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Natural Awakenings Tucson

How Qigong Healed a Wounded 9/11 Firefighter

May 29, 2016 07:19PM ● By Jonathan Henderson

On duty the morning of September 11, 2001, I searched for lost friends after the tower collapsed and then volunteered for 30 days of 12-hour shifts to recover their remains. Three-hundred forty three firefighters died that day and the death toll is still climbing as a result of breathing in toxic particles. 

My lungs and sinuses suffered major damage at the trade towers site and everything from hearing loss to depression set in, which caused me to balloon to over 300 pounds. At a funeral for a firefighter who died of September 11 related lung cancer, I looked around at the low turnout and mentioned my disappointment to our lieutenant. Looking at the small number attending he said, “I’ll show up for your funeral.” I turned and said, “I’ll show up for yours too, pal.” Seeing we were a dying breed and there was major mishandling of healthcare for firefighters impacted by September 11th is what motivated me to find natural solutions. 

During a spiritual vision, I saw my healthy-self on a beach practicing a slow martial art, having had no prior knowledge of qigong. I moved to San Diego to make the healthiest version of me and ate organic foods and smoothies. I removed toxic food and people from my life for a two-year sabbatical to get well. Soon, I was led to a mind-body studio and attended powerful qigong classes. During a “Breath Empowerment” my lungs never felt so big! My ribcage had expanded and I felt real energy surge through me like nothing I had ever known. I was buzzing for days after. 

The studio was promoting a big seminar called “Qi Revolution” and I attended based on their suggestion. Initially, I felt out of place with what seemed like mostly new age people in attendance, but when I did the practices with hundreds of others it felt even more powerful than what I had known from my small group. Pressing on qi, concentrating on breath and moving slowly had a great effect on me and most everyone else in attendance. I found qigong practice slowed my overly active New Yorker mind allowing me to focus on giving my body and soul some long overdue healing energy. September 11th anniversaries are emotional for those connected.

September 11, 2013, I was with San Diego FDNY retirees aboard the USS Midway reading names of rescue workers and flight crews lost 12 years earlier. That morning I woke up and went to the beach and did Supreme Science Qigong Level-1 healing form with a rising sun. I did it by myself for myself for the first time ever and I felt energy pulsing and surging all around me—it was as my spiritual vision had shown me. It made the most difficult day of the year easier somehow and gave me peace and calmness that stays with me now.

Since finding qigong I’ve not taken addictive prescriptions and I’ve had tremendous results with food-based healing. I’ve lost 80 pounds and my lung capacity shows significant improvement. Everyone can help themselves with qigong, especially my firefighter family. Anyone seeking improved physical health, specifically better lung capacity, will benefit greatly from the Qi Revolution seminar.

August 12-14 Qi Revolution comes to Phoenix Convention Center. $99 for two-days and one-night of training! Open to public. Firefighters and veterans admitted free. For details, call 800-298-8970 or visit See ad on page 4

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