Dr. Cynthia : Li Qigong Miracle: Healing Journey with Dr. Cynthia Li | Nathan Crane Podcast Episode 41

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Join our conversation with Dr. Cynthia Li as we unravel the miraculous impact of qigong on her profound health transformation. 

Explore the ancient practice that became Dr. Li’s secret weapon against autoimmune struggles and chronic conditions, and learn how this mind-body exercise played a pivotal role in her rehabilitation journey.¬†

Our discussion delves into the harmonious blend of traditional practices with cutting-edge insights.  

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Your host, Nathan Crane, is a Certified Holistic Cancer Coach, Best-Selling Author, Inspirational Speaker, Cancer-Health Researcher and Educator, and 20X Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker with Over 15 Years in the Health Field.

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Audio Transcript

 

(This transcript was auto-generated so there may be some errors)

00:00:00:01 – 00:00:10:08
Nathan Crane
Welcome back to the podcast. I am really excited to have Dr. Cynthia Lee here with us today. Cynthia, thanks so much for coming on the podcast.

00:00:11:13 – 00:00:12:17
Cynthia Li
Thank you for having me, Nathan.

00:00:13:08 – 00:00:38:22
Nathan Crane
So for those who don’t know Dr. Cynthia Lee, she is a functional medicine practitioner who went through her own radical health transformation through the help of qigong, which we can talk about, healed her own autoimmune disease and multiple diagnoses, and has been helping people all over the world. She wrote a book. I highly encourage you to go check out called Brave New Medicine.

00:00:38:22 – 00:01:08:02
Nathan Crane
It’s about her journey. It’s about bringing some of these ancient healing methods into conventional medicine. She’s incredibly brilliant and her story is really impactful. Cynthia, We were just talking offline, I remember. Geez, it’s already been like five or six years. I think I came to your house and got to film you and your husband and your and your daughters and about your journey and about, you know, basically how you were really near death’s doorstep.

00:01:08:02 – 00:01:44:01
Nathan Crane
I mean, bedridden for years and very sick. And you were a practicing medical doctor at that time, and you couldn’t practice. And going through all of this, I’m sure, tremendous not only physical pain and chronic fatigue, but, you know, the mental, emotional anguish that came from that. And then finding a practice in ancient practice that actually revitalized you and gave you new life and got you back on your feet and got you to a place of health and got you to a place where you could write a book about it and teach about it and work with patients again.

00:01:44:01 – 00:02:15:18
Nathan Crane
So, I mean, for those who don’t who haven’t seen it that entire hour, basically many documentaries on YouTube, people can go watch it, just search Doctor Cynthia’s name and you’ll be able to find it. But yeah, well, again, awesome to see you and reconnect. Thanks for coming on the podcast. I’m excited to dove into, you know, your story and your journey and what you’re up to now and talk about what qigong is and how it, you know, helped you in your own life and have a great conversation with you.

00:02:15:18 – 00:02:16:11
Nathan Crane
So thanks again.

00:02:17:10 – 00:02:17:20
Cynthia Li
Great.

00:02:18:03 – 00:02:34:24
Nathan Crane
Thank you so let’s for people who don’t know your story, share a little bit about it. What happened? I mean, you were you were a conventional medical doctor, right? And then, you know, you were you started experiencing some chronic fatigue. And what happened? Can you share a little bit about that?

00:02:35:24 – 00:03:01:17
Cynthia Li
Yeah, I mean, just kind of in a in a nutshell, I was a few years out of my residency training in internal medicine, so I was a specialist in adult chronic diseases. And shortly after my first daughter was born, I developed Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. So an autoimmune form of thyroid was a thyroid condition that actually in the postpartum phase it often resolves.

00:03:01:17 – 00:03:27:06
Cynthia Li
So that is different than the then the more chronic form that people are familiar with. So mine resolved about a year later, but my symptoms actually continued. So resolved, meaning that my numbers by my, my blood tests it had resolved, but I actually felt largely the same. I didn’t I wasn’t sleeping well. I was tired. I was losing weight.

00:03:28:09 – 00:03:59:10
Cynthia Li
At that point, though, I was still very functional. You know, I was young, I was in my early thirties, and so I was still working full time. You know, having the new baby have been active, has been so even in my own book, I was fine. You know, like the numbers kind of dictated everything. And then it was a couple of years later, I got pregnant the second time, and that’s when things got really, really intense.

00:03:59:10 – 00:04:33:22
Cynthia Li
So it was the beginning of what would be ten years of chronic fatigue syndrome disorder. No MIA, which is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls largely subconscious body functions like breathing, digestion, heart rate, blood pressure. So that was it was it was in disarray. And then a few other conditions that kind of go they always they often go together, you know, fibromyalgia, brain fog, things like that.

00:04:33:22 – 00:05:02:06
Cynthia Li
So it was really a journey into the unknowns of Western medicine, right? So and I had seen patients on the other side as a doctor, on the other side of the bedside, not knowing really what to do with these patients, not knowing what to offer them, you know, other than the the standard antidepressant or painkiller, you know, physical therapy, those kinds of things.

00:05:02:06 – 00:05:36:15
Cynthia Li
And so after a couple of years of of pretty significant debilitation, I mean, I was largely housebound for actually for several years, but the first two years were very critical. And that was when I was not able to work even part-time. So I began to really focus on things outside of my paradigm. It didn’t come easily to me because my paradigm really represented kind of the truth of how not just my body works, but how the world works.

00:05:37:03 – 00:05:54:08
Cynthia Li
And then it began actually with seeing an acupuncturist who began to teach me both about the holistic way of understanding the body and the systems, not just as one system, but really connected to the ecosystems around me.

00:05:54:15 – 00:06:29:10
Nathan Crane
And when you say when you say my paradigm at that time, you’re talking about your conventionally trained paradigm. Right? Which is basically, you know, just biology as you learn it. You know, as a doctor, you know, typically you’re treating really symptoms, you know, management and symptom management. It’s not really disease reversal, right? It’s generally pharmacology and so forth to take care of whatever the issue is rather than you know, which holistic medicine is generally looking at the root cause, like what’s actually causing this and how do we address that?

00:06:30:24 – 00:06:33:19
Nathan Crane
And so that’s when you say my paradigm is are you talking about right?

00:06:35:03 – 00:07:00:14
Cynthia Li
Yes. And also actually really relying on diagnostics. Right. So looking at sort of the hard facts, the measurable facts. And so if you know, because the way I was trained was you either have, you know, some diagnostic results or you have a set of criteria, and then you get a you get a diagnosis and then the treatment hinges on the diagnosis.

00:07:01:23 – 00:07:14:19
Cynthia Li
So in my case, my, you know, my numbers, even when I was very debilitated, you know, after the second pregnancy, they were they were always normal. Mm. Including my thyroid.

00:07:15:09 – 00:07:18:05
Nathan Crane
So I had to refer, I had to be really frustrating.

00:07:19:05 – 00:07:56:10
Cynthia Li
Very frustrating, very confusing. And, and also scary, right. Because it’s like your experience is that there’s something seriously wrong. And then the data shows that everything is actually within normal range. And so there’s a lot of self-questioning. But there’s also this the fear is recognizing that, well, there’s actually nothing that these doctors. Right, these specialists, these world renowned specialists who I was seeing in San Francisco, and it’s like there’s there’s nothing there, so nothing to work with.

00:07:57:12 – 00:08:27:00
Cynthia Li
So it’s scary, you know, just to know like, yeah, if you’re feeling really, really acutely unwell, you go, where do you go? Right. There’s nowhere really to go. So continuing with that was, was really challenging. And so when I found this, this acupuncturist and I had tried about five different ones before, one really clicked and was just like, whoa, you know, like he’s not just treating me, he’s actually teaching me.

00:08:27:08 – 00:08:55:13
Cynthia Li
And we would actually teach each other, translated, you know, in, in traditional Chinese medicine terms to Western terms, what was going on. And yeah, so I learned a lot about the body as ecosystem, as an ecosystem within an ecosystem, and then the micro ecosystems within my body as well. I also learned about those first and I learned about QI, about energy, subtle energy.

