Taichi Healing For Cancer Patients

Taichi 1There is a basic difference between eastern and western medicine. While eastern wisdom (yoga, meditation, Taichi and other practices) suggests the body’s ability to heal itself, the western medicine has always relied on external medication. Irrespective of the region in which one is born, the new word is to use both as complimentary to each other.

The Prologue

Before going further, I would like to clarify as some of you might be surprised as to the presence of this article relating to an ancient technique on a site related to cancer. Well the connection will become clearer as you go through this information. Basically it deals with a latest research carried out to correlate the concepts of regeneration of cancerous cells with an ancient techniques of breathing and exercise, something similar to yoga, if you like.

About Taichi

Vaguely aware of Taichi, I often thought if there existed a relationship between Taichi and healing. But first let us understand what is Taichi so that we are in a better position to undertand how it works.

Tai Chi Chuan refers to an ancient art of self defense (you could say something like martial arts) and has a history as old as about 2000 years. Basically it is a mixture of meditation and exercise because involves being still like in meditation and moving like in exercise. It combines slow moving exercises with practices requiring stillness of the mind.

Basically the words Tai and Chi refer to two opposite yet complementary energies whose union is necessary for the development of lifeforce. Coincidentally I am reminded of the concept of Sakti-Siva in vedic tradition where the two forces are required for the universe to exist and propagate.


Our lifestyles have undergone phenomenal changes. We longer have an active lifestyle and have shifted to sedentary lifestyles. The level of stress in a modern man’s life has increased manifold. Today healing has become an all the more an important task.

Taichi a set of seemingly mild exercise is a low impact cardiovascular exercise that causes minimum wear and tear to the joints and muscles. It trains one to slow down in terms of speed and breath deep which converts the postures to powerful self healing exercises with right impact at the right place. Taichi has the potential to improve health and increase the happiness quotient of people practicing it.

Taichi and Pao’s Law of Excercise

There are four basic components of Taichi on which the entire phenomenon of Taichi healing is based. Pao Yen calls it Pao’s Law of Exercise. The four pillars are:

  • Deep Breathing

Deep Breathing increases the level of oxygen in the blood. Adequate quantity of oxygen in the blood is a prerequisite for good health. Shallow breathing limits the level of oxygen in the blood and also induces cell mutation. Mutated cells in large quantity in the body lead to trouble. While Taichi helps draw more oxygen it also slows down the heart rate. This trains the heart rate to slow down after a surge which could be caused by stress.

  •  Slow Movement

This one is pretty interesting. It is about cheating the brain to believe that no movement is taking place in the body. The moment the brain senses movement, it blocks most of capillary beds in the internal organs in order to divert blood to the muscles. Slow movement, moving only two leg bones and pelvis and minimizing movement in the upper body makes the brain to believe that there is no movement and keeps the capillary beds open in the organs.

  •  Interplay of increase in heart rate and deep breathing

 As one shifts the body weight from one leg to another it results in stress. The nervous system signals the heart to increase the heart rate but deep breathing has an opposite effect and it slows down the heart rate. The heart rate moves like a toggle, up and down. The blood would flow with stronger jerking motion than normal flow. Some blood would reach capillary beds in the internal organs initiating the healing process.

  •  Increase in Stroke Volume

Continuous movement of the legs sends large volume of used blood to the heart. This results in causing the heart to pump more blood through the arteries with a stronger stroke every time. The surge in the heart rate with a high stroke volume is an efficient technique of injecting blood to all capillaries and sinusoids. These are the tiniest of blood vessels with their beds in the internal organs and even the brain. This extra push ensures that blood not bypass the capillary beds.


Pao’s Law of Exercise is a hypothesis that explains deep breathing and slow

Taichi Session in progress

Taichi Session in progress

movement can raise the heart rate by putting stress on the heart with the objective of sending more blood and in turn more oxygen to all organs and stimulate the growth of new cells.  There are some cautions suggested by Pao Yen with regards practice and expectation of results.

  •  Taichi cannot heal everything;
  • It is important to monitor and observe health signs in the first few months;
  • Taichi is not be practiced on full stomach;
  • Do not overdo it

The Cancer Connection

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Since Taichi helps to supply extra oxygen and overcome damage of cells, it can be very useful for cancer patients, especially in preventing relapse. Pao gives a formula for the same as

Net Healing = Gross Healing – Deterioration x 24 hours –  Damage from chemo


  • Deterioration = deterioration caused by illnesses
  • Damage = Good cells killed by medical treatments and side effects

We will not go into the details of this in this introductory article but anyone interested in knowing more can surely contact me via CFC website.

Some of the effects that Taichi has on cancer condition are as follows:

  • Tai Chi strengthens the immune system – increases cytokines levels which help fight cancer cells and prevent/slow down  their spread.
  •  Bodily functions like sleep, digestion etc are improved this imparting energy an vigor to the patient
  • It aids in getting rid of toxins within the body which helps in faster healing and response to treatment
  • Chi improves cell movement thus making it easier to control cancer
  • Taichi helps to make the person mentally stronger and can cope with the association conditions of cancer treatment such as anxiety, depression and stress more readily
  • It helps to improve the body resistance which is vital during chemotherapy since body is more prone to negative side during this phase.

Other Evidence

Infact there have been studies to find a connection between improvements in condition of breast cancer survivors. One such study was carried out by

Mustian and his colleagues in 2009 and was published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports under DOI 10.1159/000134301

This research clearly showed a positive correlation between Taichi and its positive effects in which the subjects showed higher levels of strength, aerobic capacity and QOL

An Interesting Observation

In ancient China the physicians only received a fee as long as their clients remained healthy and not after they fall sick. It was believed that in this way they would be more interested to further health than to wait for sick people to get their earnings.

I really wish this simple yet strong concept could be seen in today’s perspective when ethical issues are a serious concern in most professions including medicine.

Author’s Note:

After talking mainly about Pao’s work, I must also relate to my own experiences and knowledge regarding the ancient science of Yoga. The breathing techniques known as Pranayama stress on the need to breathe slowly and have several advantages to offer. I find this concept closely related to Taichi principles and it should not be surprising as basically the knowledge in both ancient cultures of India and China was well flourished and the seers had deep knowledge of the fundamentals of science.

Perhaps what we are learning today is more of a rediscovery of the same concepts, although being a medical professional myself I am not at all underestimating modern day medicine or techniques. I only mean to say that

Reference and Acknowledgement from CFC Team:

This write up would not have been possible without the input of Mr Pao Yen, an Electronics Engineer from the University of California, Berkeley. He now works in his profession but has a passion for music as well as independent research on different aspects trying to correlate science with the ancient concepts

This information was gathered as a result months of independent research by Pao and he was kind enough to share the information with us in the form of his research paper titled: Taichi Healing & Pao’s Law of Excercise

We are also thankful to Dr Divya for analyzing this research report and applying her own thoughts to it and coming up with this brilliant write up for our viewers.

Legal Disclaimer: The above research was done in an independent manner by Pao Yen and has not been published officially by any research institute at this stage, hence this is just for advisory purpose and in no manner should be taken as medical advice. Any person or any cancer patient interested in doing the above techniques should only do after properly consulting their doctors with whom they are undergoing treatment.
  • divyamittal-photo
  • DivyaMittal
  • A medico by profession M.D. (Pathology) having trained in lab techniques and apart from working at Dr Lalpath Labs, she likes to research, learn and write about various areas of knowledge. Associated with CFC, Metaphysics Knowledge and Abhishek Solutions as a Guest Contributor.