Qigong is still somewhat of a mystery in the West, but a few specialists are making a name for themselves in this ancient practice. Cathy Fox is one of them.
After sustaining serious injuries in a traffic accident in Thailand, Cathy Fox was faced with a lifelong future of pain, fatigue and medication. She was only in her early 20’s at the time, and the idea of this existence was horrifying. After becoming disillusioned with Western medicine, Cathy set her sights a little farther afield. What she discovered would change the course of her life forever.
I spoke with Cathy about her experiences and, surprisingly, how she found ancient therapies to self heal and excitingly ; to heal others.
Cathy Fox – I discovered Amatsu therapy first, here in Ireland, and was amazed by its effectiveness from the very first session. It gave me great relief and allowed my body to function and move better but I still suffered with daily pain and a very weakened immune system.
A year or so later, whilst living in New Zealand, I came across the practice of Qigong and the teachings of Ren Xue (The Study of Human Life). These practices and teachings have been the key to transforming my health and wellbeing.
My Good Planet: Can you tell us a little about Amatsu and the conditions it can treat?
Cathy Fox – Amatsu is an ancient Japanese holistic therapy, which uses gentle interaction with the soft tissues of the body and unique mobilization and re-patterning techniques to balance and treat the whole body, not just the symptoms. It can help with a wide range of problems such as; neck restrictions and whiplash, back and pelvic pain, sciatica, cranio-sacral problems, headaches, digestion disorders and IBS, discomfort during pregnancy.
This is by no means a complete list.
My Good Planet: How does Qigong help to heal?
Cathy Fox – Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that uses the consciousness, breathing, Qi (Chi or Life Force) and the body, through postures and movements, to effect continuous positive changes in Qi, thereby leading to the improvement of health and elevation of the consciousness.
The system of Qigong I use is called Yuan Gong. It’s a new and innovative version of Qigong designed for the modern era.The practice of Qigong is to improve the Qi condition of the body, the Chinese understood that a better Qi condition is the base for better physical and mental health. The most common and obvious effects of practicing Yuan Gong Qigong regularly are; stress reduction, mental clarity and calmness, increased energy levels, improved internal strength and stability, facilitates positive changes to health and alleviates symptoms and promotes and increases overall wellbeing.
My Good Planet: You also mentioned Ren Xue (The Study of Human Life), this sounds fascinating, can you explain it a little for us?
Cathy Fox – Ren Xue is an holistic system of knowledge that draws upon ancient wisdom culture, contemporary philosophy and modern science.In combination it lays the foundation for a new science with it’s ethos being the understanding of all aspects, or the totality of life.Through gaining better understanding of human life, especially the consciousness, and it’s relationship with Qi, and both our internal and external environments, healing on a very fundamental level can take place, as well as the elevation life and of society as a whole.
My Good Planet: Can Amatsu be useful to new mums, post-natally, as they recover?
Cathy Fox – Absolutely! In fact it’s very important.
Child birth is a very traumatic experience for the body. Not to mention the massive physical adaptations the body has to go through during pregnancy. During the birthing process the pubic bones separate quite significantly in order for the baby to pass with ease.
However, quite often the pubic bones do not align themselves back together again properly causing a huge imbalance in the pelvis.
It can prevent the pelvic floor from re-establishing it’s muscle tone, which can later lead to prolapse.
This destabilization of the pelvis will have a huge impact on the pelvic and hip muscles also as they will have to work harder to support simple functions such as walking. Because of this, symptoms such as sciatica and lower back, even neck pain can arise.
Even cesareans can cause problems too as the scar tissue, which runs through multiple layers of tissue, can pull on surrounding connective tissue which will cause, what we call patterns or lesions in the soft tissue. This can also create pelvic imbalances.
Amatsu can help in both incidences with it’s unique and non invasive techniques. It can also help the body to heal more efficiently by gently bringing it into homeostasis, the bodies neurological state for self-healing, and by helping to bring the hormonal system back into balance.
Babies can also benefit from the treatments. Gentle cranio-sacral work can relieve them of conditions such as colic, or an inability to breastfeed on both sides, ie favouring one breast over the other due to discomfort within their body.
Amatsu is a therapy service Cathy Fox provides for others, however, she teaches regular Yuan Gong classes and workshops in order for people to learn, practice and benefit from these methods themselves. Ren Xue topics are also taught and discussed during these.
Cathy can be found working from her home in BallyMurray, Co.Roscommon or alternatively at her Therapy Rooms in Athlone.You can find out more or contact her through her official website or Facebook page.