00:08:56:10 – 00:09:30:16
Cynthia Li
I didn’t know really what he was talking about other than I knew I was deficient in it. And then I also, you know, was, was coupling it with Western science. I dove into environmental health and learning about the pollutants and how they affect our bodies and also the ways in which we can detoxify. So it was kind of a it was very much a stepwise progression for me, partly because it just took that long for me to break out of my paradigm.

00:09:31:04 – 00:10:01:05
Cynthia Li
But it also was just a limitation of how where I was energetically so I, you know, I didn’t I didn’t have the wherewithal to even attend a medical conference on integrative medicine or functional medicine. I also I didn’t know about functional medicine. It was very, very nascent at that time. And so I hadn’t heard the term. I didn’t know what it was until several years later.

00:10:01:05 – 00:10:42:12
Cynthia Li
And so then when I finally came across functional medicine as a paradigm of medicine and how to apply some of these, you know, this ecosystem medicine into a, into a clinical setting in a body, you know, working with one body, whether it was mind or a patient’s area. I was like, I’m so grateful. Like, wow, people have actually worked out this paradigm using, you know, science, using diagnostics, blood tests, urine tests, salivary tests and other imaging studies to to couple it with this holistic paradigm that I was learning from my acupuncturist.

00:10:43:03 – 00:11:18:15
Nathan Crane
You know, I think that’s fascinating because a lot of people don’t realize that ancient medicines like traditional Chinese medicine, TCM, have been around for thousands of years and they have all of this historical, all of these historical records and basically, you know, case studies and the passing down of this information and this wisdom through, you know, a continuous exploration and experimentation with this these forms of medicine, whether it’s acupuncture, it’s it’s herbology, it’s herbalism, it’s qigong, right?

00:11:18:15 – 00:11:52:12
Nathan Crane
This stems back thousands and thousands of years. And it’s incredibly effective. And the more science of our modern day that comes in and basically is testing these ancient methodologies in laboratory settings are all they’re doing is confirming and validating what, you know, these let’s call them doctors basically, you know, have done for thousands of years and said, yes, this works this way with our bodies and with our minds and with our emotions, with our spirits.

00:11:52:12 – 00:12:09:10
Nathan Crane
And these herbs do this and these plants do this. And if we put these needles here and these actually point on these active points and we do this acupressure and we do this, this is what happens to the body of the nervous system, etc.. And it’s like every time that I because I like to, to back things up with science as well.

00:12:09:10 – 00:12:33:06
Nathan Crane
And so I’ve been doing, you know, pulling up different references on qigong and different references on TCM. And it’s like all of our modern science is validating what these ancient methods have already discovered thousands of years ago. The thing is, is most people don’t know this stuff exists, right? You and I were just talking previously that, like, I think you attribute, you know, qigong to basically helping save your life, right?

00:12:33:06 – 00:13:00:17
Nathan Crane
Or at least help you get healthy again. And yet most people don’t even know what qigong is. They’re like, what is that? You know, is that like a game you play with your kids, like qigong? Like, what is that? You know, it’s like most people don’t even know it is. So can you talk a little bit about that, how you discovered qigong, you know, what it did to help you through your healing transformation and then even share, you know, some of the things you’ve discovered about qigong that maybe you had no idea about it.

00:13:02:18 – 00:13:34:18
Cynthia Li
And so and I know just from, our earlier talk that you’ve had various qigong masters and healers on your podcast. So I just for people, for, you know, for whom it’s totally new. She is energy or lifeforce energy is like vitality and gong and is cultivation or work. So it’s really essentially it’s a it’s a practice of cultivating energy.

00:13:35:08 – 00:14:15:06
Cynthia Li
And I would say it’s more also about managing energy, right? How do we manage our energy and the the most optimal way? And then also what does that even mean? So when I began, I first heard the term from my acupuncturist, because qigong is the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s the foundation of martial arts, right. So for people who don’t know what she going is, it’s it’s this foundation of martial arts, which most people know, foundation of TAICHI And it’s just a system of theories and, and practice methods.

00:14:16:05 – 00:14:53:01
Cynthia Li
So there are hundreds of different schools or lineages. And I know that you and I got introduced to the same one coaching in Qigong, so that’s the one that I’m really going to speak about. I don’t purport to know a lot about the other lineages, but, you know, my acupuncturist had first mentioned it to me to consider practicing because it would help me between the treatment sessions and not only would it help me between the treatment sessions, but in terms of energy and just overall health.

00:14:53:16 – 00:15:18:12
Cynthia Li
But it was something that I was doing with myself. It was a self-empowerment thing, as opposed to me going to him to get treated. And so there would be a big shift in that. But, you know, I was I was not I don’t know, I was it it took me a long time to become open to that idea and to feel like I even had enough sort of mental motivation or energy to try something else, because I was already doing a lot and I had two really young kids.

00:15:19:02 – 00:15:21:06
Cynthia Li
So I put it off.

00:15:21:06 – 00:15:28:04
Nathan Crane
And then when you were mostly bedridden at this time, when you were doing acupuncture and learning about qigong, were you still pretty bedridden?

00:15:28:24 – 00:15:59:12
Cynthia Li
Yes, I was. But I hadn’t I wasn’t practicing qigong. I had heard it. And then I kind of got troubled by the acupuncture. And then I was I was changing my diet. I had learned about the association between gluten and I don’t mean thyroid disease, among other, you know, chronic inflammatory conditions and also dairy. And I was kind of doing these testing on myself just didn’t.

00:15:59:12 – 00:16:26:07
Cynthia Li
And back then, the food allergy testing and all that was not as widely available as it is today. So I was already experiencing some improvement. And then I was going into a whole sort of diet, ancestral diet. What does it mean? How do how do we cook? How do we prepare foods? So I was already beginning a lot of that shift myself together with the acupuncture treatments.

00:16:27:00 – 00:16:54:06
Cynthia Li
And then I was also taking herbs from him. So then I don’t even remember now a few years later, I had run into my midwife, my former midwife, and she looked great and she was also a mentor to me. She wasn’t just my midwife. She was a mentor in healing and in wisdom, and she was really an elder in the community.

00:16:54:06 – 00:17:21:00
Cynthia Li
And she looked radiant, you know, and she’s she’s old enough to be my mom. And so I said, God, you know, you look great, but what’s new in your life? And she said, Oh, you know, I just got certified as in qigong instructor. I’m like, What? So she was the one who took me to a workshop. This was when you’re being told the, the teacher used, collaborated with and studied with for a long time.

00:17:21:06 – 00:17:21:12
Cynthia Li
Yeah.

00:17:21:12 – 00:17:25:03
Nathan Crane
Good friend, really good friend. He was on the podcast. Yeah. Ming Tong Goo.

00:17:26:04 – 00:17:48:06
Cynthia Li
Yeah, he was. He was in the, he was still in the Bay Area at the time. He had not moved to New Mexico. So I attended a workshop with my midwife and, and that was really the beginning. But I will say that in the beginning it was it was very pragmatic. It was very much like I mean, it still is pragmatic, but it was very, very pragmatic.

00:17:48:06 – 00:18:10:16
Cynthia Li
It was like, okay, this is a mind body exercise. Okay? I see it as a way to rehabilitate. So what I had understood about my condition and we’re learning a lot more about this now, at least in the mainstream because of Long-Covid, right? Like back ten, 15 years ago, chronic Fatigue Syndrome was really still thought of as a it’s largely in your head.

00:18:10:16 – 00:18:44:01
Cynthia Li
Does it really exist? And long COVID has actually kind of really opened that dialog up looking at how infections rate and other triggers that that we are exposed to in the environment can really wreak havoc on some people. So some people who are predisposed to that and there’s hormonal imbalances, there’s immune system dysfunction, there’s nervous system imbalance. So gut inflammation, gut flora, imbalances.

00:18:44:01 – 00:19:10:11
Cynthia Li
And so all this stuff now is much more well-known, which is wonderful. I mean, but it’s sad because you it’s taken an epidemic to kind of open our eyes. And so back when I was beginning, she thought it was very pragmatic like that, like, okay, I knew I had nervous system and hormonal balances and here was a rehabilitation method to do that for the inside.

