Craig has been practicing Chi gong (Qi gong, Chi kung or Qi kung) since 1980. See below to learn more about how he earned the trust of his Qigong (Chi gong) tearcher to teach him and how he overcame a lethal disease afflicting him by doing Qigong.
Since 1987, Craig has been using Qi (Chi) healing to help people battle against cancer (colon, brain, lung), emphysema, ALS, paralysis, asthma, severed spinal cords, migraines, pain management, arthritis, scoliosis, cystic fribrosis, broken bones, various sports injuries and more. He did this during his spare time without any financial gain, and everyone who has been treated thus far has made significant progress and recovery.
Craig was also the one of the first Caucasian stuntman/actors in Chinese kung fu movies in 1979 in Taiwan, has lectured on combat choreography at Yale School of Drama and was Sam Raimi's fight choreographer on ABC TV's Spy Game and a fight directing apprentice on CBS's Martial Law. He was also the screenwriter on the award-winning film Red Trousers, and is a freelance journalist writing on Asian martial arts cinema. He is currently the official Film Correspondent for KungFuMagazine.com, and frequently writes for Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine.
Here is the story about how Qigong (Chi gong) has saved Craig's life
At the end of March, 2008, it will be my 53rd birthday. Hey, and next month (April, 2008), it will be my wife and I’s 27th wedding anniversary. Time is sure zipping by, feels like we’ve only been married for about five years.
I have now been doing chi gong for about 28 years. I have been off all medication and therapies since August of 1980 (was on 30 pills/day, and two hours of therapy/day, and taking a crap on average 5-6 times a day for about 17 years or so prior to learning chi). Although I could not run much, I had plenty of the runs.
I would also add that I do not condone others to come off their medication because many peculiar things happened to me, which led to that decision.
Who I am today, physically, emotionally and spiritually (not religious), I owe to martial arts and learning chi gong. It does not matter what style you practice because ultimately the goal of a real martial artist is to train not to fight and learn to heal rather than hurt.
So why are martial arts and chi so good for someone with Cystic Fibrosis (CF)?
For me, the answer began around age three or four.
CF is usually characterized by chronic obstructive lung disease, pancreatic insufficiency and abnormally high loss of electrolytes caused by excessive sweating. The course of CF is dismal. The average survival age is 20 years. Some live longer. Treatment consists of heavy medication (30 pills a day) and painful therapeutic procedures for many years. Since early childhood, thick mucus scarred my lungs. I suffered countless influenza infections. In an effort to loosen the clinging mucus that clogged my breathing passages, my father tried to bring me relief by pounding my thoracic cavity, a procedure that left my chest red and raw. I coughed so violently that I could not inhale quickly enough to deal with the next fit of coughing. The pain felt as if my head was exploding. The days when I coughed up blood were attended by fear, panic and unbearable pain. My condition at the age of 16 was beyond hope. I was expected to die. http://livingindubiously.com/cystic-fibrosis-and-chi-gong/
As a kid growing up in England in a soccer family (my dad was a pro in Scotland and both of my older brothers were great players), I was barely able to run 20 feet before dropping from sheer exhaustion, which always ended up in me coughing my guts out (A picture of Craig as a little boy on the right).
But I wanted to be like my dad, so instead of him having me run around, I would stand in one place and kick a soccer ball to him. So over the years, both of my legs and knees got stronger from just kicking the ball. Influenced by watching a Bruce Lee film at the local drive-in theater, in 1972, I got bitten by the martial arts bug. It seemed a logical transition to take my soccer ball kicking habit and with a few tweaks here and there, begin to kick a punching bag or the air.
And then a remarkable event happened. One day, a Bruce Lee film appeared at the movies. It piqued my interest to pursue a path of studying Chinese kung-fu. Lee’s books often described anecdotal tales of how abandoned children, given up for dying from unknown diseases, were adopted by monks who intercepted their lives in wondrous ways. The emaciated children were taught chigong breathing methods, a secret practice known by this special sect of Sho Lin Monks. The children eventually became experts in martial arts perpetuated by legends of ancient China.http://livingindubiously.com/cystic-fibrosis-and-chi-gong/
Traditional martial arts practice strengthens one’s legs and knees through stance training, where I would stand, for example, in a low horse stance (so named because it looks like your sitting on an invisible horse), for hours a day (not all in one go mind you).
