LET ME START WITH my basketball story. I was a basketball fan and I still am. From middle school on to college, I either played on the school team or on the division team in college. I am not tall, 5-feet-7. But my specialty was three points scoring. After my college I was assigned to work at a community college and I still played basketball a lot. I had quite a few injuries to my knees, ankles, back and wrist from basketball. Once I even got my nose broken. But I still loved to play the game.
One afternoon I was playing basketball for fun with a group of people of mixed ages. When I got the ball and saw no one in my way, I took off as fast as I could to score. It was a breakaway move. I dribbled the ball towards the opposite basket and was going in for a lay-up.
If you've played basketball you know that the rules give you two-and-a-half steps without dribbling to move towards the basket for a lay-up. When taking those last two steps you take long strides, moving out and up, much like taking off for a long jump in track. You want to cover as much distance as possible while springing your body up towards the basket.
I was just about to land with my first take-off step when all of a sudden an older man in his sixties, who was playing on the other team, ran out in front of me to block my way. He ran right into me. There was no way I could stop so I threw up my forearm to block. He did not know how to defend himself. When my elbow struck him, he dropped to the ground like a falling log.
If I'd kept going forward, my foot would have crashed down right on his chest. If that had happened, it would have been disastrous for him. So I twisted my body trying to avoid him and landed awkwardly on my right foot. My knee was locked when I landed and I heard it crack.
I had so much forward momentum that I sprang upwards and out towards the basket. Trying to catch my balance I landed awkwardly on my left leg, again with my knee locked, and I heard my left knee crack. My momentum was still carrying me up and forward and I came crashing to the floor in a heap. You can imagine how painful it was.
I had intense stabbing pain in both knees. I couldn't stand up. I couldn't walk. Two friends had to carry me from the court. The next day I went to the hospital. The doctor said he could not do anything except for surgery because the cartilage in both my knees was badly damaged. He said the surgery would be extensive and he could not guarantee the result.
I did not want to have that surgery. So, I tried other things. I tried everything I could, like heat healing, cup ping, massage, herbal medicine, acupuncture, injection, and painkillers. But nothing worked. I just lived with the pain and could hardly get around.
Later on it developed into arthritis. My knees were often swollen up with great pain. I could not run any more. I could not sleep well because of the pain. Sometimes, when I was walking or standing, all of a sudden my legs failed me and I dropped to the floor. When the weather was bad, my pain got even worse. The pain was so terrible that I even wanted to cut my legs off.
One day someone told me that a very powerful, nationally renowned Qigong master was coming to town to give a workshop on Qigong. People said that many people, just by attending his workshop, had their critical physical problems go away, even with tumors.
I was born and grew-up in this culture, and I studied and practiced Tai Chi and Qigong, as well as herbal medicine and acupuncture. The Qigong technique I practiced was very helpful to me during very tumultuous and difficult times in my life. I had even used my skills with acupuncture, herbal medicine and simple Qigong to help others.
However, there was much about Qigong I didn't know then. My first Qigong masters did not reveal the true power of Qigong to me. They may not have known it themselves. Most Qigong masters still do not teach these very powerful techniques to any but a very few of their students.
So, I had never heard before that anything so powerful could happen that just by attending a workshop, your critical physical problems would be healed. I didn't believe this could be true. But, since I had already tried everything else and nothing worked, it didn't hurt to try one more thing. Besides, I needed a miracle.
I bought a ticket and went. The workshop was held in a soccer field. It started at noon. Fifteen thousand people were there sitting on the ground. The master talked seven hours, nonstop, no bathroom break for anyone. So you can see how obedient Chinese people are.
He talked mostly about how Qi, the energy in the body, worked and how to make it work, and then he told a lot of stories of healing, and how through compassion, kindness and goodwill we could heal ourselves. While he was talking, he raised and waved his hand gently from side to side and passed Qi to the audience.
Like most people there, I listened with my eyes closed. He asked us to listen to his words without hearing them, without paying any attention. That meant that we were to use his words and sound as music to go deep into the meditation. Surrender the body. Let the Qi flow in the body. Not try to control the energy. Just allow nature to nurture and heal our bodies. No matter what kind of Qi reactions happened in the body, just take it easy. Don't analyze it. Just let it be. That's what the master told us to do.
I sat there on the ground and listened and followed his advice. About twenty minutes after we started, my body started rocking from side to side, and backward and forward, and then after a while, my body started spinning, first slowly, then faster and faster. I got scared and tried to stop it. But the more I tried to do so, the faster my body spun. Then his words came again "No matter what happens, just take it easy. Don't be afraid. Any movements are Qi movements. They help to open the blockages in the body. They are good movements. Just smile and let it be."
