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Qigong: the missing piece of the puzzle?

2017 update

These exciting benefits that I noticed in the first few months after beginning Qigong were short lived. I ended up with a reversal in almost every category. I had to do an intense gut-healing protocol to really finally fix my digestion (read about that journey beginning in this post). I actually do not practice Qigong anymore and no longer feel like I can recommend it to others unless you are also seeing a Chinese medicine doctor (acupuncturist) concurrently. If you've got any questions please feel free to contact me via the "contact" form in the site menu!


Going Primal allowed me to lose 80 lbs in 1 year and get off of all prescription and over-the-counter medications. I saw huge improvements in every aspect of my life and health, and couldn't have been more happy with my results.

One of my biggest complaints pre-Primal was my digestive issues. I was taking an antacid or an acid-blocking pill at least once a day, sometimes as often as 3 times a day, plus I was taking courses of Prilosec once or twice a month, and several days a week I needed anti-diarrhea pills. By going Primal I was able to eliminate all of those medications, but I still never quite had normal digestive function. I still got diarrhea, which would alternate with constipation. I still got painful gas and bloating after meals sometimes. I ended up getting really neurotic about  my digestion, and would experience anxiety nearly every time I left the house. I didn't want to go places if I didn't already know ahead of time where the bathrooms were. And forget going somewhere like a park where there wasn't any bathroom at all. 

This isn't an uncommon story in the Paleo and real food blogospheres. I can't tell you how many other posts and comments on posts I have read describing a very similar story. Huge improvements in health, effortless weight loss...but poor digestion remains, and sometimes even gets worse. The common 3 suggestions are to 1) try eliminating FODMAPs 2) go on the Gut And Psychology Syndrome diet (GAPS) or Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)  3)  get food allergy testing. However, compelling success stories are rather rare, or they take a very long time to produce. I was REALLY not thrilled about the idea of spending another year or more on an even more extreme diet than I had already done, and getting testing is rather cost prohibitive without insurance.

Right after we moved to Miami Beach in March 2012, I felt like things really hit rock bottom with my digestion. It got to the point that I would cry over my situation. I was so frustrated and felt so limited in what I could do. My thoughts throughout each day were dominated by food, worrying about my stomach, and actually being afraid of eating. But, around this time I learned about a Qigong workshop in Miami over Memorial Day weekend. 

I have to admit: I was skeptical about Qigong. I almost didn't sign up for the workshop (but thankfully Andy signed me up anyway) and then I almost didn't go when the weekend came (but again, Andy talked some sense into me). It was one of the most important and powerful weekends of my life. Ever. 

I simply stopped having diarrhea and started having normal, regular bowel movements. It was like night and day. I almost couldn't believe it. And now, 6 months later, things are better than ever. I'm still re-training my thinking so that I'm not so neurotic about food and bathrooms for no freaking reason. I need to de-identify as being a sick person, because I'm not one anymore.

I've been practicing once or twice a day nearly every single day since that workshop, and I have a long list of improvements, aside from the digestion:

  • improved mood and much more optimistic outlook on life
  • better concentration
  • more self-confidence, less shy
  • WAY less stressed out
  • improved sleep quality
  • less need for sleep
  • better recovery  after workouts
  • more stamina and increased productivity during the day
  • hair and nails grow noticeably faster
  • rock solid immune system! I used to catch every bug that went around, and so far I have dodged six at work!
  • food tastes better
  • by practicing eyesight qigong, my vision has improved quite significantly and I have gone from -4.25 in each eye down to -3.00 during the day at -3.25 at night

Why does Qigong work? I can't explain it with science, but there are a lot of published articles in PubMed Central examining it in a controlled manner. I haven't spent as much time as I'd like reading these articles. But, I am so pleased with my own n=1 experience that I don't even care about having a scientific explanation. It just works!


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