Did you know that you don’t “have“ energy? You ARE energy.
The lives and teachings of many healers through the ages have highlighted this fact. In this episode, Dr. Christine sits down with her special guest, Lee Holden to discuss how energy can unlock the body’s ability to heal itself as well as the true power of our minds and what we really are capable of.
Lee Holden is an internationally renowned QiGong Master and human potential guide who has helped more than 10,000 students through his videos, workshops, and teacher training to heal from injury and disease, slow the aging process and maximize their energy.
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An internationally renowned QiGong Master and human potential guide, Lee Holden’s teachings have been a favorite in more than 50 million households through PBS and even more upcoming through MindValley, the Gaia Network, and the Superhuman Experience, where he traveled the world discovering the leading edge of human potential with modern mystics and ancient healers.
Lee’s works have been acknowledged by the International Qi Gong Association (2009) for his ability to make the esoteric Taoist teachings accessible to modern students without compromising or diluting their essence. With a past that involves working with Deepak Chopra and Mantak Chia, Lee is trusted by top Silicon Valley corporations like Apple, 3Com, and Cisco as a stress management consultant.
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TRANSCRIPT: Supernatural Abilities To Heal From Chronic Illness with Lee Holden and Dr. Christine Schaffner
Dr. Christine Schaffner: Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Christine Schaffner and I’m excited to introduce to you Lee Holden. We’re going to be talking about harnessing energy and mind power for healing. Lee Holden is an internationally renowned Qigong master and human potential guide. Lee Holden’s teachings have been a favorite in more than 50 million households through PBS and even more up coming through MindValley, the Gaia Network, as well as the Superhuman Experience, where he traveled the world, discovering the leading edge of human potential with modern mystics and ancient healers. Lee’s work has been acknowledged by the International Qigong Association for his ability to make the esoteric taoist teachings accessible to modern students without compromising or diluting their essence. With a past that involves working with Deepak Chopra and Mantak Chia, Lee is trusted by top Silicon Valley corporations like Apple, 3Com and Cisco as a stress management consultant. I hope you enjoy my podcast today with Lee Holden. Welcome Lee, it’s really an honor to interview you today.
0:01:00.2 Lee Holden: Hey, thanks so much for having me.
0:01:00.9 DS: I just am so excited to dive more into your work and all the wonderful things that you’ve shared thus far in your community, and to find out what you’re up to. For my community who is just getting to know you, we would love to hear what in your healing journey allowed you to dive in the deeper realms of Qi and energy medicine?
0:01:19.0 LH: It was through an injury. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my whole life. I was 19 years old, I was playing competitive soccer at UC Berkeley, I finally was starting on the team and traveling all over the country, and bam, somebody took out my legs, I landed on my tail bone, and I woke up the next day and couldn’t walk. AI was like, “Okay, I’ve got to get this healed, I’ve got to get this fixed.” So I went to the team doctors and physical therapists, did all the pain medications, cortisone shots, pain killers, and I ended up with the same amount of low back pain and now a stomach ache because of the pain killers. Nothing was working, so I was feeling depressed and down and something sparked in my mind, I was studying martial arts as a kid, and this martial arts teacher when I was like 10 years old, he broke a big stack of bricks and I was like, jaw drop, “How did you do that?” And he said, “I did it with the power of Qi.” He grabbed me by my shirt, and he said, “But Qi is not for hurting people, it’s for healing.” And I was like, “Oh, I’ve got to go see that guy for healing.”
0:02:16.7 LH: And so I went back to my home town, he gave me some acupuncture, he showed me Qigong exercises, specifically for the back, and I started doing them, and really it was literally a week later that I was 90-95% better, and that just blew my mind and it was a catalyst for me. I was like, “This is what I want to do with my life. Why don’t more people know about this? Why don’t we know about the natural healing power of our own mind body system?” So I graduated college, went to Asia, and became a ghost writer for a Qigong master. I wrote eight books with him, I did 12 trips to Asia, and every time I went to Asia, I was going to China and studying Qigong with the masters in the park, and then I was working with, at the time, one of the most renowned Qigong masters in the world, and I was writing his books.
