I am writing this letter in support of Franklin Wood, my long-time teacher and advisor. I began studying Qigong, Tai Chi (Yang style), and Taoist philosophy in 2004 and continued through the end of 2011 with Franklin. Over 7 years of weekly sessions, I came to understand the level of knowledge that Franklin had, not only in the martial arts and meditative movement, but I also found he had a deep knowledge base regarding physiology and kinesiology, understanding how to keep the movements he taught to be safe, consistent and therapeutic. When I started learning from Franklin, I had been experiencing small seizures and night terrors that did respond to pharmacological treatment, but with the specialized training I received in my weekly sessions with Franklin, I was able to stop medications and became symptom free. Later, when I broke my arm at the top of the humerus (result of a jet ski accident), and my shoulder lost range of motion, my continued training with Franklin helped me to gain back full range of motion. I worked with Franklin from age 52 through 59, and I continue to practice the full Tai chi form and much of the Qigong practice that I learned from him.
As a side note, I did eventually train through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (Dr. Roger Jahnke) as a trainer in Qigong and Tai Chi Easy, and continued with this training to the point that I am a Senior Trainer. With this other training, I have even more perspective on the solid, safe and effective teaching I received from Franklin!.
I also use these practices (from both Franklin and Roger) in my research with patients with cardiovascular disease and with people living with cancer. I have been funded over the past several years by the National Institutes of Health to study the medical and psychological benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. In the early years of this research, I would regularly ask for Franklin’s guidance and opinions to be sure that our research protocols were safe and effective and he was always knowledgeable and helpful in that regard. I know that he is familiar with the research literature on the effects of Tai Chi and qigong for a variety of conditions, and I’m aware of the work he has done to help patients with Parkinson’s disease.
During the years I have known Franklin, I have brought in friends of all ages, and my own kids for special care when they needed specific help with pain or other difficulties. He is very knowledgeable in the healing arts and has been able to help with a variety of conditions, helping people find their own healing through practice.
I came to know Franklin, his work, and his achievements very well over these many years and can attest to my personal experience of benefit, as well as the benefit to others with various conditions. At 63 I am profoundly healthy, flexible, and mostly pain free, and still use many of the techniques that Franklin taught me to stay healthy. I would highly recommend him for implementing a program in your state to provide help to older adults with joint pain, or many other conditions that come with aging.
Feel free to contact me if you would like further information.
Linda Larkey PhD, CRTT
Professor, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Faculty, Mayo Clinic (Scottsdale)