Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Q: A.M. writes: I am a Fibromyalgia sufferer for 7 years now and I have been practicing qigong (not as regularly as I would like, but…) for the last 3 years. However I find that the most useful technique for coping with my fibromyalgia is meditation. It targets the pain directly and allowed me to stop taking marijuana for the ever-present nerve pain. Just knowing that I had some control over the situation was a tremendous weight off of my chest and it helped to end the vicious emotional cycle caused by feeling powerless. Now I have developed somewhat of a routine where I periodically use marijuana in conjunction with my qigong (because I find it twice or three times as powerful that way). I have all but cured myself but for some minor lingering pain. Right now I practice sporadically and my progress is relative slow but steady. Anyway, I am curious to hear any of your thoughts on the subject.

A: Yes, the combination of qigong and meditation can be quite effective, as the results in the original research project indicate. (see: Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study)
Tantric qigong, fibromyalgia, 8 Treasures, qigong for self mastery, eight section brocade, eight twists of silk, eight brocades, self mastery, enlightenmentI believe that fibromyalgia is characterized by a sort of energetic “congestion” that afflicts the muscles and nerves, and the noticeable symptoms are pain, fatigue, and stiffness. It seems to me that there are two categories of possible intervention here: treating the pain, and treating the underlying energetic congestion.

Blocking Pain
Interventions include the use of pharmaceutical analgesics, hypnosis, and guided meditation and visualization. The use of drugs in treating this condition is best discussed in a medical forum, however I will comment of the use of hypnosis and meditation.

The utilization of techniques such as hypnosis and meditation, particularly meditation that includes visualization, has been effective for numerous conditions, including pain reduction. While these modes of non-pharmacological analgesia provide a valuable alternative, especially where narcotics might be medically indicated, I would also like to observe that they do not necessarily treat underlying causation. Blocking pain is not always restorative, and can sometimes mask an ongoing disease process. It is difficult to make generalizations, since there are many forms and applications of these modalities. I would say however, that if one’s meditation is oriented solely towards pain relief, it is likely to be more palliative than curative.

Relieving Underlying Energetic Congestion
yin yang, tantric qigong, eight section brocade, eight twists of silf, ba duan jin, self mastery, enlightenmentQigong, as well as T’ai Chi Chuan, is a form of “Taoism in Action,” concerned with flow and balance. Just as the yin yang symbol intimates, there is a dynamic equilibrium between polarities, and from this derives all personal, social, and natural manifestations. Any disparity between these energies will automatically initiate a correction. The more severe the imbalance, the more rigorous and dramatic the adjustment. Since our American culture does not fully support deep, impartial inquiries into cause and effect, we often blindly intervene without any intuitive sense of the consequences. This leads to a certain ignorance in not only health issues, but personal, social, environmental, and political endeavors.

When I use the term “energetic congestion,” I do so in the sense of imbalance and inhibition of flow. This disruption of our natural state of grace results in all forms of dis-ease, physical and emotional; individual and social; in nature and in humankind. In addition to qigong, modalities that facilitate an efficient return to balance include T’ai Chi, acupuncture, Bioenergetics, and certain forms of Tantra and Kundalini Yoga.

Marijuana, though it has increasing medical applications, may not be the best treatment choice. Marijuana has little analgesic effect in a strict sense. It’s effectiveness may be due to its gentle sedative and muscle relaxant qualities. This certainly could decrease the aggravation of neuromuscular pain. One of the drawbacks to this approach is that marijuana tends to have a rebound effect as a relaxant. Just like pharmaceutical muscle relaxants, it has a propensity to have the opposite effect a period of time after it is metabolized, that is, it tends to tighten the muscles afterward. Progressive relaxation ( Journey to the primal Sea, At the Beach) is a technique with no rebound or side effects, and thus may be more efficacious in the longer term, at least as a muscle relaxant.

There are many forms of qigong. The Eight Treasures system of tantric qigong and energy yoga that I teach has a physical and emotional balancing effect that can be achieved in as little as ten minutes of practice each day, though longer practice may result in deeper benefits. This style of energy mastery is a balance of internal and external approaches. There is a meditative aspect and a more physical outer element. Gently stretching the muscles in coordination with the mind and breath, and without irritation or fatigue, allows one’s vital energy to move unimpeded in a balanced manner. This combination of gentle movement, attentiveness, and judicious activation of one’s life-force can alleviate energy blockages, and effect improvement on physical, mental, and emotional levels.

Note: Though the classes and seminars that I present are effective for a broad spectrum of persons, those with a specific acute or chronic physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual condition may need personal evaluation and enhancement of the standard training program. This is best effected, at least initially, through personalized consultation. (c) 2004 Keith E. Hall www.inner-tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Qigong and Fibromyalgia”

  1. Inner-Tranquility » Blog Archive » Fibromyalgia, T’ai Chi and Qigong Says:

    […] just like to introduce myself to the group as a new comer. My name is Sarah and I am a 29 year old Fibromyalgia sufferer. Three years ago after an extremely difficult time in my life I developed Fibromyalgia to […]