0:03:03.4 LH: I’d get up in the morning, I’d go to his house, we’d session and talk about these ancient practices, and I just got to do the deep dive one-on-one with the master, and it became my job and my passion to say, “How can I tell my soccer player friends about this, how can I tell my friends that are now working in Silicon Valley how to use these ancient practices for stress management, for energy, for re-balancing to help them sleep better, in very practical, accessible ways?” That became my work in the world some 30 years ago.
0:03:36.5 DS: I love this. You’re always on your path, right? As we were chatting before I started interviewing you, this is ancient knowledge, ancient wisdom. You worked first hand with masters and people who had that handed down knowledge of this understanding of the body. And where we are today? We’re really in this paradigm shift–I continue to hope that’s happening, that we’d move away, especially in modern US society, from the viewpoint where we think of the body as just this biochemical machine. We’re just so much more than that. I love how your journey has led you to share and educate people about this. Some people in my audience are pretty hip to understanding energy and Qi, but Qigong might still be a new term for some people who are listening, so can you introduce the idea of what Qigong is and what the methods do in the body?
0:04:24.7 LH: Absolutely. That’s great your audience is hip to energy. Here’s the thing, nobody can define bio-electricity. Nobody knows what it is, we can’t conceptualize and say, “Here’s what life force means,” because we still don’t know how the heart works–why does the heart start? How does it keep beating? What’s this light in my mind? What’s my consciousness? All these are energies. So we call it bio-electricity. We know there’s electricity in your body. In fact, when I was interviewing Bruce Lipton for our superhuman docuseries, he’s a cellular biologist, he talked about how each cell has a certain voltage, a certain amount of mega hertz. Now, if you added all that up, it’s like the strength of a bolt of lightning, that’s how much energy we have in our bodies. Now we discharge it, we don’t utilize it, it’s mismanaged, so we don’t have a way in which we can harness this energy. But that’s exciting, that we have tremendous potential to be tapped into.
0:05:22.7 LH: Qi means energy, it’s your life force. Think about it as the force that keeps you alive, and it’s mysterious. Qigong was an ancient practice that came from China, Gong means skill. So we have a skill at working with energy, in very simple terms. We have the energy of your mind, how skillfully are you working with the energy of your mind? We have the energy of our emotions, how skillfully are we working with the energy of our emotions? We have the energy of our bodies, and how skillfully can we work with the energy of our bodies? Then we have the totality of ourselves where mind influences body. We know this in western medicine. Beliefs. If we say, “Here’s a placebo pill,” and you take it, your mind has just done energy work on your body. And so this practice is becoming more and more skillful at working with that kind of medicine or that kind of life skill, of finding how we can become an integrated whole and use energy to tap into our human potential.
0:06:22.3 DS: I love that. My exploration and my passion is also learning about bio-electric field of energy that we have surrounding the body, and I think there are more and more tools to make this tangible and objective. When we have an experience like yourself, you don’t need to look at it or see it or have an objective measurement. But for some people, I think continuing to bridge that understanding that this is a measurable field and that, as you said, our cells have voltage, which is related to pH in our body. Our heart has a strong electromagnetic field that’s measurable. Our brain has brain waves and all of these clues, but I think there is still work to do to share with people that this is another route, just like people think they just need medicine and substances to heal. Fixing the electrical system in the body can really propel people’s healing.
0:07:10.2 DS: For me, it’s actually kind of more exciting because especially in the field of chronic illness, people think healing is hard and heavy and long. It takes time, but I think when we work with these principles, we have the opportunity for our healing to happen faster, and for the healing to be accelerated just because of how energy works. So you mentioned Lee, the Superhuman Experience, and I am so excited to dive into this docuseries. I was starting to watch some of it before I interviewed you and you have all of these amazing wise pioneers in the field of energy medicine talking. Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration for this docuseries and some of the key highlights that really moved to you?
