Qigong help's Ellen against MS

It has taken some time for me to build courage enough to write my personal story but now it's time. We all have our individual things to improve. I hope my story will inspire someone to try this training method.

For about 10 years, I've suffered from MS. Through a patient organization I got to know two guys that practice Zhineng Qigong. They were very enthusiastic about the training and I could see how good it was for them. It made me curious and I attended some lectures about Qigong. But I was a student when I was diagnosed and I thought I couldn't afford a course.

Relapse

In 2004 I got a relapse. My health was fluctuating for about two years. My right arm and leg stopped functioning and I lost sensation in them. I got fatigue, also called MS-fatigue and something happened with my hearing which made me hear everything. I got nerve pain in the right half of my body and various other body functions that you take for granted stopped working, (my menstrual cycle, blood circulation, urinary tract etc). I was kind of in and out of a fog. I didn't care how much medicines I took. As much as I could I repressed how bad a shape my body was in. I did everything I could to feel good. During those years I also fell in love. It was really like a roller coaster. I was fighting like an animal to manage to work for ten hours a week with completely adjusted tasks.

Qigong Project

In 2006 the Swedish association for persons with neurological disabilities in Gothenburg organized a Zhineng Qigong project. The organization paid part of the course fee and my neurologist wrote a certificate to my employer saying that Qigong could improve my health by better blood circulation, body awareness and balance. I paid nothing for my first basic course and health care money from work has covered several basic courses since that.

I attended my first basic course as in a fog but I practised at home almost every day. Just after a couple of weeks those around me noticed that I walked steadier. My boss told me that my eyes showed that something good had happened and that's really how I experienced it.

Besides better balance I got some warmth back in my feet and I had more energy. I noticed that I more rarely had to take my energy pills to be able to function (a medicine against fatigue). I continued to practice Qigong for a year and a half, a time when me and my boyfriend bought a house and renovated it. I stood practicing in the dust to be able to be a part of the work – I love working! In connection to moving I lost my practising routine. Even though I haven't been free from symptoms at any time since 2004 I could honestly say that I felt good. At work I could be of greater use again. But the problem with for instance the hearing nerve, made it impossible for me to get back to my ordinary tasks at work.

Another Relapse

On the holiday of 2008 it was time to change the roof, fun but very exhausting. Just after we were done I got a new relapse and in connection to that all the former symptoms of MS came back like a hurricane. It was time to find my way back to practising Qigong. I started to join group training and basic courses. Gradually I managed to practise more and more at home. My body was healing slowly but surely and I signed up for my first Summer Course in 2009. I had not experienced anything like that before.

Qigong helps Ellen against MS

Improvements from Training

The years passing since then have been very exciting. I've continued to practise and I've attended several basic courses. MS is a complex and very individual disease that goes up and down. I think that the training and anti-retroviral drug, hand in hand, makes me feel as good as possible regardless of the state of my disease.

I can relate some improvements immediately to my Qigong training and that's the reason I continue practising. I'll give some examples: After the Summer Course 2009 I got a horrible cold. That usually means that all the symptoms of MS come back. This time, even if I had a cold, I felt very energetic. We could prepare for our wedding the way we had planned. At the wedding we had planned for a place where I could sit down to have a rest but I didn't need to sit down. I could even stand up to hug all our guests outside the church.

Eight hours of studying

After the relapse 2008 I was on leave and started to study. The first semester I could keep concentration not more than three hours a day. If I studied more than that I was exhausted. The tiredness could even make me slur my words. The semester after the summer course I shocked myself by studying five to six hours. When the education was about to end in the spring, some days could even contain eight hours of studying.

I've reduced my night sleep from ten – twelve hours to about eight hours.

I don't use my wheelchair as much as before.

Today I use the same dose of nerve pain medicines that I started to take in 2004. I haven't touched my energy pills since September 2009. I've halved the dose of my asthma medicines. (Notes: The changing in medication is done in consultation with my doctor!)

Sensation returned

At the summer course in 2009 I got the sensation back in the skin in the right half of the face. Now, just getting back from my second summer course, I got the sensation back in the skin on my right leg. Even more cool is that I can feel my right foot and calf, the awareness of my body, that it exists is back. It's great to feel both feet against the ground I walk on!

Most grateful for

Among all the positive things there are two things that I'm the most grateful for. One is that the mental fatigue has improved so much. It feels like I'm getting my original brain back and I've longed for it for many years. What's just as fantastic is that the hearing nerve has healed. In the autumn 2009 I thought it was getting worse again. At a basic course I was almost getting angry as the volume was so high... Until I understood that it was itching and I had pain inside my ears. During a period of time I got pain inside my ears when practicing. Sometimes it felt like a razor blade. Sometimes it tickled, it was driving me mad. At the same time I noticed that I could withstand more sounds in my everyday life without panic in the body. In consultation with my neurologist I tried to stop taking the medicine that reduced the hearing. Today I get pain from some specific sounds when I'm very tired but I can manage to go to a café, spend time with friends who have kids, and I can move around in town without ear plugs. Now when I've finished my education and I'm back at work I've even been able to take back some of my original tasks.

Grateful to Qigong

After having been diagnosed, from the beginning I've tried to do everything not to feel sick. I think it's a part of my personality (and former experiences from crises) but I thank Qigong for feeling this good despite a body with MS. Now I look forward to a new exciting year of practice.

Ellen J Weist