The Shaolin Therapy Clinic Ireland
Back Pain: What is being said:
- Between 60 and 80 per cent of adults suffer from back pain at some time in their lives, a recent European survey found. The "Europe against Pain" survey revealed that one in eight people in Ireland suffers from chronic pain of some kind. Focusing on 30,000 people in 12 countries, it showed that almost one in two had lost or changed their job due to pain such as headaches, arthritic pain, or back pain. VHI website- www.vhi.ie
- The study found musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - an umbrella term for more than 200 different ailments including arthritis, back pain and damage to joints, muscles and tendons - affected twice as many people as stress, accounted for up to a third of all GP visits, and cost the economy €750 million annually Irish Times.http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0507/breaking59.htm
- Back-pain and stress are the most commonly cited problems on medical certs, the survey -- which counts certified sick days as absenteeism -- found. Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/backpain-and-stress-blamed-as-absenteeism-costs-small-firms-8364793m-1463121.html
Back Pain from Master Joan Browne's perspective:
From the Chinese perspective back pain and stress are caused by poor flow of energy in the meridians. It does not matter whether it has been caused by direct injury or for no apparent reason (this is often cited as 'psychological'). Back pain is real and just because 'something' may not show up in X-Ray's or MRI scans, it does not mean that the individual is 'imagining' pain and most often a lot of it. Pain killers and anti imflamatory medication may help, but more often than not the back pain never fully goes away.
Sometimes due to an old or recent injury, negative chi/energy is trapped in the area and until it is released, complete healing cannot take place. The old/recent injury may be showing up in X-Ray or scans but physiotherapy or medication cannot get to the root of the problem as it is an energy problem, which western medicine is slow to recognise. When the pain is due to stress, again the flow of chi has slowed down in the system causing all manner of symptoms, improving the flow of chi helps reduce the pain and in almost all cases full healing.
Until the area is cleared of negative chi, healing cannot take place. The sooner the individual seeks help the more quickly the healing can take place.
How does the healing happen?
In the Qigong Private Clinic, Sifu Joan instructs the client in deep relaxation or meditative state of mind. She then opens specific energy points which allow the chi or energy to flow more smoothly for the client helping to clear away the negative chi which is blocking the natural healing from taking place. She then instructs the client in specific Qigong patterns to be practised in a meditative state twice a day (15 minutes each). These patterns help open up the pain filled area allowing good chi to circulate, enhancing the healing. It may take a few weeks or months depending on the problem and how long it has been there. Many people respond immediately but generally it takes a few weeks or months.
Having overcome a chronic back and neck injury herself, Sifu Joan knows only too well the pain, anxiety and depression of having a chronic illness. She was told to live with the pain as best she could and was told that her long term prognosis was that she would end up in a wheelchair. After only 8 months of practising Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung she was perfect in everyway.......physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. She has trained extensively with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, a world renowned Chinese Shaolin Grandmaster in Chi Kung, so that she could support, help and give hope to people in Ireland. The Clinic is in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry.
Here is an email that Sifu Joan sent to her own Master in April 2000 (She had attended his course in January of that year in Malaysia)
April 2000 http://www.shaolin.org/answers/ans00a/apr00-1.html
Since I've come home I have had some unusual chi kung practice. For the first few weeks I was swaying madly. Last week I started hitting my upper back and right forearm with my left hand, then down to my right knee, all in a rhythm that I doubt I could manage if I weren't doing the chi kung.
Answer 10 BY GRANDMASTER WONG KIEW KIT
These movements are normal, and quite expected. They are manifestations of chi working on your problem areas. The wonderful thing about chi kung is that once you have set your chi flowing, it will flow to where it is needed most. We may not consciously know where these problem areas are -- often we only know their symptoms -- but the chi will know. For example, your back pain may be only a symptom; the site of the problem may be at the right forearm, or elsewhere.
We do not even have to know where the problem is, or what causes it. Once we have set the chi flowing, it will naturally flow to the problem. Why is this so? Because this is the nature of chi flow.
Chi, like water, flows from high levels to low levels, and areas of very low chi levels are where problems exist. The lower the chi or energy level, the more severe is the problem.
This also explains why when a person practises chi kung regularly, his health problems will be overcome according to a scale of urgency. This means his most urgent health problem will be overcome first, then the next urgent, and the next, etc. Sometimes, the person may not consciously know of his urgent problem, and when it manifests as a clinical illness it may be too late for him.
But if he has practised chi kung regularly, his chi flow would have overcome his serious problem without his conscious knowing. This explains why chi kung practitioners live healthily to a ripe old age.
There may be countless intermediate causes for a health problem, but fundamentally it is a disruption of energy flow. This becomes more easily understandable when we remind ourselves that life, at any level, is a meaningful flow of energy. In other words, stress, negative emotions, bacterial or viral attack, physical injury or wrong food may cause a disruption of energy flow, and this may be manifested as various diseases like pain, hypertension, infection, organic dysfunction and psychiatric disorders.