0:07:52.3 LH: This docuseries was like a dream come true. Somebody said, “Can we fund you to go around the world and look for people with extraordinary abilities, go to the caves of the Himalayan Mountains, go study in the martial arts with masters of China, go to Tibet and look at the Tibetan lamas. Look at the Russian psychics. What is our human potential?” And that’s what we did. We traveled around the world for three, four years, and then I came home and I said, “You know what? Let’s ask the researchers, the scientists, authors, the energy masters in our own culture, what they think about it too.” So we got to interview Bruce Lipton, Dan Siegel, Deepak Chopra. I did a great interview with Wim Hof. I did some interviews with the bio hackers like Dave Asprey.
0:08:32.5 LH: We’re sort of demystifying what it means to tap into our human potential. The docuseries is exciting and inspirational because we found these masters that just blew our minds. We capture this on film because we can see athletes that push the human potential, and artists and musicians and dancers, but now can we look at the energy masters. What are we truly capable of when we tap into our energy? When we look at a master that’s maybe worked with his energy or her energy for three to five hours a day for 15 years in very specific ways, what do they accomplish? And that’s what we tapped into, and that’s what this docuseries is all about. At the end of it, we didn’t want to say, “Hey, here’s just a docuseries, go watch it.” We said, “Let’s learn from it and let’s educate people.” So let’s inspire, let’s educate, let’s teach people how to tap into their own potential and do it for themselves. That’s really what it came down to, that’s why we’re calling it the Superhuman Experience.
0:09:33.8 DS: I love that. We’re all superhuman, we just have to tap into those parts of ourselves that activate that part of our energy and our ability to heal things that our mind might not even have the language for or conception of that it’s possible. A lot of people who are listening to this podcast might be in the throes of a chronic illness. They might have been sick, which is a common story I’ve seen, and have seen 20+ doctors, have gotten a lot of misdiagnosis, and still maybe they have some answers, but they’re already taking all these supplements. They’re still on this long journey. How do you encourage someone to just get started tapping into their energetic body and into these principles that you’re sharing?
0:10:12.8 LH: Tap into it with some ancient practices. These masters have been doing this practice for 3000 to 5,000 years. It’s a tried and true path, it’s well trodden. These practices work and they work really well. You also might just tune into your energy because we are all energy beings, and just notice how different circumstances in your life influence your energy. When you have a conversation with one person, how did that affect my energy? When I do this particular activity, how does that affect my energy? When I ask the question, “How is your energy?” we all have an intuitive sense–I’m feeling low or down, or I’m feeling excited and inspired. When we talk about an emotion, emotion energy in motion, this is energy work. Now, how skillful are you at working with the energy of emotions or of life, of yourself? And now, this ancient practice of Qigong, I would say just try it. In a couple of sessions, you’re going to see and feel your energy.
0:11:11.9 LH: That’s why in my Qigong world, on my website, we have lots of ways in which you can try the practice of Qigong, see if it’s for you. I love it because it’s accessible. 20 minutes, you don’t have to go to the gym, you don’t have to change your clothes, you don’t have to have a yoga mat, you don’t have to wear spandex. In 20 minutes, you get a great mind-body workout. I tell people, “Do you have time to go to a mindful meditation class, a yoga class, and go do a workout?” If you don’t, Qigong is an alchemy of all of these practice put together in a very skillful way, and so it gives you a nice workout, a great stretch, and a moving meditation practice all in one. That’s why I love it. It’s practical, it works, and it gets you out of stress mode, into relaxation mode, so the natural healing power that we all have within ourselves becomes activated. See, we’re all our own best healers, and when we’re in stress, that healing potential gets turned down, and when we relax and get into flow, that healing potential gets turned up or ignited.
