Summary: This article is an introduction to how a Medical QiGong or Dao Yin (Energy medicine), a Chinese Health Therapist, or a Zhong Yi (Chinese Doctor/Priest) would compliment oncology (cancer) treatment in the United States.

Over the last 20 years, I have sadly watched several of my family members die from cancer. Cancer does not care how benevolent of a person you are, if you have your life's work ahead of you, or if you have a child to raise. It is evil and murderous by its own self-defined nature. Cancer is a mutant of the humane genome that has gone berserk, and only looks out for its own life source, not concerning itself with the life force of its host, nor of their families.

I have also come to realize that the western medical perspective is very limited in its knowledge of Chinese Medical practices, and how the Chinese in their isolated country, have been treating cancer since before 200 BC! Surprisingly, even modern TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners are rarely trained in etiology, pathology or treatment methods of cancer since most of what is taught in existing acupuncture schools and brought to the west, is a homogenized blend of medicine, as defined by the communist takeover after 1949.

In an ancient text unearthed from the Yin Dynasty (16th - 11the century BC), written word of impaired circulation, congestion and stagnation of blood and Qi (the force that moves life) were accurately described long before Western civilization termed the word “cancer”. The newly formed word for cancer is “Ai” in Chinese medical texts.

For cancer patients in China, the complete system of Chinese Medicine is the foremost way to treat with western medical concepts being second. By a complete system, I mean many herbs are used (but no prescription drugs such as chemotherapy), along with acupuncture, Gui Sha, Anmo, Chinese diet therapy, as well as one of the most successful modalities Medical QiGong (the original Energy Medicine). In fact in many countries other than the United States, over 100 successful research studies have been completed on Medical QiGong for cancer alone since 1980. The Zhong Yi is capable of performing all of these modalities and can pick and choose which therapy is best suited for the individual. In the United States, The Chinese Health Therapist (CHT) certification incorporates Medical QiGong (Dao Yin Therapy) with Chinese herbs, Chinese nutritional therapy (which is different than western diet therapy), supplements, essential oils and homeopathic treatment protocols.

As I finished my internship in Chinese Medicine oncology, I began to think about how a local leading hospital in Pittsburgh is working on isolating Chinese medical herbs for cancer through a grant by a pharmaceutical company. Obviously, they feel that Chinese herbs are an effective treatment protocol; otherwise, 10 million dollars would not have been set aside to study them. I sincerely hope in one aspect that they do discover and isolate a particular alkaloid or glycoside, but in another way, I pray researchers understand that cancer is multifactorial by nature, and needs to be treated with a complete multifactorial approach. This concept follows the Tao.

The classical Chinese approach to cancer is that it arrives in one or more of the following five source imbalances of Yin and Yang: environmental, chemical, biological, physical, and psychological. For a western trained mind, the psychological manifestation of cancer is rarely believed, however, in Chinese Medicine it is one of the many factors we consider. Many people have heard of Yin and Yang, and when one over dominates or controls the other, potential for diseases of any kind can be at hand. Luckily in the Chinese Medical system, subtle imbalances will show up far before ones blood work is at a critical level.

Specifically, tumors and cysts are one of many diseases that respond well to Dao Yin training (Medical QiGong training), according to the Chinese Text the General Treatise on the Etiology and Symptomatology of Diseases. Chinese herbals are finding their way into mainstream medicine as well. An example is the use of a wormwood derivative being effective in treating breast cancer. However, one must keep in mind that Chinese Herbal medicine works best synergistically. In other words, a classic Chinese herbal formula will contain a multitude of herbs not just a single herbal ingredient for the most dynamic effect, as well as the addition of Medical QiGong.

Even after successful treatment and the patient is “cancer free,” the CHT will encourage the patient to monitor their diet, maintain emotional stability, increase physical exercise via Medical QiGong prescriptions and avoid exposure to pollutants. The adage “once at risk - always at risk” applies here.