The purpose of stance training is to not only strengthen your legs and knees but to also teach you discipline and push you to see how far you can go.
So meanwhile, I was now throwing about 1000 kicks per day as well as doing various, other excruciatingly painful and difficult stances. Although I was still taking heavy meds and therapies, I did notice that my lungs were getting stronger, and even though after long coughing bouts and coughing up blood, I was able to recover faster.
By the time I got to the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1979, the doctors had already written me off (if you know what I mean), but I was there to find a chi gong teacher. To make a long story short, I found a teacher and you know the rest of the story.
I met an actor named Lee Li. Although he initially denied any secret knowledge, Lee eventually admitted his special expertise and offered to teach me chi-gong. A cold rainy morning greeted my first lesson. Lee instructed me to climb a nearby mountain and wait for him at the top next to a statue of Buddha. The monsoons were early so it rained continuously. After waiting in the rain for five hours, I heard the monks begin their pre-lunch chanting. Frantically, I ran down the mountain and explained to Lee that I was late for school. He said, “See you tomorrow at seven.”
Part of the Oriental tradition is to test a student’s sincerity, patience and discipline. Lee had me standing in the rain, five hours a day, at the top of a mountain for 30 straight days. Upon completion of this ordeal, against his teacher’s wishes, Lee accepted me as his first, last, and only student.
Chi-gong can be one or a series of breathing exercises that are performed standing or lying down. All breathing is done with the mouth closed. Lee taught me one movement a month for four months. Five months later and to this day, I have been off all medications and therapies. I finally found a way to control CF and not have CF control me. In 1986, to publicize chi-gong as a therapy for CF, I walked 26 miles/day for 115 days to complete successfully a heavily publicized 3,000 mile walk across America.http://livingindubiously.com/cystic-fibrosis-and-chi-gong/
Furthermore, chi gong, which is basically breathing exercises, teaches one to fill the upper lobe of the lungs with oxygen (normal breathing does not do this, even for those without lung problems). This is important because this is where a lot of infectious, anaerobic (oxygen hating) bacteria hang out.
So if I might proffer to you, for those willing to discover a different dimension of yourself, and to find a new kind of strength and therapy for helping your health and strengthening your lungs, I would propose you to investigate the martial arts as a way of life and living, and learning chi gong as a way of attaining things you never knew about yourself or your body.
What martial arts you might say? Something with kicks and stance training (just about most of them) and a teacher who is more concerned about the welfare of his students than the welfare of his pocketbook. Just remember as in life and all of its challenges…walk on, walk on, you will never walk alone. http://livingindubiously.com/we-all-need-strength-to-go-on/
Craig has been a Chi healer since 1987.
Ph.D. Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S. National Taiwan Univ., Taipei, Taiwan
B.S. Cornell University
Freelance Health and Science Writing for:
REUTERS Dogs World FDA Consumer
Your Health Canadian Pharmacy Let’s Live
National Wildlife Magazine U.S. Pharmacy Outdoor California
Your Health Kung-fu/Qi-gong Cat Fancy
Ontario Outdoors Texas Parks
Samples of Craig's articles:
Top 20 Martial Arts Films of All Time, Black Belt,
Review: 'Fight Choreography: The Art if Non-Verbal Dialogue', Kung Fu Cinema,
Guest Speaker: Yale University School of Drama.
Adjunct Professor: Univ. of Missouri St. Louis.
Visiting Teacher: University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.
MADD – University of Illinois Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Sanka's Leader of American Walkers Award.
Tele-Sav Award for bravery and sacrifice.
Letters of commendation from the Queen of England, Pope John Paul III and Former President Ronald Reagan.
November 18th, Declaration of "Craig Reid Day" in Bismarck, North Dakota.
President of Cornell's Chinese Student Association.
Craig's film works
Red Trousers: The Life of the Hong Kong Stuntmen
Invited speaker at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles,
Invited speaker at National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C.,
Kung-fu Cinema: Masters of Shaolin