00:19:10:19 – 00:19:31:19
Cynthia Li
So it’s like physical therapy for my inner workings was how I approached it and, and I started with like 15 minutes a day. And so that’s just one day. I kind of went in, highlighted and said, you know, each of us, we just start where we can. So it’s 15 minutes twice a day, that kind of thing, wherever we are.

00:19:32:07 – 00:20:14:02
Cynthia Li
So with couple of young kids being tired, I was working part time now, but very part time. And so yeah, 15, 20 minutes a day, then twice a day. And I started actually experiencing some improvement, not just in terms of my energy and, and even my balance of equilibrium was that was a really big challenge for me. But what I called accessory symptoms, like things like waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to have to go urinate, you know, like seeing other and a lot of the fibromyalgia, a lot of the aches and pains.

00:20:14:02 – 00:20:24:00
Cynthia Li
Some of them I didn’t even know they were there. They were so constant that I kind of like a low level buzz. I didn’t even know they were there until it was gone.

00:20:24:06 – 00:20:46:19
Nathan Crane
Yeah, those are crazy. Like, you get so used to a constant chronic pain. I mean, it’s happened to me in my in my traps a few years ago where it was like, you know, it’s like a level seven pain just turning your neck and it never goes away. And you get so used to it that all of a sudden, one day, you know, you turn your head and it’s no longer there and you’re like, well, wait, what?

00:20:46:22 – 00:21:07:22
Nathan Crane
What happened? You know? And it’s like it’s really amazing at how the mind can adapt to whatever that chronic health challenges that we’re going through. And it’s like it’s always lingering there, but you kind of start to adapt and get used to it and you think, this is I wrote a blog about this many years ago, which is we’ve kind of normalized disease, right?

00:21:07:22 – 00:21:28:09
Nathan Crane
Where we feel we’ve come to this kind of belief as a society that we feel that disease is normal, like it’s just part of life, is aches and pains, is chronic fatigue, is cancer. This whatever, like this is normal. We’re supposed to be tired at 3:00 in the afternoon. We’re supposed to be fatigued and lose our cognitive function as we age.

00:21:28:09 – 00:21:47:14
Nathan Crane
We’re supposed to have these diseases. And even though we’ve normalized it, it doesn’t mean that it has to be normal in our lives. And it certainly doesn’t mean that it has to be natural either. Yeah, sure. You’re 80, 90, 100 years old at the very end of your life, you know, maybe some of these things, but we don’t have to normalize these things.

00:21:47:14 – 00:22:09:10
Nathan Crane
And we have so much evidence of this, certainly in multiple countries around the world, people living in their late seventies, eighties, nineties, hundreds with very little to no disease, very little to no chronic pain, chronic fatigue, lots of energy, very active, very healthy. So it’s not just one random person in one area. It’s multiple people in multiple countries, in multiple cultures around the world.

00:22:09:10 – 00:22:26:18
Nathan Crane
So we know that’s a potential that’s a human potential, I think, for all of us. But we have to change. I think we have to change that normalization of, you know, disease and pain. All these things are just part of life. They can be. And also they don’t necessarily have to be.

00:22:27:17 – 00:22:54:21
Cynthia Li
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Because and that’s one thing that qigong and teas and traditional Chinese medicine really opened me up to is to really reframe things. You know, in Western science, we’re really looking at right means a lot of times like the averages, right and right. And what you’re talking about. Yeah. Is just is normalizing disease but also normalizing our feeling suboptimal and wellness is kind of just the norm.

00:22:56:01 – 00:23:35:18
Cynthia Li
And so but we forget because everyone around us or most people around us might be right kind of on this on a slow or rapid decline and oh, it’s okay. I’m just not going to complain. And okay is normal, you know, is normal that we’re screening kids, you know, ten, 12 years old for diabetes and high cholesterol like, you know, it’s and I remember when I was in training, which was 20 years ago, I finished training about 20 years ago, but, you know, thyroid conditions were they were common, but they weren’t that common.

00:23:35:18 – 00:24:11:02
Cynthia Li
I mean, and then just a few years out of residency, I remember we were basically screening women within a certain age range for for thyroid levels. And I thought, oh, okay, well, that’s the new normal. You know, so so that is the new normal areas, a little bit dangerous. Yeah. And so with qigong and you know, and to your point about these other cold spots or whatever you call them, but these areas of of healthy longevity around the world is that it opens a beyond the norm.

00:24:11:04 – 00:24:16:02
Cynthia Li
The norms, the averages in the mean it’s like, oh, what is possible.

00:24:16:05 – 00:24:16:14
Nathan Crane
Yeah.

00:24:17:09 – 00:24:23:10
Cynthia Li
What is the potential and can we normalize that.

00:24:24:06 – 00:24:45:12
Nathan Crane
Yeah. How do we normalize that. Right. How do we normalize our potential as human beings. Because I believe our potential is significantly higher than we have limited it to be. And like you said, it should not be normal that we’re screening children at eight years old, nine years old, 11 years old for diabetes, for cancer, for autoimmune disease.

00:24:45:18 – 00:25:06:12
Nathan Crane
These diseases have exploded over the last 70 years. Cancer is one of them. Specifically, my research for the past decade has been primarily on cancer, but in that research I come across heart disease and diabetes and you know, autoimmune disease as well, because I have come to find out they’re basically all disease, they’re all branches of the same tree.

00:25:06:12 – 00:25:33:24
Nathan Crane
And it’s very much the underlying roots of that tree that, you know, lead to all of these diseases in our bodies. And it is sad that it has become normal for children. I mean, cancer is the number one killer of children under 18. Aside from accidents that happen in young children, it’s like it’s the number one killer now, which is insane.

00:25:33:24 – 00:26:02:03
Nathan Crane
Children never used to get cancer 70 years ago. It just wasn’t even a thing. Same thing with diabetes. And then we have all these children who are obese and all these children who are being born with all these autoimmune diseases. And then you find out, you see the EWG, you know, testing that that was done on the cord bloods of the of the umbilical cords and finding out that there’s hundreds of carcinogenic and neuro endocrine disrupting chemicals that are in the umbilical cord.

00:26:02:03 – 00:26:28:18
Nathan Crane
So these babies are already exposed to all these chemicals, not to mention all the stress that has come as part of our society. Yes, technology has made our lives easier in some ways more comfortable or more convenient in many ways. And at the same time, you know, is causing more radiation, is causing more stress in a lot of people’s lives, is causing you know, more damage in a lot of ways, more toxins and chemicals in the environment.

00:26:28:18 – 00:26:46:24
Nathan Crane
So these are all things that we have to deal with. Right. And when you address it with food and diet and nutrition and cleaning up your environment, clean up your water, your air, all the things that, you know, we teach to my companies and conquering cancer and healing life. And a lot of the things that we do, that’s a really important part of it.

00:26:46:24 – 00:27:06:15
Nathan Crane
But at the same token, that’s not everything, right? And that’s something you discovered as you change your diet. You were taking herbs, you’re doing acupuncture, and it’s like those things help and they’re important. But it seems like there’s a missing piece, a missing link. And that’s that’s kind of what I found with the qigong and the parasympathetic nervous system regulation.

00:27:06:20 – 00:27:26:04
Nathan Crane
And, you know, the meditation and the sound healing and all that is like it takes it really goes to a much deeper level of our holistic well-being and nurturing of our lives so that we can self-regulate in a world that is deeply disregulated right now.

00:27:26:04 – 00:28:03:07
Cynthia Li
Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, you touched on a lot. I would say, you know, one thing, not just having lived it myself, but working with patients, whether one on one or in groups and workshop settings. There’s so it feels like there’s so many so much to do. Like it’s very hard to be healthy in a planet that’s not and and that that sense of overwhelm is something that I have encountered a lot.

00:28:03:07 – 00:28:30:23
Cynthia Li
And so it’s, you know, one of my leading edge right now is it’s not an either or. It’s more about how so like we know a lot of what we need to do or what we can do, what others can do in terms of healing themselves, healing their families, healing the communities, healing the earth. And yet it can be really exhausting.

