Days 20 to 23. And a mid-week colonoscopy
This is a continuation of my 30 day spontaneous Qigong Trial. For a primer of what this trial is all about, click here.
Today brought a new type of movement. Along with the usual shaking and twists, I got head movements. My head kept turning rapidly left to right repeatedly. There were also head rotations and looking up and down. None of these movements hurt me despite the speed at which they occurred.
This was the first time I have experienced this particular movement. Whilst researching Richard S. Omura’s book – Katsugen, for a different blog update, I found a relevant quote. Katsugen is a name, which I believe refers to Spontaneous Qi movement.
In this quote, Richard describes the different types of spontaneous qi movements:
Shaking of the head
“During this vibratory stage, the body’s movement can vary from gentle swaying and rocking to hand and leg wringing, jumping up and down, thrusting out of arms and legs, rolling around on the floor, rapid shaking of the head and various other movements, most of them completely spontaneous and original.”
Katsugen: The Gentle Art of Wellbeing. Richard S. Omura
I also noticed some finger and wrist shaking again. Only recently the movements seem to be working on different areas of my body during a practice session. For example, several days ago, it was my fingers. Then it included my wrists. Today it’s my head and neck.
Today, the Spontaneous Qi movements continued to be active more in my fingers, wrists and to a lesser extent my forearms. I carried out lots of arm and wrist shaking as well as some rapid arms circles – to rotate my shoulder joint.
I noticed that the movements are more lively in my fight hand and arm, which signifies that the Channels are more open on this side.
Day 22 – A colonoscopy
Today I have a busy day ahead. I have a meeting early in this morning. Then I will have a colonoscopy in the afternoon. I have to get through the day without eating.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in my early 20s. At the time, I had severe symptoms of needing to go to the toilet about 30-40 times day and night, with extreme urgency and blood in my stools. Nowadays my condition is under control – not completely healed, but not very active either.
Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease. The only current conventional treatment is daily steroidal drugs for the rest of your life or the option of surgery if it is severe. The disease is characterised by recurrent acute flare ups, which requires a heavy dose of steroids to calm it down and push it back into remission.
I have not had a relapse for 10 years. I also don’t take any medications for this condition. In fact, I don’t really have much interaction with my doctors. In the beginning I used acupuncture to help me manage it. Now I just practice a relatively healthy lifestyle. I watch what I eat and try to avoid stress.
Long time, no see
I also haven’t had a consultant appointment for about 5 years. This is not my fault. The NHS simply kept booked me appointments and then kept canceling them. They also kept booking them for a year in advance.
For example my next appointment with a consultant is actually booked for June 2019. Right now it is July 2018. So if they then decide to cancel that appointment next year, it is not inconceivable that they may rebook it another year in advance to 2020. That is basically what has been happening up to now.
Socialised versus Private healthcare
That is one of the downsides of the socialized healthcare system in the UK. Fortunately, there are many upsides however. When you do get seen, you usually get a good service and you don’t have to go into medical bankruptcy as happened in the USA.
I met an acupuncturist last year, who said she had a traffic accident, which must have been quite a serious one, as the treatment and recovery put her over 60,000 dollars in debt. That’s just crazy. In the UK, she wouldn’t have had to pay anything.
So there are good and bad everywhere in healthcare systems in different countries. I suspect the Northern Europeans have it the best.
My last scan
So my last colonoscopy was in 2012. My health hasn’t changed all that much. I am older. I still have mild symptoms of inflammation. That has never gone away. So I always have to watch what I eat. But generally I can enjoy life – I can eat junk, meat, drink alcohol, even smoke – all to moderation. I can travel. But I always have to keep an eye on my body and watch when I am overdoing it.
I did get a stomach bug over Christmas. In the past, that kind of virus would have made me worry in case it set off a flare. But it didn’t happen, and generally I feel my health and body is better than 10 years ago.
So I have to fast for 24 hours. Which means getting through the day on an empty stomach. I also have to fit in a spontaneous qigong practice sometime today.
Should I do it early morning, or wait till the evening. Perhaps the residual effects of the sedative will enhance my qigong? I feel it better to get it over and done with early.