0:12:17.6 DS: I love that. I have yet to implement a Qigong practice in my daily life, but I had another colleague who’s a naturopath that also studied non-traditional Chinese medicine, and he sees a lot of neurological diseases. He has been implementing Qigong in his work. He inspired me, and now you’re inspiring me. Who doesn’t have 20 minutes? We can do anything with scheduling. And again, with your resources on your website and walking people through this, we don’t have an excuse not to at least experience it in our body. I’m just really curious too, as you’ve worked with Qigong and these principles of energy and interviewed all these people and seen all these things, does anything stand out to you, like a story of healing or hope that you want to share with people who might need that inspiration to keep going?
0:13:04.8 LH: Yeah, love that. There’s been so many stories lately because we’re just doing so much more online over the last year, and I’m doing a lot of Zoom sessions and Q&A, question and answers, and I’m hearing people’s stories each and every day. This is giving me hope. Because we’re isolated, because we’re stressed out, because we’re facing the unknown each and every day, it’s very easy for us to go into fear, to life draining stories in our own minds. Whether we’ve caught COVID or not, when we are in stress, or anxiety, or anxious, or lonely, what can we do to use this opportunity to really bring out our potential? And that I feel like is what life is asking of each of us individually. How can we use what life is giving us to turn on our human potential? And so these stories keep flowing in. One in particular that stands out was by a pilot. He had a severe cancer diagnosis. The doctors gave him a couple of months to live. He’s in the hospital, he can’t even move, then he was watching my Qigong programs. I had a show on PBS. He was flipping channels, and he saw me doing these exercise, and he’s like, “I’m just going to visualize it. I can’t move, but there’s a guy, he’s standing in the middle of the screen, there’s nice music, I’m just going to watch and visualize. I’m going to imagine myself doing all those exercises.”
0:14:19.5 LH: Pretty soon he got a little healthy and then he did them sitting on the edge of the bed, then he did them standing, then he started practicing an hour or two hours a day. Now he’s in remission, he’s one of my Qigong teachers now, this is a story from a few years ago. He is so energized and so excited about life. He feels like he has a new lease on life. This is a very sensational story, and I love it because of his complete shift and turn and how excited he is, but this is the opportunity. When your energy gets lit up, it’s not that the Qigong healed you, you healed yourself, because you put yourself in the right state for healing to happen. And healing doesn’t happen when we’re all stressed out, because you’re too focused on the dangerous things in life to relax enough to turn on your internal healing energy. This practice gets you out of stress mode, into relaxation, into a state where healing will happen and your body has these powers and potential to really shift things around when you give it that opportunity. I love all these stories that are pouring in of healing. One last thing is that healing is the same root word as wholeness. And so when we create wholeness and integration between minds, and hearts, and body, all of a sudden we create a wholeness within ourselves, healing is the side effect that happens from that wholeness.
0:15:43.2 DS: I love that story. If someone like that can recover, there’s really no limits on our healing. And it also paints, for me, the visualization, especially in this time where there’s so much suffering. I have this vision of a new hospital, a hospital that would be designed to really heal people with these principles. So if he was able to tap into the energy that you were creating and the field that you were creating through the PBS special in the hospital, where he couldn’t move, just imagine if we could actually make that not a side note, but actually part of the healing experience that everybody goes through when they’re faced with really severe health consequences. I think that’s an awesome story.
0:16:21.7 LH: I love that vision too. Let’s create a hospital with this new kind of medicine, this complementary medicine, where doctors, and healers, and energy workers all work together, because each modality plays a role. If you get in a car accident, don’t go see the acupuncturist, go to emergency medicine. Afterwards, go see the acupuncturist. If you have chronic illness, start to work with these natural ancient healing practices, go see a naturopath like yourself. There’s just such a great way to integrate all this wisdom from all these different traditions.
0:16:54.7 DS: Love it. We’re going to see this happening in our lifetime, right?
0:16:58.1 LH: Yes, that’s a good one.
0:16:58.6 DS: Absolutely. Many of your teachings really talk about the power of the mind. You already mentioned the placebo effect which is essentially the power of the mind activating our healing ability. I’m going to put you on the spot, if you’re up to it, if you could share with us a short meditation to help us unlock our superhuman abilities. I’m sure everybody would be so grateful.