00:28:31:00 – 00:29:03:23
Cynthia Li
I think that that effort, fullness is you know, it is the paradigm of, oh, we got to recharge, you know, we got to go on a retreat or we got to restore, we got to recharge. And so for a while, qigong was like that for me, right? So I when I went beyond the, the kind of prescriptive rehabilitation stuff, I was like, oh, wow, you know, like I can really after some time, I could really feel that she flowing, you know, and I could feel that vitality.

00:29:05:10 – 00:29:37:10
Cynthia Li
But then, you know, all the effort I was putting in living life and, you know, and work and all of it was it felt like a lot. So I often felt like I just had to plug and recharge. And then I actually had another health crisis. This is in 2017 and at this point, I was really at the forefront of internal medicine, functional medicine, integrative medicine, and we haven’t even touched on this, but intuitive healing as well.

00:29:37:10 – 00:29:47:16
Cynthia Li
I, I was sort of my path unfolded and I very reluctantly started exploring several energies in terms of intuition.

00:29:47:16 – 00:29:51:21
Nathan Crane
Like when you’re like with your patients, like as you were treating patients or in what way?

00:29:52:17 – 00:30:09:05
Cynthia Li
Well, later, yeah, once I learned how to really develop it, you know, I was always practicing on myself first, right? So but it came about because of my own healing journey was like suddenly I went from no options to like infinite options. Right? It’s like, which diet do I do?

00:30:09:12 – 00:30:22:09
Nathan Crane
Yeah, that’s it. That’s another problem all by itself. You’re like, there’s nothing we can do for you. Sorry. And then you find this whole other world and you’re like, There’s a million things I can do. Which ones do I do? Right? Yeah, that’s got to be overwhelming in its own right.

00:30:22:09 – 00:30:45:10
Cynthia Li
Like diagnostics, too. And functional medicine can get really complex. Then it’s like, Yeah, this one says, yes, that exists now and that, okay, how do you we and I just I was actually on the receiving end as a patient. I was like, I’m totally overwhelmed. So I ended up there was that a friend who was actually who became a mentor teaching me basically how to develop my intuition.

00:30:45:10 – 00:31:16:07
Cynthia Li
So it was that it was another way into more of the subtle energy realm. But again, I was it was very much a, you know, like a practical another thing in my doctor’s bag. So when I had the second health crisis, I really came to this place where I surrendered. I mean, really, the only thing I could do was go deeper into my own practice.

00:31:16:07 – 00:31:39:24
Cynthia Li
And I was still doing everything else. They were still I was seeing my my Western doctor. I was seeing very gifted, functional medicine practitioner. I was getting IV infusions. I was taking my vitamins and minerals, herbs, you know, you name that I was I was not doing nothing at twice.

00:31:39:24 – 00:31:46:20
Nathan Crane
So this was 2017. You had this next healing crisis. What was that? What happened?

00:31:46:20 – 00:32:13:07
Cynthia Li
Yeah. So it just I mean, there were a whole series of life stresses that happened, but yeah, in my. I couldn’t respond in a way. I think I didn’t even see it. It was just one of those things where I was, you know, I was I had been doing really well for a few years at that point. And so, yeah, it was just like one trigger after another.

00:32:13:13 – 00:32:15:13
Cynthia Li
And then there was a tipping point.

00:32:15:13 – 00:32:18:18
Nathan Crane
So what was the help? Oh, yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

00:32:18:19 – 00:32:45:15
Cynthia Li
I have infections. Yeah, some toxicities, like mold, some life stresses with my family, you know, like just one after another. And I think I just reached this tipping point where I couldn’t couldn’t compensate. But, you know, as hard as it was, it was a gift because and I don’t say that lightly, because I you know, I don’t usually say things like, oh, illness is a gift, you know?

00:32:45:15 – 00:33:08:21
Cynthia Li
And yeah, look at the look at the positive side. It’s because of where I’ve come to now. I say it, but a better word is actually probably less than gifted. It was a very big opening for me. It was an opportunity for me because I had still been managing everything. I had been managing my own practice, I’ve been managing my intuition and I’ve been managing my whole life.

00:33:09:12 – 00:33:28:14
Cynthia Li
And suddenly I just had to surrender it all. I said, I’m still doing things. I’m still seeing people that I need to see. But I dropped into this place in my own practice where I just surrendered into this field, and I didn’t actually know what this field was that I’d been connecting to for four years at this point.

00:33:29:07 – 00:33:53:16
Cynthia Li
And so I came to this place of profound inner, inner emptiness amid all the turmoil, you know, amid all the stuff that’s going on in my body and what was happening to my family. And, you know, the scientific term that I realized was that it was this profound place of physiological coherence.

00:33:53:23 – 00:33:54:07
Nathan Crane
Yeah.

00:33:54:11 – 00:34:24:16
Cynthia Li
I mean, it sounds so you know, it sounds very didactic when I say that. But there’s a state in which that internal energy harmonizes, the field harmonizes so that the brain waves, the heart waves, and then that the breath, the respiratory rate, everything synchronizes. And it’s like mind, body, spirit cues as one. They just function as an integrated unit as opposed to like, I’m going to do this for my mind, I’m going to do this for my body.

00:34:24:16 – 00:34:26:01
Cynthia Li
I’m going to do this for my spirit.

00:34:26:02 – 00:34:48:03
Nathan Crane
Yeah. And Heart the Heart Math Institute, I’m sure you’re aware of, has done a lot of great research on this coherence and what’s actually happening with our HIV, for example, heart rate variability. And you can actually measure coherence. So they have devices, you can measure coherence and I’ve tested them and they really work. And it’s that coherence. Yeah.

00:34:48:03 – 00:35:26:14
Nathan Crane
Where it’s like everything within our organism is all communicating harmoniously together, which it sounds a little ethereal for some people, and there is some authentic aspects to it for sure. There is some nonphysical aspects to it, but it’s very measurable and it’s very palpable, you know, and it’s an important place to be in our lives, right? Because if you’re out of coherence, which means your your nervous system is under stress and it’s not able to communicate properly with the rest of your body, with your brain, with your heart.

00:35:26:14 – 00:35:48:16
Nathan Crane
And when that’s happening, you’re going to have all of these internal physiological responses that are misfiring. Basically, you’re going to have downregulation of the immune system. You’re going to have an excess production of cytokines, even cytokine storms, which is going to lead to, you know, all kinds of issues. You’re going to have chronic inflammation showing up in different areas.

00:35:48:16 – 00:36:14:09
Nathan Crane
You’re going to have all these different kinds of responses in the body that can be like, in your case, diagnosed as some autoimmune disease. But all of your blood markers are normal. All of your markers are normal, and yet you’re still having all these symptoms. And what is that? You know, my only explanation, understanding of that is, look, you are out of coherence with your mind, your body, your heart and your soul.

00:36:14:16 – 00:36:39:04
Nathan Crane
And when those things get into harmony, the body gets into harmony and it starts doing what it’s designed to do, which is to heal itself, to regenerate itself, to thrive. And, you know, you do see that in your own life when you practice something like qigong every single day, you feel I’m speaking from my own experience and the people I’ve talked to over the years is you feel better.

00:36:39:04 – 00:37:05:04
Nathan Crane
You have more clarity, you’re at more peace, more of the time you you have more compassion in your life. And I’m not saying you’re perfect. I’m certainly not perfect. I still get angry from time to time. I still, you know, make mistakes and all of that. But it’s significantly less than it’s ever used to be because I practice qigong every single day, you know, and I get into that state of coherence often, and it is a really powerful and palpable place to be.

00:37:05:14 – 00:37:14:02
Nathan Crane
But I just want to share that because it kind of sparked that idea. But yeah, please continue with your story. So you’re starting to experience this.

00:37:14:02 – 00:37:40:04
Cynthia Li
So yeah, and I did. I also did. I purchased one of the biofeedback devices from her mouth just to test myself like, Oh, when I’m practicing qigong or if I’m doing a patient control, am I incoherent? You know, just, just to see. And so yeah. And I also know there are studies that show, right, that qigong actually affects heart rate variability in the same way that brings you into coherence.

00:37:40:04 – 00:38:08:08
Cynthia Li
And so I’ll just put that out there, right, that by practicing qigong at a certain level, we are practicing coherence and another way that I have been translating coherence for people because, you know, it can get kind of heady sometimes or feel a little bit out there is just embodied flow, right? So this flow state is beyond psychological flow.

