Mind/Body Practices and Cancer

October 8, 2018 Joe Brady

Though never to be used as a substitute for medical treatment, mind/body practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga, and meditation have proven to be valuable adjunct therapies for people with cancer. Actually, we all get cancer at least a half a million times in our lives. That according to the late Nobel prizes winning tumor biologist B.P. Medawar. Our immune systems are actually quite effective in preventing full-blown cancer from arising, but every once in a while one slips through. Cultivating a strong mind and a strong body is essential when surviving cancer.

For a thorough explanation of the use of mind/body practices in biomedicine see the following webpage published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

Read More Here https://nccih.nih.gov/health/cancer/complementary-integrative-research?nav=govd

Cancer in Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Bing Ji (origin)  of Cancer, What’s going on?

The earliest records of cancer treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine appear in the oracle bone scriptures (16-11th century B.C.). The development of cancer has multiple causes and play’s out over many years. Pinning the blame on a single cause is proving problematic even for modern science, and Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that all the various risk factors interact in  complex way’s over many years to create the conditions for cancer to appear. The various factors involved include;

Harm from inside

Psychological/emotional and stress factors as well as genetic and inherited, constitutional factors.

Affliction from outside

Heat, Cold, Toxic Damp, Phlegm, Environmental factors, Toxins pollution, Chemical, biological, viruses,

In order to stay healthy, there must be a free flow of communication between mind and body, there must be a free flow of circulation of Qi and blood for the immune system to keep the body free of cancer cells and other diseases. The various risk factors for cancer create a blockage of the free flow of Qi and Blood. This blockage creates areas where the Qi and blood stagnate, as the stagnation persists the area becomes separated from the rest of the body and begins to take on a life of its own. 

8 Pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine combines 8 basic mindy/body therapies that have been proven effective over centuries to provide patients with multiple tools they can use in the management of their disease. These eight therapies together form an all inclusive elixir of life that gives patients their best shot at fighting the disease and coming to peace with it.

  • Exercise & Meditation in the form of Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises.
  • Five element nutrient dense Diet & Traditional Herbal medicine.
  • An Mo & Tui Na Massage & Acupuncture/Moxa
  • Natures Therapy & Social Qi Gong, Love medicine & miracles.

Benefits of Medical Exercise

A safe and effective exercise program can help increase, energy, strength, balance and help maintain strength during cancer therapy. Physical activity can also improve your overall feelings of well- being and reduce the pain, nausea, and fatigue commonly associated with treatment while lessening the side effects of many drug treatments. Exercise may even keep some kinds of cancers from re-occurring! The TCM College of Sports Medicine brings together the best of western exercise therapy with Medical Qi Gong exercises from Traditional Chinese Medicine to give patients the best of ancient medicine and modern science.

Specific benefits of Medical Qigong

  • Tonifies immune system, prescribed in China as an adjunct therapy to surgery and chemo.
  • Can be prescribed as a primary therapy in cases that are medically untreatable.
  • Medical Qi Gong has been shown in studies to:
  1. Ameliorate pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms.
  2. Qigong taught to patients undergoing chemotherapy show improvements in Quality of Life and numerous symptoms such as liver function, immune function, strength, and appetite.
  3. Slow the progression of some tumors.
  4. Rare cases reported of spontaneous remission.

Meditation & Deep Breathing & Sound Resonance Method

Divine Healing Light Meditation,

Qigong helps some patients develop an awareness of the spiritual aspects of their life. Qigong may or may not change the outcome of a disease but it can help reframe the feelings of fear, despair, and grief to a sense of coming to peace with the realities of life and disease. This sense of being at peace can allow the patient to face the inevitable without fear and pain.

