell
your courage. This guy wouldn’t lie to me. He’s a real doctor—and a friend.
Besides, guys with X-ray vision don’t tell lies.

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Finding the Right Teacher—
Sy nchronicity or Coincidence?
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I met mine by happenstance. The same week cancer was diagnosed in my shoulder, a friend
sent me a flyer advertising a Qigong seminar in Stonington, Connecticut.
Ramel Rones, a disciple of renowned Kung fu, Tai qi chuan and Qigong
master Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming of Boston, was presenting an introduction on
the value of Qigong in strengthening the immune system and the internal
organs.
Maintaining my body’s immune system was vital to me; chemotherapy
kills cancer cells but it also damages the bone marrow, which manufactures the blood cells that comprise a person’s defenses against disease.
The chemo also can wreak havoc on the heart and internal organs. Many
people undergoing treatment die from the chemotherapy long before the
cancer would’ve killed them.
Why torture myself with these mind/body exercises? Couldn’t I just
take a bigger dose of painkillers, and hope the chemotherapy would destroy
the tumor? Because I wanted to be part of the healing process—and have
some control of my existence.
Control. Ha! Cancer is the ultimate state of a lack of control. Your
body’s own cells mutate into mindless cannibals in full revolt against their
host. Their mission? To be fruitful, to multiply, to eat away at healthy tissue
and destroy the body that bore them. It is a kamikaze mission, because the
cancer cells die right along with the body. Absalom, Absalom.
Ramel consulted with Dr. Yang, who developed a Qigong program to
fit my needs. I practiced diligently, despite the pain. Every exercise, from
the most basic stretch to the most sophisticated meditation, included
the principle that the mind, breath and body should be coordinated. In
essence, you put awareness and intention into every Qigong exercise, so
every exercise becomes a meditation.
During this time Dr. N. treated me with CHOP chemotherapy, which
had destroyed the original cancer in my right hip five years earlier but
wasn’t supposed to be effective for a relapse. Remarkably, it did seem to

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work, because after several months of treatment the pain disappeared
from my shoulder.
The doctor sent me for a gallium scan, a nuclear medicine test, to
assess the status of the cancer. Could the lump of lymphoma actually be
gone?

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Part 2

Energy Warrior
Qigong Manual
By Master Lawrence Tan

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I

s there any validity to an unseen force that can improve health, promote
healing, and increase longevity? For more than three thousand years,
Chinese medicine has given evidence that qi, or the life force energy, can
do this. In addition, the old sages point to the ultimate spiritual rewards
of Qigong, which are wisdom and inner peace. The journey of the Energy
Warrior toward discovering and cultivating qi is especially challenging.
Like any great skill, the single key to success is consistent practice—under
proper guidance—over a long period of time. For the Energy Warrior
battling against chronic illness, habitual pain, addiction, and depression,
each day—sometimes each moment—can be a relentless struggle with
physical and psychological crisis.
Energy Warriors are fighters. They fight fear. They fight pain. They
fight depression. They, more than others, must fight their inner foes—ones
that inhibit daily practice.
The Energy Warrior motto is: we must fight the fight; we only rest in
effort. To practice is to fight. Sometimes they lose a battle. Maybe many
battles. But never the war. Sometimes Energy Warriors will withdraw.
Then they fight again. This is the true spirit of the warrior.
Qigong’s soft and gentle approach to power may seem strange for
warriors accustom to hard, grueling discipline. But the internal power of
qi is subtle and deceptive. Besides, Energy Warriors are aware that true
power is concealed in softness. What does that mean? Energy Warriors are
tough enough to be gentle.
This stuff works. It will empower the Energy Warrior with a practical way to control crisis, stress, enhance health, and boost the body’s
natural healing process. Although qi is invisible, its existence should not
be doubted. Just as we cannot see gravity or the wind, yet we know these
two forces exist.
Understanding the Chinese metaphysics or science behind qi is
secondary. All you have to do to get started on your path as an Energy
Warrior is to do it. Doing it is it. That’s all you have to remember.
Now go for it!
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Chapter 1

What is Q igong?