00:38:08:08 – 00:38:36:21
Cynthia Li
It’s it’s really an embodied flow. And then the way also that I like to explore well, so one of the questions that kept arising for me was, you know, actually really understanding the body, which is why I went into medicine in the first place. Right. And understanding what it means to be human. But just like, you know, simple questions like, well, if I’m 65% water, why do I experience myself as solid?

00:38:37:11 – 00:39:04:04
Cynthia Li
You know, why do I approach my patient as solid? And then and then if we actually really go into the essence of who we are, right? We go into the cells, we go even more microscopic into the atoms that make up the cells. And what are those atoms is 99.9% empty emptiness where these energy fields, sub subatomic haze, whatever you want to call it, but they’re basically energy free.

00:39:04:20 – 00:39:27:19
Cynthia Li
And so I was I was like, you know, kind of I’m 99.99% energy fields way to experience myself as solid and so it it’s not just it wasn’t a philosophical question it was like it was really pragmatic. Like, wait a minute, if I’m only working with the flesh and bones, you know, of myself, and I go, okay, what am I going to eat?

00:39:27:19 – 00:39:59:09
Cynthia Li
What am I going to do? You know, and vitamins and that all of that is just fine. I’m working with such a small percentage of who I am, right? So I began to really see like qigong as and working with these energy fields and embodying flow was is tremendous the role that it plays in healing. So one thing for me was, like I said, I was still doing all these things for my healing but from a place of that body flow.

00:39:59:09 – 00:40:11:02
Cynthia Li
So it, it felt like I was doing everything but doing nothing. And that’s the only way I can explain it. And that that’s a, you know, that’s a phrase that’s that’s often used in qigong. You’re right.

00:40:11:04 – 00:40:16:03
Nathan Crane
It’s also from the down. Yeah. The Daodejing and from Daoism. Absolutely.

00:40:16:08 – 00:40:19:24
Cynthia Li
Right. And dealing with that tends to.

00:40:21:17 – 00:40:38:16
Nathan Crane
Talk about flow for people, talk about flow for people. How do you define flow? I think everybody’s experienced some level of flow in their life, but that word can also it might trigger some people. Some people might not know exactly what you’re talking about. Talk about flow from your perspective.

00:40:38:16 – 00:41:00:02
Cynthia Li
I mean, I would say like embodied flow, which again, I think is different than psychological flow. I think a lot of people now are aware of psychological flow. Right. You’re just you’re in the zone. You’re super focused, you’re presence and intuition is kind of I don’t know, stuff. It’s almost like stuff is kind of coming through you.

00:41:00:08 – 00:41:17:17
Nathan Crane
I had the best in a good example. That was the best chess game this morning I’ve ever played. I think. And it was I was making moves ahead of the person making moves on the I played real people in chess on the app and it was like I could see every move ahead of time. It was crazy like this.

00:41:17:17 – 00:41:33:15
Nathan Crane
This hasn’t really happened in chess for me before. At this level it’s happened. A lot of other areas in my life was the first time in chess and it was. And I was moving like you know, every 5 seconds. And it was like the perfect move. Perfect move, perfect. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. In like a minute, it was like checkmate.

00:41:33:20 – 00:41:51:21
Nathan Crane
And I’ve never done and it just it was so intuitive. It was a perfect flow. And then I went back and looked at the game review and it was like a zero mistake, zero blunders, like, and everything was like book moves, good moves, great moves. And then the highest you can get is like, like extraordinary, whatever it’s called.

00:41:51:21 – 00:42:12:03
Nathan Crane
And that’s all I had. And it was just like, it felt so amazing. And that was a perfect I’m glad you’re talking about this right now because it was a perfect experience of like that was a psychological flow moment. This morning and it was beautiful. You know, it was really cool. But in but a lot of athletes experience a lot of athlete’s experience.

00:42:12:12 – 00:42:14:08
Nathan Crane
I think what you’re calling embodied flow.

00:42:14:08 – 00:42:36:00
Cynthia Li
That’s actually what I was going to say. Embodied flow, I would say, are these these professional athletes, right? I mean, is that there? And, you know, you have to be a professional athlete. You could be an athlete. You could be playing anything. Right? You could be playing Frisbee at the beach. I mean, it doesn’t matter. But athletes will they talk about they’re kind of in the zone.

00:42:36:09 – 00:43:02:18
Cynthia Li
Right. But they’re but they’re embodied. So it is the mind body kind of coordinated as one. And it’s an expansive state, you know, it’s but it’s it’s expansive and also grounded. And I think that’s where it’s important. The embodied fluid to be in the body is deeply grounding. Right. So you’re not we’re not just kind of exploding out in this energy universe and it’s powerful, you know?

00:43:02:18 – 00:43:30:01
Cynthia Li
And I remember like Gandhi has, he’s been attributed to have said that like there was one one day or one week that was going to be incredibly full for him and complicated. And he said, oh, I must meditate for 2 hours today instead of my usual one, which feels kind of illogical to us from the linear time standpoint.

00:43:30:01 – 00:44:03:14
Cynthia Li
But it’s like, no, he knew he needed to come into that coherence, that flow state in order to move through. Right. Because otherwise it was going to be too much. So it is it’s taking actually a time out and a pause coming into ourselves, coming into alignment resonance and then moving through so that that notion of doing without doing or effortless doing is really accomplishing quite a lot.

00:44:03:19 – 00:44:12:08
Cynthia Li
It’s not idleness. So that’s what was happening with me, you know, as I call it, effortless healing. It was like I was doing everything, but I felt like I was doing nothing.

00:44:12:13 – 00:44:34:21
Nathan Crane
Mhm. That’s, that’s powerful. Yeah. That’s incredible. What was that shift. What was that shift for you. Was it just practicing more qigong. Was it letting go of the expectations and like really just settling into the practice as a, as more of a lifestyle at that point? What do you think was that shift that really got you into that embodied flow state Yeah.

00:44:35:03 – 00:44:57:16
Cynthia Li
I think all of that. I mean, I think that’s what’s hard, you know, for me and also for a lot of I also do check on workshops and coaching and it’s really, really hard to surrender, right? It’s hard to surrender because we feel like either we’re losing control, which is hard enough, but actually we feel like we’re dying, like we’re giving up.

00:44:57:20 – 00:45:39:12
Cynthia Li
And so what’s really important about qigong to me, even beyond my own practice, is this field. So there’s actually we’re not kind of surrendering to like to randomness. There’s a field into which we are surrendering in a field is just the energy field that’s been cultivated by practitioners over millennia. Right. It’s and so quantum science now slowly also beginning to overlap with this notion of fields and even, you know, coming around to potentially saying that we can interact with those fields.

00:45:39:12 – 00:46:01:11
Cynthia Li
I mean, qigong practitioners saying that for a long time, I mean, and experiencing it for a long time. But the science is is catching up. And so so that’s why I say that that second health crisis was a real opportunity and an opening. I don’t know if I would have been able to get there. It’s very hard to get there with if you’re leading with your thinking mind.

00:46:02:05 – 00:46:34:07
Cynthia Li
So the other thing, you know, you said, oh, did you like dictation? That’s the other thing that’s really counter. I don’t think it’s counterintuitive. It’s more counter ration. Does it make sense is one of the things about healing is to also let go the the intention of the outcome just feel it feels really paradoxical but sometimes when we want something so much, we create a resistance to it, right?

00:46:34:07 – 00:47:08:13
Cynthia Li
Because we’re attached to the outcome. And so with the, with the coherence practices with powerful is that we don’t have to actually even deal with what’s going to happen with our thinking. We just practice coherence and then naturally the mind will open and clarify and come into flow. So if we can go directly into the practice as a coherence practice, then oftentimes the healing, the transformation happens inside out rather than us trying to let something go.

00:47:08:13 – 00:47:11:16
Cynthia Li
Yeah. So it’s the palette, it’s the simplicity of it as well.

00:47:12:15 – 00:47:32:00
Nathan Crane
Yeah, it is. It is a difficult thing, right? It’s like I have this condition, this disease, this pain, this challenge, and I want a solution. I want it fixed, I want it gone. I mean, I feel this as an athlete, you know, I’m a competitive CrossFit athlete. I train a significant amount of hours every week and I deal with pain and stuff all the time, you know?

