Movement Master, Certified Qigong Instructor, Author, and Recovery Advocate
In a recent episode of the podcast Navigating Cancer TOGETHER, I talked with Steven Washington and he shared his personal journey of overcoming addiction and how movement, particularly qigong, played a vital role in his recovery. This blog post will delve into the key takeaways from the episode and explore the healing power of movement and qigong for cancer patients and those in recovery.
The Power of Movement
Steven emphasized the importance of movement in his life, describing it as his first love. Whether it's dance, pilates, or qigong, movement has the ability to heal and connect us to our bodies. Steven believes that our relationship with our bodies is essential for emotional, physical, and spiritual growth. Movement helps us manage stress, restore energy reserves, and tap into our body's natural healing properties.
Qigong is a movement practice that combines flowing movements, standing postures, deep breathing, self-massage, and focused intention to activate, cultivate, and circulate life force energy. The word "qigong" translates to "energy work" or "skillful cultivation of energy." It helps us become more skillful at managing our energy, which includes physical, emotional, and mental aspects. Qigong also reinforces our connection to nature and the universe, bringing us into harmony and balance.
"I know the power of it and that movement is a very healing practice for each and every one of us." - Steven Washington
Benefits of Qigong for Cancer Patients
Qigong can be a valuable practice for cancer patients and those in recovery. It helps manage stress, which is often heightened during the cancer journey. Qigong's adaptability makes it accessible to individuals with limited physical energy, allowing them to engage in movements even while seated or lying down. By focusing on breath and awareness, qigong helps regulate the nervous system, promoting calmness and rational thinking. It also facilitates the flow of energy in the body, supporting overall well-being and aiding in the restoration of energy reserves depleted by cancer and its treatments.
The Mind-Body Connection
Qigong highlights the mind-body connection, emphasizing the interplay between our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. By turning inward and practicing self-awareness, qigong helps individuals check in with themselves, notice their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. This awareness allows for better self-care, acceptance, and the ability to navigate challenges with clarity and resilience.
Recovering You, Soul Care and Mindful Movement for Overcoming Addiction
Steven's book, "Recovering You," is a self-care manual for individuals dealing with addiction in all its forms. It emphasizes the importance of self-care, nurturing oneself, and accepting one's journey. The book offers practical tips, personal stories, and guidance on topics such as fear, shame, social support, perception, gratitude, and faith. It serves as a reminder that individuals are not alone and that recovery and transformation are possible. Get your copy.
Amazon link for Recovering you. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1608687953?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_CXV6C8V9JTZWHDFGSC2X
By incorporating movement and practices like qigong into their lives, individuals diagnosed with cancer, caregivers, and those in recovery can enhance their overall well-being, find inner strength, and navigate their journey with greater resilience and self-compassion.
Listen to the full episode to learn more about Steven and the work he is doing to help people move more and be mindful about self-care. Check it out by clicking the episode in the SmartPlayer below, on Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast app.
Read the transcript here.
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