The exercises and meditations are designed to integrate the mind and body
to stimulate the unimpeded flow of qi, or bio-electricity, through meridians
and channels in the body. When this qi flows properly, good health is maintained. —Bob Ellal

2 3

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F

or more than three thousand years, the Chinese have explored the
energy of nature—wind, waves, weather, plants, animal and human
realms—discovering its hidden patterns and infinite permutations.
Through this profound contemplation of nature, they have developed a
comprehensive body of knowledge that embraces philosophy, medicine,
acupuncture, geomancy and martial arts. The flowering of this energy
tradition is the art and science of Qigong for excelling human wellbeing.
Qigong is the study and practice of the life force energy for promoting
health, healing, and longevity. In Chinese, qi (pronounced chee) refers to
the energy of the universe or life force; gong (pronounced gung) means
work, study, or practice. In short, Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) means
energy training.
Chinese theory regards qi energy as the single source that determines
a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Energy is intrinsic to
life. When we are healthy and vibrant, our life force energy is abundant,
strong, and circulates freely throughout our bodies. In contrast, a weak life
force results in fatigue, illness, injury, and disease, created by blockages
and an impeded flow of qi. If we can regulate our energy, we can maintain
a healthy mind and body, prevent sickness, manage or overcome illness.
What Qigong offers is a powerful exercise method for our entire
being—external and internal, physical as well as mental. Qigong exercises
employ standing and sitting meditation postures, special breathing techniques, visualization and relaxed movement. The aim of these gentle mind/
body exercises is to cultivate and circulate this vital energy throughout
the energy pathways in our bodies to relax, revitalize, and rejuvenate our
being. Internal Qigong also trains our minds through visualization and
calms our emotions through breathing.
A hallmark of Qigong exercise is the use of standing meditation,
where a body posture is held motionless for five minutes or up to an hour.
How dramatically different this is from conventional moving exercises and
sports. Chinese Qigong masters regard these still meditations as internal
exercise – external refers to conventional physical fitness exercise—because
of the profound effects on our internal organs, nervous system and physiology. Unique to Qigong is that developing qi energy brings us to new levels

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of wellness without strenuous muscular exertion like calisthenics, jogging,
or weightlifting. This is of particular importance to Energy Warriors, who
may find conventional exercise too arduous.

What is Qi?
Did you tap into the energy of the universe, the qi that infuses all things? Qi
was the mechanism you used to heal human souls, shrivel the bush that bore no
fruit, and change the molecular structure of water into something more drinkable. —Bob Ellal

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According to traditional Chinese thought, qi is the vital life force energy
that pervades the universe, flows in the earth and circulates within the
human body. Because they postulated that all energy constitutes a single
indivisible system, the word has multiple meanings depending upon the
word combination, but it generally denotes the concept of energy. Qi
can mean air, breath, gas, or energy in Chinese, and is also translated as
internal energy, vital force, or intrinsic energy, but also refers to a multitude of energy states.
This Chinese notion of life force energy is found in other cultural
traditions—ki in Japanese, prana in Indian, pneuma in Greek, and ruakh
in Hebrew. For Energy Warriors, the goal is to discover, cultivate and
circulate this life force energy to empower ourselves for healing and living.

Q igong Background
Qigong has been practiced and developed by the Chinese people for more than
5,000 years. —Bob Ellal

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Qigong is a science and art of energy based on Daoism, an ancient Chinese
spiritual philosophy of nature. Daoist sages have contributed profound
knowledge of nature’s powerful force of qi energy as it applies to different
fields like medicine, art, and science. In this introductory manual, we minimize traditional Daoist terminology, history, and theory to emphasize the
practical function for health, stress management, healing, and longevity.
Chinese poetic metaphors (dragon and tiger in the body), nature allusions
(flow like water), and technical terms (five elements) seem incompatible with scientific rationale that is often distorted in a Western context
when not viewed with a Chinese mindset. Nature, in all its grandeur and
mystery, is the source of the wisdom of Qigong. Ultimately, as Daoists
teach, it is through practice and experience—not words and theories—that
the hidden ways of nature are revealed to us a living reality.
Therefore, we are presenting a basic explanation of Qigong to provide
a foundation for your practice. Fortunately, we only need a simplified
understanding to provide an overview for practice, so we can reap the
rewards of cultivating our life force energy. With a fundamental understanding and consistent practice, you may experience the vitality, calm and
wellbeing for your self.

