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Natural Awakenings San Diego

How Qigong Healed a Wounded 9/11 Firefighter

Jun 30, 2016 12:49PM ● By Jonathan Henderson

On duty the morning of September 11, 2001, Jonathan Henderson searched for lost friends after the tower collapsed and then volunteered for 30 days of 12-hour shifts to recover their remains. That day, 343 firefighters died and the death toll is still climbing as a result of breathing in toxic particles

My lungs and sinuses suffered major damage at the trade towers site and everything from hearing loss to depression set in, which caused me to balloon to over 300 pounds. At a funeral for a firefighter who died of September 11-related lung cancer, I looked around at the low turnout and mentioned my disappointment to our Lieutenant. Looking at the small number attending, he said, “I’ll show up for your funeral.” I replied, “I’ll show up for yours, too, pal.” Seeing we were a dying breed and there was major mishandling of healthcare for firefighters impacted by September 11 is what motivated me to find natural solutions.

At the time, I had no prior knowledge of qigong. However, during a spiritual vision I saw my healthy-self on a beach practicing a slow martial art. I moved to San Diego to make the healthiest version of me and ate organic foods and smoothies. I also removed toxic foods and people from my life during a two-year sabbatical to get well. Soon I was led to a mind-body studio and attended powerful qigong classes. During a “Breath Empowerment” my lungs never felt so big. My ribcage had expanded and I felt real energy surge through me like nothing I had ever known. I was buzzing for days after.

The studio was promoting a large seminar called “Qi Revolution” and I attended based on their suggestion. Initially, I felt out of place with what seemed like a mostly New Age crowd, but when I did the practices with hundreds of others, it felt even more powerful than what I had known from my small group. Pressing on qi, concentrating on breath and moving slowly had a great effect on me and others in attendance. I found qigong practice slowed my overly-active New Yorker mind, allowing me to focus on giving my body and soul some long overdue healing energy.

Qigong Revolution

September 11 anniversaries are emotional for those connected. On September 11, 2013, I was with San Diego FDNY retirees aboard the USS Midway reading names of rescue workers and flight crews lost 12 years earlier. That morning I woke up and went to the beach and did Supreme Science Qigong Level 1 healing form with a rising sun. I did it by myself, for myself, for the first time ever and I felt energy pulsing and surging all around me. It was as my spiritual vision had showed me. It made the most difficult day of the year easier somehow and gave me peace and calmness that stays with me now.

Since finding qigong, I’ve not taken addictive prescriptions and I’ve had tremendous results with Foodbased Healing. I’ve lost 80 pounds and my lung capacity shows significant improvement. Everyone can help themselves with qigong—especially my firefighter family. Anyone seeking improved physical health, specifically better lung capacities, will benefit greatly from the Qi Revolution seminar.

Qi Revolution comes to the Anaheim Convention Center August 19 to 21. The total cost is $99 for two days and one night of training. The event is open to the public and firefighters and veterans are admitted free. For more details, call 800-298-8970 or visit