But in chi kung we do not worry about the intermediate causes and the names one uses to describe the disease symptoms; what we are concerned is the root cause and the fundamental illness. In other words, we do not worry whether the cause of a health problem is x or y or z, or whether we call the problem p or q or r. So long as we can restore health, which is natural, the illness irrespective of its cause or name will disappear. And health is restored once we restore harmonious energy flow. This concept is actually very simple, but of course those used to a different paradigm may find it hard to make a paradigm shift.
Today I was pressing areas about three, six and eight inches down from my knee on the outside of my left leg. The areas were very tender, and I was wondering if these were pressure points. I had no idea that this area of my leg was even sore , but I guess the energy knew.
Yes, these are pressure points or, if not, they are spots where your energy flow was blocked. Incrediable it may sound, your chi flow had led your fingers to these points.
This is an example of what Taoist masters described as "wu-wei", which is frequently translated as "non-action", and explained as "do not do anything, and everything will be done for you." To those who have only a superficial understanding of Taoist teaching, including writers who merely reproduce what they have read somewhere, this saying does not make any sense.
Its actual meaning, as in your case, is as follows. Just be spontaneous and let your spontaneous chi movement do its work. If, for example, your chi flow leads you to press three inches below your knee, just do that. Do not, for instance, say, "Look I have a swelling four inches below the knee, so I should press at four inches not three", or "the pain is at my back, not at my knee; so I should press my back". If you just let go and be spontaneous, doing nothing with force or with conscious will, you will get the best benefits.
In Taoist terms, you surrender yourself to the Tao, or Nature. You do so not because you are ignorant or slavish, but just the reverse -- you are wise and have faith that the Tao is all-knowing and always work for your best benefits. In western terms, you surrender yourself to God, the infinite and eteranl, trusting that God will always care for you. But God helps those who help themselves. So, one does not really do nothing. He must first work up his energy flow, then he lets go spontaneously.
Sifu, thank you again for teaching me such a wonderful skill. I know that you are very busy but I would like now to invite you to my country, Ireland, to help some people over here. If you accept, Sifu, would you kindly send me some details of what you need, eg. type of place for practice, number of students, cost per student, length of stay and length of course, etc. .Again Sifu, thank you so much,
Joan, I am very happy that you came for the course. I am sure that soon you will not only be cleared of your pain, but you will enjoy health, vitality and spiritual joy which you may not have thought possible before.
I also hope that one day you will become a real chi kung instructor, and eventually a master. You will then spread the wonderful benefits of chi kung to more people. What you need to do now is to carry on practising -- but not over practising -- so that you will soon be free of pain.
I would love to visit Ireland. My schedule for this year is already full, except for November and December which I originally left open for spending some time with my family. But I can take one week off to visit Ireland, or may be bring my family along. Alternatively I can come early next year.
(Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, my beloved teacher, now visits Ireland once a year in February. We call it the Valentine's Smile from the Heart week. www.smilefromtheheart.ie This year 2013 is his 13th visit! and I have not been to a doctor since 2000! Joan)
Another Question regarding back pain answered by World renowned Shaolin Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
I have a C3-C4 slipped disc. Which qigong exercises will be helpful for me?
although conventional Western medicine finds it difficult to fix a slipped disc, it is relatively easy to fix in chi kung. It may be incredible to many people and sound like a big lie to sceptics, but it is true that many people have had their slipped discs fixed within a short time after learning from us, some in just one session!
Western doctors are hesitant to handle slipped discs because they are worried that it may affect the spinal cord of the patients. Hence they ask their patients not to bend their back. Their routine treatment is to prescribe pain killers which null the pain, but the problem remains.
The spinal cord is well protected by the vertebrae which are actually separate but firmly held together by tendons. In the case of a slipped disc, the disk is slightly displaced, but it is not to the extent where the bones are threatening the spinal cord. If it were, the person would experience severe pain, and he would have to be in bed. The fact that he could still move about and perform chi kung exercise is a good indication that his spinal cord is still well protected.
When an energy flow is generated by an appropriate chi kung exercise, the energy massages the muscles and tendons around the slipped disc, and causes the patient to move in such a way, usually in a forward-backward bending movement, that the vertebrae open and close. with the result that the slipped disc is pushed back in place. It is actually that simple. The movement can sometimes be quite vigorous, and may cause some concern to the initiated, but it is always safe because this chi flow will always work to the best interest of the person.
An excellent exercise is "Carrying the Moon". But you need to perform it as a chi kung exercise and not as a gentle physical exercise. The main difference is that gentle physical exercise works on the physical body whereas chi kung works on energy. If you practice on your own form books or video or learn from a mediocre teacher, it is almost certain you will practice it as a gentle physical exercise, which will not be able to overcome your slipped disc problem. You have to learn chi kung from a genuine master.
From Sifu Joan:
Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung is simple, direct and effective. You do not have to put up with pain and chronic illness. It is the body's natural state to be healthy, but sometimes it needs a little help. We sometimes take more care of our cars! It is one of the most beautiful arts for adults and children alike.