0:17:22.7 LH: Let’s do that. Let’s teach people how to feel their Qi. This is going to be a 30-second Qigong practice.
0:17:28.8 DS: Okay.
0:17:29.2 LH: And then we’ll do a little meditation breathing exercise. So a three to five-minute practice, if that’s okay.
0:17:34.7 DS: Okay, that’s awesome.
0:17:35.6 LH: So you’re going to take your fingernails together, and we’re going to just activate some pressure points. If you’re driving, do this when you get home later. So the ends of your meridians, energy pathways, are in the fingers. And so vigorously rub your fingernails back and forth together, you can also rub that first knuckle, and take a nice deep breath, and rub vigorously back and forth. This just activates energy. It’s like igniting the Qi within your body. Breath in through the nose and then out through the mouth, just letting go of any energy you no longer need as you do this. Do one more of those deep breaths. And now when you put your hands in your lap, see if you can feel your energy, a tingling, buzzing, electrical sensation in the hands. Now, just take a few slow breaths in through your nose and out through your nose, and let that energy, with your mind, just pull it up through the arms. Pull the energy from the hands up through the arms, and let it circulate and swirl in your hearts. Just light up the energy in your heart center, because what we all want to do is move into the heart space to live with more joy, to live with more inspiration and compassion and kindness, and deep connection with each other and all of life.
0:19:02.1 LH: And so as you move away from the stressful mental state and into the heart, we relax into the present moment and tune into the possibilities of what we can do individually and what we can do together. Slow, relaxed, breathing in and out through the nose, and let that energy move from the hands to the hearts, and feel your heart like a sunrise, just coming up over the horizon, this golden light shining in the heart, and the rays of that light and energy now shining through your whole body, bringing you fresh healing energy into all the cells. And then you can shine that light wherever you might need it. Wherever you might need it, through your organs, through your neck and shoulders or your low back, even all the way down into your bones. Use the mind to heal the body. And so I’ll just take a nice deep breath, acknowledging the power of our minds and the power of our heart, and especially, the power of the mind-heart connection to create that healing effect in our energy system and in our bodies. When you’re ready you can slowly open your eyes. Here we are, just having done something very nourishing and healthy for ourselves.
0:20:35.5 DS: I love that. Thank you so much. I feel lighter already. I love the fingertip activation with all the connection to the meridians. I felt that was unique to me. I haven’t done that before.
0:20:45.7 LH: You’ve done your first Qigong class.
0:20:47.1 DS: I know. Love it. And that was not hard, right?
0:20:47.4 LH: That was not hard, huh!
0:20:51.1 DS: Oh, I love it. I feel really calm. The more I learn about the energetics of the body too, I love that you connected us to the heart space, as I’m learning a lot about heart coherence and how that really changes the field around us, so thank you. Thank you. Lee, how can people connect more with your work? Please share how they can watch this amazing Superhuman docuseries as well?
0:21:13.7 LH: Okay. Hey, come see us at superhumanexperience.io. It’s different. It’s not .com, it’s .io, so that should stand out for you. That’s where you can see some free scenes, you can get access to the docuseries and all the education. My Qigong work is at holdenqigong.com. And the hardest part about Qigong is the spelling.
0:21:36.0 DS: Yes.
0:21:36.9 LH: Holdenqigong.com. Come play with your Qi, come have fun, come see this incredible docuseries, at superhumanexperience.io.
0:21:47.1 DS: Awesome. Well, it’s so lovely connecting with you and getting to know more about your work and your amazing project. We’re going to have all of the links in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time today.
0:21:58.9 LH: Thanks, Christine.
0:22:02.1 DS: Thank you so much for listening to the Spectrum of Health Podcast. I hope you enjoyed my conversation today with Lee Holden. And please check out his awesome websites holdenqigong.com and superhumanexperience.io. If you enjoyed the Spectrum of Health Podcast, I’d be so honored if you would leave a review on Apple Podcasts, so more people can find out about this show. Thank you, and have a beautiful day.