Article | Chen-Wen Yen
Photo | Pete Lawrence
On Thanksgiving day, we received the email from Mrs. Yen.
“Dear Master Zhao and Sharon
I am thinking of Master Zhao today because it is the day. I sincerely hope he is doing very well as before. This may be too much to ask for when we are all aging. At least I wish his days are peaceful and his family doing well. I reflect on those days we were seeing him so often for his care and I am grateful for our encounters. As expected, in our old age we have the challenges of medical issues and we are not as mobile. Still, I hope to drive up north to see him personally soon, please tell him to stay strong for all of us.
I think I am getting a bit sentimental but I treasure his existence.
Have a wonderful day and we are sending our love,
Chen-wan and Ike”
I become somewhat sentimental too and searched our old archive. So here it is, the story dated in 2016 from her own count. – Sharon
By: Chen-wan Yen
Occupation: Physicist/Space Engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Birth: 1932 in Taiwan
Nine years ago at age 65, I was diagnosed with cancer (indolent non-Hodgkins lymphoma). I had a tumor growing on my left parotid gland. Until the diagnosis I had been living a conventional busy but healthy life and severe sickness was a foreign notion. The initial shock of being handed down with the C-word was enough to drain the strength I thought I had and I was on a path of despair and quick weight loss. Conventional treatment (radiation therapy) arrangements were made and it was to take place in a few weeks. While I was waiting for the big event, I began to search for the why’s of the illness, learn about treatment options/consequences and looked into non-conventional alternative methods. I stumbled upon Qi-qong by way of a book and my niece who had just avoided a painful back operation with the help of Master Zhao. She suggested that I try Master Zhao. For me, a totally westernized scientist who embraces the predictability and certainty of science, this was a somewhat desperate move, but a larger part of it was motivated by curiosity. After all, this experiment posed no down-side risk.
My first encounter with Master Zhao’s Qi was rather unusual. As he moved his healing hand over me I felt a mild electric shock and I just jumped off the bed in an attempt to quell the “zzzzz” sensation in my body. It was a totally strange sensation. Master Zhao simply said that I am extremely sensitive and this is advantageous for having Qi-qong treatment. Within a week of my first encounter, my spirit was up and I could feel my strength returning. Also the pain of the cuts and inflammation following a biopsy incision was eased with at every treatment. I phoned home to my anxious husband to tell him that I am canceling the radiation treatment and will try this new treatment for a while. Although I terminated the radiation treatment, I continued to have regular blood tests and kept a watchful eye on the tumor.
For the following eight years, I incorporated various Qi-qong exercises (quiet-standing, lying down, slow-moving and walking types) into my daily routines. Twice a day for about one hour each, during the morning and at night I persisted even when I came down with the flu. I have also changed my diet to eliminate foods Master Zhao suggested that I avoid. This is in addition to regular visits for treatment by him; initially three times every other week, then every month and down to a few times a year. The tumor stayed dormant and shrank considerably by the eighth year and I was finally feeling relief from the burden of the illness.
The joy of doing Qi-qong came to me quickly. As soon as I learned to quiet my mind and to relax, a sensation of “high” followed and I have been almost addicted to the exercises. My initial experience with Qi-qong was full of thrills and for the first time in my life I was able to feel various parts of my body and to communicate with my body and observe my own psyche. I seemed to have gained another dimension of awareness beyond the intellectual mind. Although I do not feel that I have become proficient in the art of Qi-qong even with my persistence, I learned to relax my body and gained the health benefits. The flow of Qi in the body can be felt whenever I pay attention to it.
Among the many strange experiences I had, especially in the early days were:
1) Early in the treatment and my own practice of Qi-qong I would experience a strange annoying body odor and find myself in the shower many times; but the showers did not help. However, it appeared that others were not able to detect the smell. So I appeared to be getting a super sensitive smelling capability. This kind of episode disappeared after about a month.
2) At times I felt sharp pains running through parts of my body and they startled me during my practice. All were transient in nature and would not last more than 5 to 10 seconds. They occurred in areas such as the tips of the fingers, feet, or thighs; very unlikely places.
3) For about the first three years, I was plagued with itchy lower legs. It got to be so bad they had an ugly red look. The interesting experience associated with this problem was that the itch always started in late afternoon (~4 pm) and would irritate me through the evening until I did Qi-qong to quiet my body and mind. Then, it stayed calm until the next day. According to Qi-qong postulates, the itches and pimple-like secretion on the legs are the sloughing off of toxins. Qi-qong was definitely an indispensable tool in getting relief from the maddening itches.
At about eight and half years into this cancer journey, as I was feeling great and relaxed about the illness, I had a setback. The neck area below the tumor started to swell from what looked like an infection. My primary physician and I did not think it was related to the original tumor and tried to suppress it with antibiotics. But it was to no avail. After several weeks I was miserable and desperate. I did not want to run to the Oncologist I had at that time because I was afraid she would over-treat me in a hurry. This is the occasion when I have realized how wonderful it is to have Master Zhao on my side. I phoned Master Zhao as I was in pain from the inflammation. He administered distant healing on the telephone to ease the pain. It indeed subdued the pain and I had a decent sleep that night. The next morning we hurried to Fremont for more treatment. The healing effects of his Qi were truly amazing. He prevailed and changed my seemingly unbearable misery into a spirit willing to try once again to reverse the condition. But this time, the situation was not stable. I had several ups and downs and was putting up with considerable discomfort. I will get phone healing occasionally and be amazed at the relief I can get each time but somehow I did not have the sustaining power. Finally, after talking with Master Zhao, I surrendered to immunotherapy treatment at Cedars-Saini Hospital in Los Angeles. It is a procedure that is relatively non-toxic compared to a chemotherapy and I was able to pull through in good condition. I believe that the physical condition I have built over the years had rewarded me. The drastic medical treatment has almost eliminated the tumor but my body feels somewhat weakened. As with all cancer, there is the fear of recurrence and I am no exception. But I know I can count on Qi-qong and Master Zhao to help me in the next stage of my challenges and struggles.
About Mater Zhao
Fate brought me to Master Zhao. A meeting of a mystical healer and a hard-core scientist is a bit awkward at first. Initially, the tales of the many miraculous healings he had provided sounded unreal but I kept my mind open and researched as much as possible the ground rules of such simple principles as “if Qi flows smoothly one is well”. My own experience and meeting people with dramatic experiences convinced me of the benefits of Qi-qong; albeit I am unable to understand exactly how it works. Nonetheless, my admiration for the extraordinary healer has deepened as time went on. He is a straight forward speaking guy and approaches patients with genuine compassion. At a time when the current medical system offers impersonal, cold technology based treatments this alternate method is both heart warming, supportive and effective. The visits to his clinic are a joy, there is always laughter surrounding you (compare that to the waiting room in a cancer clinic) and you go in and come out feeling revitalized by his Qi. I believe and am looking forward to a day that the mystery of Qi and health benefits will be revealed scientifically and we can live a more rational life.