Qi Breathing and Healing sound therapy

healing sounds for cancer therapy

Fire – Zheng (jang)

Earth – Gong

Metal – Shang

Water – Yu

Wood – Guo

Color therapy and ribbons


Jook During Chemo food that “Sticks to your Ribs”

Green tea “the divine medicine”


Pulling out the Pain Meditation

Stopping the Rebellious Qi 

For dealing with nausea, vomiting and other side effects of treatment you can use accupressure on the following acupuncture points

PC 6, Ren 12

Love, and intimacy Social Oncology and Support Groups

Cancer support groups meet daily in the parks in China where they practice Qi Gong, particularly the Tai Chi Walking and sound meditations. After practice, they retire to a local teahouse to socialize, sing songs tell jokes and strategize helpful tips for surviving therapy and cancer treatments. A round of “Happy Birthday” is sung for each member of the group reaching another milestone in their cancer treatment.

Natures Therapy

Medical Qi Gong for Cancer is almost always practiced outside in the parks in China. Even Hospital-based programs will use the nearest local park or an enclosed outdoor courtyard. Large wooden drums and cymbals are used to establish a rhythm for the walking Qi Gong, and patients may carry brightly colored ribbons for color meditations as they walk.

Western medical resources

• Talk with your oncologist/surgeon about integrating regular exercise into your treatment plan.

*If your physician has not cleared you for independent physical activity and would like you to be monitored in a hospital setting or a medical fitness facility, you should exercise only under the supervision of a qualified professional. The American College of Sports Medicine has two

groups of certified fitness professionals that could meet your needs. The ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist (CES) is certified to support those with heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. The ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) is qualified to support patients with a wide range of health challenges.

Exercise Cautions

• There is no optimal exercise program for exercising with cancer—the goal is to preserve and possibly improve function. Be prepared to modify your activity as needed based on your current condition or reactions to changes in treatment.

• Treatments such as surgery or other therapies may limit your activity due to muscle weakness or pain. For example, women who have undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy may have limited strength and range of motion in their chest, arms, and shoulders.

• If you are receiving radiation therapy, perspiration may irritate your skin due to skin breakdown. Choose appropriate workout attire and try to keep your skin dry to avoid irritation.

Your exercise program should be modified to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risk of aggravating your health condition. Consider contacting an ACSM-certified fitness professional* who can work with you and your healthcare practitioner to establish realistic goals and design a safe and effective program that addresses your specific needs.



  • Exercise & Tai Chi Walking Method Walking, bicycling, swimming and other low-impact exercises. Start slowly and gradually progress the time of your activity up to about 20 minutes, take frequent breaks during activity when needed. 
  • Harmonizing the Qi (a.k.a.Opening and Closing the Three Dan Tians)
  1. Qi breathing Breathe in – visualize condensing the right Qi infinitely smaller into the dan tien. Exhale – visualize dark turbid evil Qi exiting through the pores.
  2. Rock the center & Open and Close the Hands Upper dan tien like Sun Lu Tang style Index finger pointed at nose. Middle dan tien & Universal post Yang Style like hugging a tree.       Lower dan tien hands pointed down or at center (ala. Yun Chao).
  3. Hands rise & fall : As you breathe in visualize ascending the clear yang Qi that guards against pathogenic evils and protects the body, up from the feet to the upper dan tien. On exhale visualize descending the turbid yin Qi down through the feet.
  • Tai Chi Walking & Raising the Toes

Tai Chi walking with the toes raised and the heel touching and rocking to open the heel vessels.

  1. Regulate the Qi Hand swings from heart Ren 17 to Gall bladder 30 – strengthens whole body, yin & yang Qi and Wei Qi, immune Qi.
  2. Tonify Lungs Touch index finger (shangyang Li.1 & shao shang Lu. 11)
  3. Tonify Kidney
  4. Tonify Liver and Spleen
  5. Tonify Heart
  6. Cancer Prescriptions

Fast – Medium – Slow (Use of Drums in China)

  • After Walking, Cool Down Self Massage Form

Lead Qi to Lower Dan Tien

Knead the abdomen

Close the three Dan Tien’s and Self Massage

Any Questions on where points are or how to do a particular exercise

Send us an Email with your questions and we would be happy to answer.