00:47:32:00 – 00:47:49:00
Nathan Crane
And it’s like because I’m pushing my body so hard every day and it’s something I love doing. And a challenge is me. And it helps me grow as a, as a human being. And yet at the same time, you know, there’s there’s things that flare up, you know, knee pain, joint pain, tendinitis, torn shoulder, whatever, these things that happen.

00:47:49:08 – 00:48:07:23
Nathan Crane
And it’s like, I want I want that gone right away so I can continue doing what I love to do. And at the same time, there is a certain surrendering that needs to happen from time to time that says, okay, you know, and I find myself doing this more and more often. I’m sitting down, okay, why did this happen?

00:48:07:23 – 00:48:33:15
Nathan Crane
How, you know, what’s the deeper reason for this? What’s what’s the physical reason for this? What’s the mental emotional reason? What’s the spiritual reason for this? So asking more of those introspective questions and trying to understand at a deeper level other than like, Oh, I did this thing and this pain happened or this issue happened, it’s like it’s good to know that mechanistic set of actions that led to whatever that challenges you’re experiencing.

00:48:34:06 – 00:49:02:19
Nathan Crane
But I find very often a deeper spiritual reason that things have happened as well. It’s what I believe and I recognize it. You know, all of these opportunities, as you said, you’re kind of dealing with your health challenges were not only a gift, but an opening. And I work with a lot of cancer patients. And, you know, the ones who we call cancer conquers stage four diagnosis prognosis with three months left to live.

00:49:02:19 – 00:49:23:09
Nathan Crane
And here they are 20 years later. And I’m interviewing them and they’re cancer free. How did you do it? And what was the biggest eye opening lesson for you? And it was these are people who say cancer was a gift. Why was it a gift? Well, it made me start caring deeper about myself. It made me love myself more.

00:49:23:09 – 00:49:46:20
Nathan Crane
It made me it brought me closer with my family or relationships that I quit, that job that I hated or got out of that abusive relationship. I started taking care of myself when all I ever cared about was taking care of other people. These are just common things. I’ve heard from many cancer patients over the years whose diagnosis did turn into a gift or an opportunity and offered Trinity to say what?

00:49:46:20 – 00:50:09:16
Nathan Crane
What is it in my life that has led to this happening? And how can I use this as an opportunity to to find a deepening in my life or an awakening or more joy or more health or more vitality in my life? And I know that’s not easy. Certainly when you’re feeling sick, when you have pain or it’s a new diagnosis, it’s not easy at all for anyone to look at any of that as a gift.

00:50:09:16 – 00:50:52:20
Nathan Crane
And you may not be able to, but the very least I, I think what you said is the probably the most practical thing people could do is say, what’s the what’s the opening here? How is there an opportunity for me to grow from this, to learn from this, to to be able to expand beyond it, and then, you know, dove into something like qigong, which does really take you into that deepening space, where if you can approach it from that mindset of it’s not a symptom disease treatment paradigm, it’s a let me dove into the essence of all that I am.

00:50:52:20 – 00:51:14:24
Nathan Crane
And all of that is of the universe. And all that is of, of God, of spirit, of my soul, of my being in allow what is the greatest opportunity for my own awakening and the greatest potential for my own life and health and well-being to unfold organically and naturally. And this is why, you know, it being Tong’s retreats in Santa Fe.

00:51:15:09 – 00:51:38:05
Nathan Crane
When I met people there who they went there to that retreat to Heal X Disease, whatever it was, and they leave a week later and their disease isn’t necessarily gone, but they’re ten times happier in their chronic ten year back pain went away. You know, it’s like and they’re on a new path towards finding deeper meaning and happiness and health in their life.

00:51:38:13 – 00:51:53:05
Nathan Crane
And so it’s like those kinds of things happen spontaneously, I think, when we when we enter into that state of coherence more often. And I’m curious if that’s kind of what you discovered in your own life.

00:51:53:05 – 00:52:18:13
Cynthia Li
Absolutely. And I mean, I’m just saying I did some qigong, as is really is a way of life. It’s a way of living and really, you know, the more I just kind of the more I the longer I work with patients, the more I live. I just yeah, it just it like healing is really living. How do I live more abundantly?

00:52:18:13 – 00:52:37:10
Cynthia Li
How do I live with more freedom? Which is really at the core of healing. And, you know, a lot of times people, you know, when when people have found out that they’ve read my memoir or they saw a podcast, they’re like, wait, you had a second health crisis? You know, I thought you I thought you were done.

00:52:37:10 – 00:52:56:21
Cynthia Li
And I said, well, you know, I for a while, I thought I was done, too. I wasn’t in perfect health. And I had certainly had some limitations. But I was at a place that I felt was acceptable. Right? I was living a very full life. And so there’s that mentality is like you get from A to B or A to Z and you’re done.

00:52:58:04 – 00:53:27:03
Cynthia Li
But you know, as long as you’re living it, as you know, the law of the universe is change. So I’m continually changing. Life around me is continually changing. God knows the world stage and that, you know, the climate is changing. So the know so I had a second health crisis, you know, so people I can I can sense their reservations and their fears.

00:53:27:03 – 00:53:57:11
Cynthia Li
And I’m like, no, I mean, it just it just happened, you know? And it’s not it’s not a shortcoming. It just was the culmination so, so much as she got like I couldn’t have responded to that second one had, you know, had I not kind of gone through it. So I started in a new baseline. But the other thing was that I didn’t even say was that when I was kind of healing but not healing, I was doing everything before, like I was doing nothing.

00:53:58:04 – 00:54:20:16
Cynthia Li
My healing very, very fast. It was kind of a radical healing. So what previously took years, this was a matter of a few months and it was really, really remarkable. So people who saw it up close really felt like it was a miracle. And I was like, Well, you know, I’m doing stuff, but I’m not really doing stuff, you know?

00:54:21:04 – 00:54:48:12
Cynthia Li
And so, you know, to your point about people living with cancer, so anything, you know, and my experience certainly spoke of that as well, was like living on that edge, that threshold of life and death. It as hard as it is, certainly clarifies things. Things get very simple. You know, you just you can see what matters and what doesn’t matter.

00:54:48:12 – 00:55:20:22
Cynthia Li
So these things that they just kind of fall away. And in that simplicity is also coherence comes much more naturally because it’s a very simple state to be in, actually. Very simple. And the other thing I want to say about coherence is that it’s different than simple relaxation or comfort, which there’s not a lot of energy moving, even though there’s a huge role for comfort and relaxation in our day to day lives.

00:55:21:21 – 00:56:03:21
Cynthia Li
But coherence activates the parasympathetic nervous system. So. So relaxation is part of it, but it’s not the whole thing. Then it’s an activated state. There’s, there’s energy flowing. So it is both relaxed. And we can also feel a sense of power, which is speaks to kind of what we’re talking about, the professional athletes. And so I would even say listening to you when you’re talking about your CrossFit training, things like that and how much you know you’re putting into it and just be curious like, you know, what happens if you come into a flow state and do your workouts from the upstate?

00:56:04:20 – 00:56:06:21
Cynthia Li
Yeah. It’s just, you know, and I think.

00:56:06:21 – 00:56:08:16
Nathan Crane
That’s why I. Go ahead.

00:56:09:20 – 00:56:15:11
Cynthia Li
I was just going to say to that and I recently started taking up a shower income, so.

00:56:15:18 – 00:56:17:11
Nathan Crane
Oh, well, yeah.

00:56:17:11 – 00:56:41:03
Cynthia Li
So there’s a lot of a lot of power in the case and in the options and just in the form and, and I haven’t had that for a really long time. Like, so I never played sports. I never got back to getting to running like I used to. So, but qigong was great because it was gentle, but it was hard to write their poses where you hold.

00:56:41:03 – 00:57:07:18
Cynthia Li
And it is. It’s really challenging. Very challenging. Yeah. Inside out and all that. But the kung fu is new because of this power that I feel, but also always reminding myself like you come into that state of flow and then you practice, you know? And it’s a very different experience for me. I’m very new at it, but it’s a very different experience.