Basic Q igong Theory
…This vital energy permeates the universe and can be con­­trolled in the human
body through various means…. —Bob Ellal

The idea underlying the traditional Qigong theory is simple, though the
medical and martial knowledge is complex. Underlying con­­­cepts like
meridians, dantien, shen, qi, and jing is the Chinese saying, “Flowing water
does not stagnate.” Imagine rivers of energy flowing throughout the body
from head to toe. In the torso and along the four limbs there are energy
pathways that extend to the fingers and toes. When abundant energy circulates freely throughout the pathways running throughout the human body,
we are vibrant, energetic, healthy, and less susceptible to illness. Mentally,
our minds are clear, more alert and focused. Emotionally, we are calmer
and more peaceful. We are in an optimum state of wellbeing.

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Conversely, when our energy is weak and the energy flow is obstructed
along at different locations along the pathways, our being is prone to physical ailments, sickness, or emotional dysfunction. We do not function at
our best because our internal energy is stagnant and blocked in our physical and emotional bodies.
Poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol, drug abuse, excessive sex, physical injuries, emotional issues, and stress cause blocked energy. In addition
to extreme habits, there are normal causes of energy blockages; there is a
natural process of mental and physical degeneration as we age. In short,
living creates blockages.
Energy blockages are likened to a logjam along a river way. During a
logjam, the river’s debris and mud accumulate; the water stagnates and
diminishes the river’s flow. By removing specific logs, the clogged section
of the river is cleared and once again the rivers currents continue to flow
strong, clear, and uninterrupted. Through consistent Qigong practice these
blockages of stagnant or sick qi are dissolved and cleared.

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Various physical illness, injuries, mental or emotional dysfunction are
due to either a deficiency or surplus of qi energy along specific pathways or
points of the body. When energy balance is disrupted, the harmony of our
being is disturbed. Through centuries of investigation, the Chinese discovered the critical importance of balance and harmony in life. Extending the
way of balance and harmony to individual health, an intricate relationship
of energy balance in the human energy system was discovered. Qigong is
the way to regulate and nourish qi energy so we take proactive control of
our health and healing through prevention and cure.

Human Energy System: Meridians,
Vessels, and Cavities
The Chinese would say that qi, or life energy, has been absorbed from the
earth and heavens into my body. This energy has traveled through channels
or meridians within me to be stored in energy centers—or “dantiens”—located
along the central axis of my body. —Bob Ellal

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When we practice the Stand­­ing Post Posture, Universal Form, and other
Qigong exercises, our goal is to stimulate the life force energy and circulate
it internally, so that it effectively flows and clears the entire network of
energy pathways throughout our bodies. This intensified qi flow nourishes
our brain, internal organs, the central nervous system and stimulates the
glands and strengthens our immune system. This accelerates and intensifies nature’s innate healing.
Our bodies are coursing with qi energy, filling us with vitality and
life, which is completely natural and spontaneous. Like the blood or the
oxygen circulating, we are rarely conscious of our qi flow. Yet, as we age,
our energy diminishes, blocked through accidents, injury, or emotional
trauma, and simply living, and it becomes “sick” or stagnant qi.
There are twelve major channels, six on the left side of the body and
six on the right, called meridians (jing). These channels are like rivers of qi
and are connected to inner organs that lead to the toes or fingers through
a line or pathway for qi to flow.
There are also eight minor energy pathways called vessels (mai). They
can be compared to water reservoirs that store the qi energy. These eight
vessels are often compared to batteries that store electrical energy. More
than seven hundred smaller cavities (shih) are points of energy along the
body that can be accessed by acupuncture needles.

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