Practicing Ping Shuai Gong, A Chinese Exercise and Meditation
Last updated: January 2021
Ping Shuai Gong (PSG, 平甩功) is a Qigong exercise that originates from China.1 Through my exercise PSG for several months, I found something unusual and want to share. I'm not trying to convince anybody to practice PSG, but I think, such a thousand-year-old martial art must exist for some reasons.
Before I began practicing PSG...
After I got lung cancer, I often heard that lung cancer patients need three things: 1) an excellent medical team, 2) close families and friends, and 3) God or faith. I have the first two, but not the third one. I do sometimes feel empty in my heart.
More than two months ago, one of my lung-cancer friends sent me a text talking about PSG with some videos.2 She highly praised PSG and told me about her experience when she practiced it. PSG is a way to move hands, forearms, and arms together like a pendulum. The essence of PSG is to bring a relaxed posture, smooth breaths, a stable mind, and high spirituality. I had heard PSG in China when I was a child, but I never paid attention to it, not to mention practicing it.
Curious to see if PSG would be good for my health
It's probably because I have lung cancer, or I am getting old. From time to time, I have a desire to believe in something of a higher power that I can rely on and entrust. It's the first time that I put myself out there. PSG shows up at the right time though it's not a religion. PSG does cultivate people's body, mind, and spirit. So, when I started, I have a fair amount of trust that PSG is going to do something good for me.
For the first time, I can concentrate and relax
With the mental preparation, I started to practice two sessions per day and haft hour each session before and after bedtime. Soon after, I noticed that the first change is the concentration and relaxation. For me, concentration and relaxation are tough. I can't focus on relaxation and not thinking of something. I get used to being extremely busy, to the point that if I didn't have several things lined up, I felt not settled and uncomfortable.
When I practice PSG (most of the time) I can concentrate and put everything aside. The relaxation of the whole body came with the concentration. At the end of each session, I felt my breath is even; my entire body was very light, comfortable, and relaxed; mostly, my mind was peaceful and tranquil. I was quite surprised.
My physical condition and strength improved
Breathing is a problem for me. I'm the type of person who doesn't remember to breathe, and whenever needed it, I took a deep breath. This habit made my breath not even. During PSG, I mostly pay attention to breathe deeply, long, evenly, and delicately as instructed. Breathing also helps me to concentrate. Soon my breath reaches the diaphragm. According to PSG, breathing to the diaphragm is highly desirable.
Due to my lung cancer metastatic to the brain, the brain tumors compress the motion control center. I'm paralyzed on the right side. I never stop exercising, so I can walk, but my right hand is still paralyzed. When I started to exercise PSG, I felt slightly tingling and numb on my left arm and hand at the beginning. Eventually, such as numbness, itch, and tingling are more evident on the right side. After one month, my right hand can move slightly with the rhythm of my left hand during PSG. It makes me quite excited.
PSG offers some explanations
Qi（气）in PSG is the most crucial element. When Qi flows inside the body, you'll have different feelings based on the disease or health of the body, such as soreness (酸), pain (痛), numbness and tingling (麻), itchiness (痒), bulge and swelling (胀).
In my practice, I have had all of the above feelings, especially the right half of my body from tingling, bugle, and numbness to soreness and pain.
A perfect physical and mental activity for cancer patients
It's recommended to practice PSG for 100 days to see the outcome. I have been practiced PSG for two months, and have already made up my mind to continue to go to higher levels. Recently, I just started meditation for cancer patients.3 PSG is a "soft" exercise and combined with a meditation practice for the cancer patient. These two exercises are a "match made in heaven".
I'm not trying to convince anybody to practice PSG or meditation.2,3 Whatever suits you and makes you comfortable, you should practice that.
What exercises (whether physical or mental) have you found helpful to practice while managing lung cancer? Share in the comments!
Is there a lung cancer metaphor that bothers you the most?
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