00:57:07:18 – 00:57:09:09
Nathan Crane
So that’s beautiful.

00:57:10:15 – 00:57:10:20
Cynthia Li
And.

00:57:11:14 – 00:57:46:09
Nathan Crane
I think that’s one reason, you know, I love CrossFit so much is is I do experience that flow not every day and not in every training, but, but often very often. And I did often when I played basketball, when I was younger, you know, I played soccer. I played, you know, I was younger. I played sports or skateboarding when I was from like 13 to 16 or 17 skateboarding and snowboarding and skiing, I think those were I think I fell in love with those sports of that age because it did I felt this tremendous sense of freedom and this incredible sense of flow, though at that age I didn’t have the words or the

00:57:46:21 – 00:58:09:08
Nathan Crane
any way to explain it. I just you just know it. You just feel it. And it’s like it’s addictive. It’s it’s incredibly empowering. And I do experience that when I run, you know, at certain times, like certain running workouts that I’ll do certain CrossFit workouts that I’ll do, you know, certain times it’s like, I definitely experience that embodied flow and then I’ll experience it.

00:58:09:08 – 00:58:35:08
Nathan Crane
Walking in the forest with my family, sitting and watching a sunset, you know, and like I said, playing chess this morning, it was just like, you know, it’s just like happened like in that moment. It wasn’t I wasn’t even trying. I wasn’t even, you know, just like I think the more that we bring these practices into our daily life because I practice qigong every morning, I’m even in my ice bath.

00:58:35:08 – 00:59:00:24
Nathan Crane
After I do my qigong practice, I’m an ice bath for 3 minutes. I get my body even while it’s sitting there in freezing cold water. I couldn’t completely calm my nervous system and get into a state of of relaxation and and gratitude. We know through the science of heart math, for example, you know that by connecting with our heart and by connecting with positive emotions like compassion and love, these are things.

00:59:00:24 – 00:59:26:10
Nathan Crane
And then in a, you know, state of a meditative state, these are things that actually create coherence within within the body. And these are things that qigong do, right? Like at least, at least same thing that I have practice or learned a little bit about some other forms of qigong and I’m learning more about other forms. But the main one that I’ve studied as well is Xining Shi Qigong, also known as wisdom, healing qigong from ming tong master ming tong.

00:59:26:10 – 00:59:53:22
Nathan Crane
Good. That’s the main that I’ve also studied in practice over the years. But that form includes all of these things meditation, subtle energy, subtle movement, gentle movements, sound healing, visualization, right? So it’s like all of the things that are being studied today that we know are activating coherence that are upregulated in the parasympathetic nervous system, which turns on it basically turns on the immune system.

00:59:54:02 – 01:00:27:00
Nathan Crane
It also we know these things activate hundreds of genes inside of our cells, inside of our bodies that are associated with longevity, reduction of all cause mortality activates a response in the body that reduces inflammation. You know, that’s what’s fascinating is like the to me, the science is is interesting because it helps validate what we’re already feeling and helps us kind of I think science is like the the language of our modern time.

01:00:27:07 – 01:00:46:07
Nathan Crane
Like people need some science to help them validate what they’re feeling. It’s like, well, I feel good, but I don’t know if it’s working. It’s like, well, here’s how here’s kind of what we know is happening. And yet science is also very limited, right? It it science is not the end all be all. It’s not the you know, science is flawed.

01:00:46:07 – 01:01:14:17
Nathan Crane
Science is always being turned upside down. And so it’s like, I don’t depend on science and I don’t think we should, but it also can be helpful in my experience. But anyway, I want to talk about, you know, the wisdom healing qigong or name qigong and for you, what were like what are after that second healing crisis? What were the forms of qigong or like?

01:01:14:17 – 01:01:22:20
Nathan Crane
What were the practices of qigong that you were doing? What are you doing? All of that we’re doing the sound healing and, you know, awaken, vitality. And what were what are the ones you were doing?

01:01:23:16 – 01:01:50:12
Cynthia Li
Yeah, I couldn’t do I couldn’t do any of the you know, any of the standing forms or the moving forms at the at the most critical point, because I was really bedridden. I was I just I was doing lychee. I was doing what is open and closed. But was sent. It was in such there’s this place of surrender, you know, that it was like I just I don’t know, I just merged.

01:01:50:12 – 01:02:09:18
Cynthia Li
I just became energy, you know. So, yeah. So but I mean, because instead of doing a prescriptive leave for like whatever, you know, 30 minutes or whatever it was, I, I had that lecture, I mean, if you want to call it a luxury, but I had time and space to do it because like, I had nothing. I couldn’t do anything else.

01:02:10:10 – 01:02:27:20
Cynthia Li
So I was largely again doing it because it because initially as a coping strategy, it just helped me focus on something other than the turmoil and the discovery that’s going on within me. And so I was just opening and closing, opening, closing.

01:02:27:20 – 01:02:32:08
Nathan Crane
So when you’re chanting, also chanting like, how are you doing? Any chanting?

01:02:32:11 – 01:02:59:04
Cynthia Li
Yeah, initially I wasn’t I was just of just doing what, you know, open and close matchy. But it you know, then I kind of just went beyond time and space. I kind of lost track of time and went to yeah. This really, really peaceful escape. And, you know, in my scientific mind, I think what was fun is like.

01:02:59:04 – 01:03:35:09
Cynthia Li
So to your point, you had direct experiences always going to be ahead of the science. I mean, it just is I think because the science takes a long time for it to evolve and to say nothing of the technologies that are measuring right, measuring what’s happening. But also yeah. So the direct experience with that I Yeah. Open to this field and the other piece about the heart, you know that you mentioned heart math and coherence studies is it’s not just that we bring our own self into coherence.

01:03:35:09 – 01:03:58:21
Cynthia Li
Right is these the the amp field of the human heart is measured out right several feet away. So when two people are standing next to each other or near each other, literally just like two magnets, right? If we put the pulse together, we can feel the field between them, it’s like we have two people and our fields overlap.

01:03:59:09 – 01:04:24:00
Cynthia Li
And so if one person is practicing coherence and is in that state, he or she can bring the other person into coherence without this second person knowing, right? Like they’ve done with blinded studies, which is really cool. And so and same thing even with with people and animals and so what I so being at a retreat, right.

01:04:24:00 – 01:04:49:12
Cynthia Li
So I only attended one in-person qigong retreat and with that being tong center in Santa Fe. And so physically being together is really powerful. And there’s this feel that very palpable, but there’s a field actually in the space as well. And again, these aren’t it might sound a little bit, I don’t know, fantastical, but it’s the science shows that, too.

01:04:49:12 – 01:05:12:12
Cynthia Li
Everything actually has a field. Right. And in fact, everything comes out of the field. If we didn’t have these energy fields, we wouldn’t actually have we wouldn’t have matter. You know, you and I wouldn’t be here. So you’d be at the speed of light. So these fields are everywhere. We’re just not perceiving them. And but animals can perceive them.

01:05:12:12 – 01:05:44:02
Cynthia Li
Insects can perceive them. Right. And so how do we learn from from the way that other beings on this planet experience reality? It’s like, oh, you know, they can detect these vibrations. They can detect, you know, and sense things that are different than what we can sense. So anyways, so that field is really palpable. But then what you don’t practitioners have been doing for a long time is also non-local right varieties like cultivating a field.

01:05:45:04 – 01:05:53:03
Cynthia Li
And again, I feel like the quantum science is, is beginning to catch up to that as well. But so was basically.

01:05:53:03 – 01:06:35:01
Nathan Crane
I think sorry. I think just for people don’t know the, you know, what’s called the g field in qigong the energy field that you’re talking about, the field, you know, in quantum science, it’s basically what’s they’re starting to understand is the quantum field. Or even if you want to research the quantum entanglement theory, I think both of those things, the quantum field and quantum entanglement theory are very, very close, if not accurate, to what I think qigong practitioners experience as the key field right in there might be some things that aren’t understood about it fully yet.

01:06:35:01 – 01:07:02:17
Nathan Crane
There might be new discoveries to understand about it, but I think that’s the palpable experience that we have when we practice qigong, you know, remotely connecting to this field all over the world. And and they are able to do these studies where you know, you can be in one part of the world and have somebody else in a completely part of a different room, you know, and and activating and connecting to this same energetic field.