I surrendered. I let it be. I was rolling on the ground backward and forward for about twenty minutes. Then my body became very quiet. Then I felt a great current of energy starting from my lower Dantian (which is deep in behind the navel) traveling up to my head, coming down to my tongue, and then it stopped. My tongue gradually went numb. Then my throat started making funny noises, and then all of a sudden I burst out into laughter. I laughed and laughed and laughed, nonstop, very loudly. I could not control myself.
It seemed my body was not my body any more. My stomach muscles started to ache but I just could not stop it. That was the Qi reaction. I laughed like that for about half an hour. It gradually stopped. I didn't feel any discomfort. I just felt so comfortably tired.
I was lying there very quietly for about ten minutes, then I felt some funny feeling in my toes. It was an icy cold feeling. The icy cold feeling started from the tip of my toes, both sides, then inch by inch it moved up to my ankles, my knees, my thighs, my torso, my neck, and my head.
My whole body was as hard and stiff as a piece of rock. The only part of my body where I still felt something going on was my heart. I was nervous about this. I wanted to move my fingers. I couldn't. I wanted to move my leg. No way. I wanted to move my head. Impossible. My body was not my body any more. Then, I remembered the master's words, "Just let it be. Don't worry."
My body stayed in that situation for about one hour. Then I started feeling some tingly sensation in my toes, then my feet, then up to my whole body. The feeling was just like when spring is coming and the winter ice starts melting in the sun, so peaceful, so beautiful, and so nurturing. The feeling was not only in the skin, it was in the muscle, in the bones! No words can describe the inner beauty of the Qi moving in my body.
Now, I could move my body again. My body became my body again. I was so pleased with what I felt. Then some itching feeling started, first in my face, then my neck, then my back, then all over my body, together with great heat. The sensation was like you were lying on the fire. But the difference was, on the fire, you feel the heat, the burning sensation on your skin, but this heat was burning from the bone marrow out. I wanted to scratch it but I didn't know where to start. It was all over my body. It was extremely uncomfortable. It seemed like ten thousand spiders climbing in my body from the inside out. This made me even more nervous.
It seemed the master knew what was going on in my body. He said "If you feel great heat and itching in your body, that is the best time to open up all your channels. Bear it. Very possibly you will develop and open up more channels in the body. Your third eye might open, too. If you scratch, you will interrupt the Qi. It might take you another ten years to get to where you are right now."
I listened to him. I trusted him. He was an outstanding Qigong master. He had high education. He had done a lot of research on Qigong. He knew what he was doing. His master was the chief of the Shaolin Temple at that time. So I gave up myself again. I was sweating, bearing all these unbearable sensations in my body.
This lasted about another hour or so. Then my body calmed down. It was quiet again. I was so relaxed. I could see the sky and stars with my eyes closed. I could hear some sounds from the distance but I did not know what kind of sounds they were. For awhile, I was able to see my friends and family and many other faces.
In my body I felt a breeze sweeping through my bones. What a beautiful, wonderful sensation! I felt so happy. This kind of happiness was not something like when you get a birthday gift or pass your first driving test. This happiness was from the bottom of my heart. It was so deep, so light. It was simply the joy of life. This joy helped me understand that life is so beautiful.
Uphill and downhill in the journey of my life came a piece of beautiful and powerful symphony. It was so wonderful. You don't blame yourself or others any more. The long forgotten love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness all come back to you. You feel so rich and meaningful inside.
The workshop ended at seven thirty in the evening. I did the ending exercise as the master guided us. Then I stood up. A miracle had happened! My knee pain was almost gone. I was able to run, to jump again! When I discovered that, you can imagine how happy I was. I was running and jumping on the soccer field just like a kid. After another two months of practicing what the Qigong master taught us that day, all the pain in my knees was gone and has been gone ever since! And, I went back to playing basketball.
To me, it was like a miracle. And, I wanted to know more, as much as I could learn, about this powerful, wonderful kind of Qigong. While I didn't realize it at the time, that experience would totally change my life.
I was so thrilled that the pain in my knees was gone it was months before I realized that I was not only physically healed, I was healed completely. The depression, the anger, the emotional pain I had felt for so many, many years had also left me.
Because of this new Qigong I was practicing, I felt so happy inside. I became such an easygoing person. I forgave all the people in my life who had hurt me and my family. I felt so sympathetic and understanding of them. This was the greatest bonus for me! The real freedom is not physical but spiritual. I got the freedom of my soul!
When I tell students in my classes that I had depression once, they would not believe me. They said "You are so happy, so delightful, so positive about everything. How could a person like you have had depression?"
Well, here is my story.
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