One of the differences between western medical approach and the Chinese approach to cancer in is the names given to different types of cancer thus defining their treatment protocols. In the west, for example, we have tumors empowered by the names intracystic papillomas and fibroadenomas. Many times based on the name assigned alone; prescription drugs will be given. For example, In the treatment of lymph node cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, treatment is all or nothing according to Science News (1), who went on to say that chemotherapy does not work in 60% of the cases. The same magazine also went on to admit that cancer cells, although outwardly similar, must vary from patient to patient!

As a Zhong Yi, we do not choose to name a particular cyst, but look to uncover from what source it come into power and grew; therein finding the weak link or imbalance in the body/mind and correcting it before cancer can grow elsewhere. In Chinese Medicine, cancer cells are looked at as “infant bodies' which absorb nourishment from the host (mother) body for their own growth; thus, they are named “pathogenic or evil embryos”. Cancer cells are actually components of the “original” or “mother” body.

From a Zhong Yi perspective, cyst, tumors and cancer in general are referred to as “A retention of mass,” with retention meaning stagnation of blood and Qi. Cysts, tumors and cancer originate from flowing substances in the body such as Qi, blood, Phlegm (substantial and non substantial) and turbid Gu Qi (food). Qi and blood can stagnate when they are attacked by pathogenic factors and gradually form into substance of a lump or cyst and follow a certain pattern of trajectory. As an example, when a benign cyst develops into a formation of a soft or hard lump and exposed as a nodule under the skin, this would indicate a disease associated with one or several of the Twelve Primary Channels manifesting through the Twelve Skin Zones.

We also note certain patterns in the clinic of where cancer will travel next. For example, if a woman has a malignant breast tumor, we know that even if surgically the lump is removed, the next possible occurrence for cancer will follow the conception or thrusting vessels and will end up elsewhere along these vessels. This is because from the Chinese Medicine perspective the “top of the flower” was plucked, but the “root” remains. That is why we treat long after the patients have surgery or radiation therapy and one is never really “cancer free.”

The CHT tries to empower the patient by returning them back to a state of Self-Empowerment and at least partial control of their healthcare. The CHT prescribe exercises, tones, meditations and treatment protocols that the patient is responsible for completing each day. It no longer is just “what can the doctor do for me,” it is “I have a part in how this plays out as well.” This has enormous ramifications on the psyche of the patient and can only help to alleviate the patients suffering, even if the doctor in charge of your care does not believe in the therapy at all.

The best news is that by performing Medical QiGong therapy, it is not contraindicated while completing radiation, chemotherapy or even surgery. I have personally assisted cancer patients at Sloane Keetering Cancer Hospital in New York City and I know of one Medical QiGong Doctor that actually assisted in the operating room while major surgery was performed. Interestingly enough, recovery time was reduced and there were fewer side effects from anesthesia.

Although in China, Medical QiGong and herbs are used primarily without any western intervention for treatment of cancer, I still believe in using all that is available. After all, cancer is vicious and relentless in its pursuit to control the host body. It is my sincere wish that wisdom from both sides on the ocean can come together, ego aside, and work together to better control one of the most frightening disease mankind has combated. It is also my hope that thousands of years of written and oral Chinese knowledge will not be abandoned because “new is better.” Perhaps if we merge modern science and ancient Chinese science we can beat cancer before our egos cause cancer to beat us all.

Dr. Ted J. Cibik, PhD, ND, DMQ, is a board certified Naturopathic Doctor, a Doctor of Medical QiGong and a Zhong Yi specializing in oncology and immunology.
Dr. Cibik educates health care professionals, patients and their families on how to incorporate Chinese Medicine into cancer protocols.
You can reach him at or for CHT training.

1) Science News; Jan 12, 2002;Vol 161, No 2

Author's Bio: 

Ted Cibik, PhD, ND, DMQ has been passionate about meditation and healing since childhood. Dr. Cibik has has been introduced on radio and television as the “Renaissance Man” for his diverse interests and training in science, healing, spirituality, and martial arts.
Dr. Cibik is the executive Director of Inner Strength, Inc – a Mind Body Education and treatment center. He serves on the board of Directors of the NQA and is a member of the World Academic Society of Medical QiGong. Dr. Cibik has lectured before the National Institutes of Health on QiGong and exercise science several times and is a founding member of the Annual Taoist Gathering in the United States. His books, DVD’s and intensive training retreats can be found at