This initiative to share our knowledge of qigong and Chinese medicine to support people through the Covid-19 pandemic is now in its sixth week, so I wanted to make a few remarks to remind you about our reasons for making the blog, and why we are working concertedly to provide so much information.
Covid-19 has raged in Italy, Spain, England and the United States. Austria, Germany, and Ireland, so far, have managed to contain it somewhat better. But for all of us, no matter what country we live in, or what current effectiveness there is with containment or mitigation, all forecasts assume that we will have to live with the Covid-19 virus for the next one or two years. The threat remains, and how quickly the situation can tip over into devastation of tragic proportions has already been seen in even the wealthiest countries in the world.
Our intention is to show, clearly and specifically, that it is possible to do something for your own health and immune system to make it stronger than the virus with simple means. This is all the more important, since we will have to wait for any solutions from conventional medicine to be developed, the vaccines or medicines that actually work against the spread or potentially deadly effects of the disease. Quarantine, lock-down restrictions and social distancing cannot be maintained in the long run, since the economic damage would be immense. Many of us are, like Kerry and me, de facto unemployed for an indefinite period without income. And, it's not just about economic damage, it's also about cultural and social damage, the possible damage to democracy, and much more that we can't even be aware of yet.
So, that is the reason we make this initiative with TCM and Qigong information in pandemic times. We have posted a lot, in both a German language blog and a separate one for English speakers, more or less every day. It is quite detailed and specialized information, and we hope to present it in a way that it can be readily followed by those who are not familiar with Qigong and TCM.
What our opinion is, combined with what we have learned through various TCM and qigong experts in China and Europe, is that aside from following all the best possible guidelines for the pandemic, these traditional methods are a very important, as well as a necessary, addition to what we all can do to continue to protect and improve our health, on a daily basis. Everyone agrees - the best medicine is to avoid getting sick and, if infected, then being able to fight the disease with your own health.
There is a common thread in everything we do and post that runs through these blog posts, and connects everything. It is a fundamental treatment principle of TCM, and is equally one of the essential principles of Qigong:
“Fu zheng qu xie 扶正祛邪”, which translates as “Support the upright to drive out the Evil”, or “Strengthen the Zheng-Qi (your normal, healthy upright Qi) to ward off pathogenic Qi”.
With an illness like Covid-19, this is extremely important. There is no conventional medicine to treat Covid-19, and there is (still) no vaccination. However, TCM does have treatment options that are being successfully administered in China.
Rather than fighting the disease, TCM and qigong techniques regulate, order the healthy qi functioning of the person in preparation to either resist invasion by the virus, or to sustain itself while continuing to fight any stage of an infection. When a person’s health is under attack, TCM and qigong methods follow the principle of Supporting the Upright in order to regulate the qi function of our immune systems, bringing a state of imbalance back into balance.
In this way, by using TCM advice or practicing qigong methods, any state of excess is reduced, states of exhaustion of the qi or blood are fortified, what is pushing or rushing up is lowered, what is dropping down or not being held up is raised, what is too hot is cooled, what is too cold is warmed, what is too moist is dried, and what is too dry is moistened, and so forth. This is how our bodies, our health, are regulated- a healthy organism regulates itself, the healthy qi regulates itself. The crucial point is that an organism with regulated qi copes with illnesses by itself - this is the focus, to allow the potential for self healing to naturally arise.
So what we're doing here on the blog:
Very simply, we are trying to explain how to effectively regulate the qi and strengthen the healthy Zheng-qi with simple means that everyone should be able to use.
Fuzhen qu xie 扶正祛邪 - Support the upright qi in order to ward off or get rid of pathogenic qi. To do so requires more than just one approach.
The qigong exercises, combining movement and breath, are one approach. Each time you practice means you are moving the qi, and every time you move the qi you are creating a pathway for your healthy qi to develop naturally in the direction of a better balance. The more the qi is in balance, the less strain on the organism and the less strain on the qi, itself.
Another approach comes from TCM - It takes a certain understanding of how food and lifestyle can promote and balance qi in its natural order or as important, how they can disorder and impede the qi. This is why we publish lifestyle and food medicine advice and recipes specific to these pandemic times. This follows the TCM notion of “Yao shi tong yuan 药食同源” - “Medicine and food have the same origin”. The theory of Chinese medical dietetics is highly developed, based on the same principles as all of TCM and Qigong. With her recipes, Kerry tries to give everyone the simplest, most pragmatic and practical approach possible for everyone, no matter what their condition.
Simple self-treatment techniques, such as self massage, are another possibility for regulation. We will post some in the near future, methods that can be incorporated into everyday life without much effort.
And finally, for all of the different practical approaches and methods - moving and breathing, eating, massaging - it is helpful to have an understanding of what you are doing and why you do it. So, more general, theoretical texts, like this one are included, too.
So, that is our aim...all around fuzhen qu xie 扶正祛邪 - to support the upright qi in order to ward off the pathogenic qi.
Jia you! 加油！