01:07:02:17 – 01:07:26:16
Nathan Crane
And actually, they’ve done all kind of like like extrasensory perception studies, right, where you can connect to the other person’s thoughts and know exactly what card they’re holding in front of them, you know, and ace of Hearts, for example, they’ve done all these kinds of studies. What is that? How can you do that? You know, and that’s and they found out that’s not a special skill that only a few people are born with.

01:07:27:09 – 01:08:05:11
Nathan Crane
These are skills that are develop. We can develop these as human beings. And the way that it explains it is we were connecting to that field, that energy field that connects all beings on all planets in all stars of the entire universe, which is like mind blowing. When you really start to dove into that, like how deeply expansive and connected we really are, especially when we sit here in our little bubbles in world of like when I got my computer and I got my refrigerator and I’ve got my little life and this and that, and it’s like you start realizing like, well, we are so much more beyond just this physical world with our physical

01:08:05:11 – 01:08:14:04
Nathan Crane
problems here. And it and we have so much potential, like infinite unlimited potential, I think we’re just barely starting to tap into.

01:08:15:08 – 01:08:41:15
Cynthia Li
Right, exactly. And I think, you know, I mean, I think as a concept, some of the things that you touched on are are becoming more widely known and what more widely embraced or explored zero point field that that’s another thing you know for people who are interested in in examining its soup it’s really, really interesting. But the most interesting thing to me, of course, is like how does it apply to healing?

01:08:41:15 – 01:09:09:14
Cynthia Li
I mean, that’s that’s that’s my right. That’s yours and my orientation. And, and also like, it’s cool as a concept, but like, well, but it’s mind blowing to experience it. It’s a whole other thing. And so wow, okay. It’s something that we can experience and it’s something actually that anybody can experience. And, and then this is where, you know, what I call effortless healing can happen, right?

01:09:09:14 – 01:09:27:22
Cynthia Li
It’s like, oh, it’s like suddenly we’re riding the waves as opposed to, you know, motoring in a different direction against it, you know, where it feels like it just takes a lot of energy, like, oh, how do I, how do I harness that? How do I ride that? How do I allow that to kind of guide me where I want to go?

01:09:28:24 – 01:09:47:10
Cynthia Li
And so or even where necessarily where I want to go, but where life is going to take me, where I am going to be most in flow as opposed to something that has some kind of preconceived of where it is that I think I’m going to go or who I am. So yeah, it, it actually becomes very playful.

01:09:48:06 – 01:10:27:00
Cynthia Li
So that is something, that is it’s really exciting to be at that frontier, you know, with the science, but having also practicing an experience power of it and also the simplicity of it, the beautiful simplicity of it. So the concepts can get really complicated. And then the practices that go is here. Yeah, you know, and as I said, when I, when I was doing cheating with the cue ball in front of my abdomen and I and I reached that place of like total emptiness, it was like, Oh, I touch that feel field.

01:10:27:10 – 01:10:59:20
Cynthia Li
That field was there. And so I do feel like, you know, kind of extrapolating the heart mass studies about us bringing someone else into coherence who are in our field that this, you know, qigong practitioner doing that right. Like just imagine, you know, a hundred thousand people practicing coherence. And so this field is very becomes very stable. It becomes very, very stable.

01:11:00:08 – 01:11:35:04
Cynthia Li
And so my sense of what I surrendered into, right, there’s no science is going to corroborate that. But my sense of what I into was this coherent feel. So it helped to bring me into coherence. It wasn’t just me doing it and I don’t think it would have happened that fast. MM So the real power to the collective and then what’s powerful about our day and age right now is that with, you know, with the ease of travel and also just with digital, digital technologies, we’re more interconnected than ever.

01:11:36:00 – 01:12:05:08
Cynthia Li
So we can enlighten this field in a way that, you know, that our ancestors that, you know, people practicing thousands of years ago, even hundreds of years ago, could not could never that so that’s why it’s accessible now, is that we have the language, we have the tools, we have the interconnect. There’s kind of no better time to explore and field and experience it.

01:12:05:17 – 01:12:27:14
Nathan Crane
100%. And that’s you know, that’s why I’ve been for those watching you can see I started healing life was because I realized the importance of this practice. Like we can talk about it all day long, but the only way for people to really know it and benefit from it is to experience it and to and to practice what we’re talking about.

01:12:27:14 – 01:12:45:21
Nathan Crane
And so it’s like my I got this, you know, calling a few years ago to bring these ancient healing methods like qigong to and make them accessible to people all over the world. So that’s why I started healing life. And people can go there and check it out and, you know, experience these qigong practices that we’re talking about.

01:12:46:05 – 01:12:58:05
Nathan Crane
But I want to ask you, in terms of your own practice like today, what does that generally look like for you now? Like on a day to day basis?

01:12:58:05 – 01:13:40:19
Cynthia Li
So I would say that my formal practice usually is before sunrise. I start with probably about a 30 minute sitting meditation, right? So Qigong also has what we call static methods, right where we’re sitting or standing and in one pose. And then and then about a 30 minute embodied and movement dynamic practice. But I feel like I practice it throughout most of the day, you know, like I yeah, I feel like life is daily, life is the practice.

01:13:40:19 – 01:14:10:05
Cynthia Li
And so, you know, you had mentioned earlier you still get angry. I mean, yeah. So when if I have a trigger of whatever, you know, an emotional thing, a physical sensation, you know, discomfort, whatever, any of challenge, it’s an opportunity to do practice. And then when life is going swimmingly to my is is to practice. And so much of the flow state, I think is not becoming attached.

01:14:10:05 – 01:14:28:17
Cynthia Li
And that’s a very, very difficult thing. And so the physical movement help me, you know, help, help my mind, oh, this is what it feels like not to be attached. Because one of the practices I had when I was really unwell was like each each day when I would start the day, I’d say, Oh, today’s a new day.

01:14:28:18 – 01:14:54:11
Cynthia Li
Today’s a new day, you know. And it was, it was, it helped me get through the challenging times. I remember there was one one day, you know, after so, so much time. And I just had an incredible right. It was I felt good in my body. I was very present. I felt like I was like, oh, I’m a citizen of the world again.

01:14:54:22 – 01:15:18:19
Cynthia Li
And I remember I woke up the next day, I was like, Oh, dang, today’s a new day. You know, like, I need to let go of that too, right? Like, so always staying in flow, always staying in the present moment, not even getting attached to the things that we call good. So staying in slow. So the practice. Yeah, you can, can really help me move through my day in a different way.

01:15:20:07 – 01:15:59:04
Nathan Crane
That’s beautiful. Well, Cynthia, I want to just say thank you for taking the time today. It was one is great to reconnect. Great to see you talk with you and hear more about your stories and things. I didn’t and, you know, you’re you’re really inspiring a lot of people and helping, you know, through your own journey and story and exploration, move humanity forward in a really positive way by bringing, you know, bridging this gap between conventional medicine as a conventionally trained medical doctor and ancient medicine and holistic medicine.

01:15:59:04 – 01:16:28:08
Nathan Crane
And, you know, bridging that gap through functional medicine and working with patients and helping people realize there’s this whole other world of health and healing and medicine available like qigong and TCM, acupuncture and all these other modalities that are accessible and powerful. And so thank you for that. And I do I read your book, Brave New Medicine, I think I read a few years ago, and it’s a fantastic book.

01:16:28:08 – 01:16:38:17
Nathan Crane
I encourage people to get it. I know it’s on Amazon, but if people want to get your book or connect with you directly, you know, where’s where’s the best place for them to go?

01:16:38:17 – 01:17:08:14
Cynthia Li
I don’t have a huge online presence because I’m not on social media, but I do have a website. Cynthia Lee I do i a.h I ally M.D. dot com. So everything. Yeah, people find me. People can find resources that I’ve achieved on page as well. And so yeah, let’s, let’s continue to stay connected and explore together.

01:17:09:06 – 01:17:17:13
Nathan Crane
Awesome, beautiful. Well, thanks again and. I wish everybody tuning in so much. Health and happiness. Take care.

 

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