Whole Life Magazine

August / September 2016

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Page 41 of 43

42 wholelifetimes.com My lungs and sinuses suffered major damage at the site of the World Trade Center. Other health issues, ranging from hearing loss to depression, ensued, causing me to balloon to more than 300 pounds. At a funeral for a fellow fi refi ghter who died of 9/11-related lung cancer, I looked around at the low turnout and mentioned my disappointment to our lieutenant. Noticing the small number attending he said, "I'll show up for your funeral." I turned to him and said, "I'll show up for yours too, pal." We were a dying breed. This is what motivated me to fi nd natural solutions. During a spiritual vision I saw myself healthy and strong, on a beach practicing a slow martial art. I moved to San Diego to make the healthiest version of me, and ate organic food and drank smoothies. I removed toxic food and people from my life and began my two-year sabbatical to get well. I had no prior knowledge of Qigong, [but] I was led to a mind-body studio and attended powerful Qigong classes. During a "breath empowerment" practice, my lungs had never felt so strong. My ribcage expanded and I felt real energy surge through me like nothing I had ever known. I was buzzing with energy for days afterward. I attended a large seminar at the studio and initially I felt out of place, but when I did the practices with hundreds of others, it felt even more powerful than what I had experienced from my small group. Focusing on Qi energy, concentrating on breath and moving slowly had a profound effect on me and seemingly most everyone else in attendance. I found the Qigong practice slowed my overly active New Yorker mind and allowed me to focus on giving my body and soul some long overdue healing energy. On the September 11th anniversary in 2013, I woke up and went to the beach and did a Qigong healing form with the rising sun. I did it by myself, for myself, for the fi rst time ever, and I felt energy pulsing and surging all around me, just as my spiritual vision years earlier had shown me. That day I was with San Diego FDNY retirees aboard the USS Midway reading the names of rescue workers and fl ight crews lost 12 years earlier. My Qigong morning made the most diffi cult day of the year easier somehow, and gave me a sense of peace and calm that stays with me today. Since fi nding the practice of Qigong, I've not taken addictive prescriptions and I've had tremendous results with food-based healing. I've now lost 80 pounds and my lung capacity shows signifi cant improvement. I believe we all can help ourselves by practicing Qigong, especially my fi refi ghter family. Improved physical health, specifi cally better lung capacity, if an important benefi t of this ancient practice. —Qi Revolution comes to the Anaheim Convention Center 8/19– 21. Firefi ghters and veterans are admitted free. 800.298.8970 or www.QiRevolution.com backwords QIGONG AND THE FIREFIGHTER By Jonathan Henderson An ancient technique helps a modern problem A s of press time, 37,000 acres have burned in L.A.'s Santa Clarita Valley mountains. The air is bad for us, but just imagine how it is for fi refi ghters. Firefi ghter Jonathan Henderson was on-duty in the Twin Towers on 9/11, and then volunteered for 30 days of 12-hour shifts to help recover the remains of friends and colleagues. Hundreds of fi refi ghters died that day, and Henderson believes the death toll is still climbing due to inhaled toxic particles. One of the lucky ones, he found relief. This is his story.

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