I struggle with FSHD. FSHD is a specific type of muscular dystrophy… a degenerative muscle disease. It is the third most common type of muscular dystrophy. It is a genetic mutation that can be passed from generation to generation. FSHD causes muscle loss and weakness. It affects one-in-8000 people. The symptoms can be mild or severe. There currently is no cure.
I started practicing Hung Ga style kung fu in 2009. In addition to the kung fu training, qigong was also part of the curriculum. I soon discovered the benefits of the qigong practice, especially how it helped my breathing and balance. I learned various qigong forms that strengthened qi flow, and internal energy.
One positive effect of practicing qigong is that I do not get sick. I may get a little sniffle once in a while when the seasons change, but other than a sniffle, I have not been sick (cold, flu) in many years.
I scheduled an appointment at the MDA clinic at Johns Hopkins. During the exam, I mentioned to the doctor that I practice kung fu and qigong regularly. After the exam, the doctor said that he was not exactly sure what kung fu and qigong is, and said "don't stop what I was doing... I was in much better condition than other patients that he sees."
During on of my regular check-ups at the MDA clinic, the doctor asked me if I was waking up with headaches. "Yes." I answered, I was waking with headaches. He explained to me that he thought the FSHD could be weakening my diaphragm and he wanted me to schedule a breathing test. I started practicing more focused qigong breathing exercised to strengthen my diaphragm and improve my breathing. Almost immediately, the headaches stopped. The breathing test showed normal.
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