6. PhD Student: My Rheumatoid Arthritis Went Away

  By A Practitioner From Taoyuan, Taiwan

  I am a first-year PhD student at an American university. Shortly after the 2004 Chinese New Year, I began to suffer from finger and wrist pains, which appeared to be similar to tendonitis. The doctor from the university diagnosed this as a kind of affliction often suffered by computer operators. I went on medication, but instead of finding relief, I suffered from side effects of the medicine such as stomachaches. At the end of February, the pain radiated to my shoulders. In early March, piercing pain in my upper back and knee woke me around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. The university doctor could not diagnose my affliction. He referred me to a doctor specializing in rheumatology and immunology at a local and more prominent hospital. The doctor thoroughly checked me over, but could not diagnose the problem. He suggested that if the symptoms lasted for three months, it most likely would be some kind of rheumatoid arthritis. Such uncertainty affected me deeply and my condition worsened.

  I frantically surfed the Internet for all available information on arthritis. My research showed that my symptoms most closely resembled a certain kind of rheumatoid arthritis. I even became unable to hold chopsticks tightly. Nevertheless, I kept sending many e-mails to doctors specializing in rheumatology and immunology at large hospitals throughout Taiwan, seeking answers. Most of them responded that, "You might have rheumatoid arthritis, but we cannot diagnose you without seeing you in our office in Taiwan." Such news made me very unhappy. My condition continued to deteriorate and I found it difficult to walk. This disease typically attacks the joints first. The joints may deform severely, then, it may attack the heart. After several years or perhaps even decades, the patient may die. My parents are close to 60 years old and have to support themselves and my younger brother and sister with their limited pension. It would be a big burden on them if they had to pay the medical costs from my disease. I was full of despair because of the pain I was suffering. I took a final look at the materials I had collected from the internet about rheumatoid arthritis. Suddenly, something caught my eye. I found an article on a website from someone who had cured rheumatoid arthritis. I quickly skimmed that article, which was written by a Falun Dafa practitioner in China. I harbored great doubts. Could this be true? Then I viewed all the articles on that website. I read that cancer, bone proliferation, and other strange diseases were cured through practicing Falun Gong. Great hope rose in my heart. I thought that I should study Falun Gong as soon as possible if it is so miraculous. I searched the internet using the keyword Falun Gong. I found from the Hong Kong website links to websites worldwide. From there I found the names of contact persons at many universities in the US. They offered free Falun Gong lessons. How astonishing, the Falun Gong volunteer assistant at my university was a westerner! I instantly e-mailed and called him but could not reach him. I wondered if he had graduated.

  I was at a loss, but I kept searching. I found on the Hong Kong Falun Gong website the instructional videos for the five sets of Falun Gong exercises. Following the suggestions of fellow practitioners, I listened to the 9-day lectures of Teacher Li on the internet. I downloaded and printed the book Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong, and read through it once.

  After reading Zhuan Falun for the first time there were many questions in my mind. Some of the terms sounded to me rather superstitious, but by following suggestions from other practitioners I found on the website, I learned that Zhuan Falun teaches people to improve their character. While watching videos of Teacher Li s lectures, I fell asleep at the beginning. Yet, I was deeply impressed by Teacher's smile and tireless efforts in teaching people to be good. What was so amazing, the second night after I learned the exercises and formally started practicing, I generated a lot of heat and had to kick my covers off in the night. The following day, my terrible bad breath from the illness had disappeared.

  I practiced more diligently. Now I could sleep well and had a good appetite. I decided to go back to Taiwan because I did not want to bother my classmates too much. I had hope again! I knew that there were many Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan, and I hoped to learn from them the details of the exercises. I arrived in Taiwan on the evening of April 13, 2004 in a wheel chair, and returned home at about 11 p.m. At 5 a.m., on April 14, I went to the practice site at the Agricultural and Industry School of Taoyuan to do the exercises with other practitioners.

  On the morning of April 15, 2004, my parents took me to the Changgen Hospital at Linkou to see a doctor. Using the latest diagnostic tests, combined with previous blood tests, two medical professors diagnosed my disease as Hypermobility Syndrome (recurring pains in a number of joints). The doctors told me that I would suffer pain for the rest of my life. They told me that I couldn't lift any heavy items or do heavy labor. I was told that I would be dependent on painkillers for the rest of my life. After leaving the doctor's office in the wheel chair, I remembered to tell my parents that I wanted to practice Falun Gong!

  That same day, my father bought me a copy of Zhuan Falun. While I was reading Zhuan Falun for a second time, I practiced even harder. On the evening of April 16, I went to a Falun Dafa study seminar on my crippled feet. I remember a fellow practitioner's words: "If you could walk to the practice site you wouldn't have to bother your father." So I walked in small steps to the Taoyuan practice site.

  On April 19, I attended a new 9-day Falun Gong lecture series. Red dots appeared on my neck, accompanied by unbearable itching. I ignored them and practiced the fifth exercise, the sitting meditation, whenever I felt the itching. About a week later the red dots on my neck disappeared, and though I could still feel some pain in my knee, I could already walk like a normal person. In the beginning I could only do the meditation for 10 minutes. Now I can do it for 50 minutes. My third aunt, third uncle and my mother's friends all began to practice Falun Gong after seeing my changes. The defamation of Falun Dafa by Jiang Zemin and his followers in China is propaganda that has deceived many people. Now, as I have been most fortunate to become a Falun Gong practitioner, I will practice diligently. I will try my utmost to let more people know the truth of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and of Falun Gong s amazing healing powers.