I opted to get it done early in the morning and it is a good thing I did. I was pretty worn out at the end of the day.
Practice was again mostly spontaneous Qi movements in my hands and wrists – especially my right hand which has a lot more movement. There was nothing much else to report.
Day 23 Log
I had the colonoscopy yesterday. I took a mild sedative which took away any discomfort or pain and enabled me to watch the TV screen as the camera is inside my colon. It is very curious seeing the inside of your guts.
Years ago I did a colonoscopy without sedative. This was back when I wanted to be more ‘natural’ – no drugs, medications and so on. That time, the scan was so excruciatingly uncomfortable and painful, as they blow gas into you colon and shove the camera around. So I thought I won’t do that again.
Overall, there is still some mild inflammation in the lower part of my bowel. So no change there. It has always been like that for years. It causes me minor symptoms, but I can carry on as normal with life.
The most curious thing was that there was no sign of polyps.
Polyps are small little outgrowths from the bowel wall. They are quite common even in relatively healthy people, and if you go for a colonoscopy, they will usually cut them off with a small hooking device and then send them for tests.
Up to now, in all of my previous scans, I have always had a polyp, which are usually snipped off. As I hadn’t had a test for 5 years, I did wonder about polyps. So I was surprised there weren’t any. At one point, I asked the doctor if she could find any and she said no. So instead they took samples from various areas instead for testing.
Although I haven’t received the results for my tests yet, I did feel satisfied with this scan. I felt my bowel was still doing ok after all these years of having no check up.
I was asked many times if I took medication for my colitis, which I answered no. But they didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t. In all of my appointments, doctors, nurses and consultants always ask me if I take medication and why not. But they never ask me what I do to manage my disease.
Did Qigong help?
I have only practiced Spontaneous qigong daily for twenty days now, which is too soon to say there can be any change on my body and health.
Nonetheless, I did wonder if my daily qigong practice may have had any part to play in there being no polyps this time.
I wanted to study how polyps grow but it is hard to find out without going heavily into medical literature. I do know that the epithelial cells of the colon replace every 3 days so there is a constant regeneration. But whether that affects polyps, I don’t know.
At any rate, I feel I am on the right track.
Sending Qi to heal the gut
I did also think – what if I directed the qi energy to my lower part of my bowel where the inflammation is still active? Could this help heal the inflammation.?
In Chinese medicine it is said that ‘The mind directs the qi’. I have found that when I practice spontaneous qigong, it is possible to make the movements work in specific parts of my body by focusing my mind there. For example, if during a practice, I think of my mouth, I could start to get lots of spontaneous qi movements in my mouth resulting in face grimacing, and jaw movements.
So I could experiment doing the same with the lower part of my bowel and see if that more energy movement there could have a healing effect. It might be worth a try.
Today, I was pretty tired out from yesterday’s scan, the 24 hour fasting and running around before my appointment.
I did an evening practice, with the usual movements occurring – hand shakes, spinal twists. However, something different came. I was led into holding my shaking right hand over some of my chakra points – particularly the Baihui (Du 20) acupuncture point, which corresponds to the Crown Chakra. At this point, I got a little sensation in my Bahui point, my spine became a little straighter and I wanted to jump up a few times for as long as I held my right hand over the point.
Afterwards, I felt that this point or chakra was a little more ‘open’. It was not a strong or dynamic feeling, just a sensation of ‘openness’. There were no other feelings other than that, although when I was walking outside not long later, I felt more taller.
The whole spontaneous qi action – the jumping on the spot reminded me of my Japanese teacher – Hiroki and his Genkiko Qigong class, who I talked about in Day 8.
In his class he would do various Qigong exercises – the 8 pieces of Brocade. Some of the exercises were designed to open the crown point and feel the Qi, although at the time, I never really felt anything. Also his energy exchange exercise at the end involved one movement where he would make his students jump up and down by projecting his qi into you. I felt there were some similarities with my sensation today and those moments in the Genkiko class.
Katsugen: The Gentle Art of Wellbeing, page 24. Richard S. Omura
Japanese tea ceremony cooking tea. Silvia Lüthi. akupunkturplus.ch
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