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HEALING T’AI CHI
Tao Te Ching, #23, translated by S. Mitchell
Ch’i moves along invisible pathways called “meridians”. The number of meridians is generally considered to be 365. Any of these pathways can become clogged due to illness, injury, an improper diet, insufficient rest, or environmental pollutants. Where the path of a meridian crosses another meridian is called a junction point. It is here where the energy or ch’i is most likely to become stuck. Acupuncturists insert needles into these areas to open the passageway and allow energy to pass through unimpeded. Exercises and self-acupressure can resolve many of the problems caused by blocked ch’i. Regular practice of the exercises in this blog will increase the flow of energy and may prevent many ordinary bouts of fatigue and illness. If the problem persists, however, an acupuncture treatment may be necessary.
Exercise #6 – Center Your Ch’i
In this exercise, we are collecting bits of energy from all over our bodies and returning them to the neutral position in the lower dan tien (more about this later). Using this exercise at the beginning and again at the end of each exercise section will ensure that your energy remains centered and readily available.
Posture – Sit with your back against the back of your chair, allowing for the small natural curve of your spine. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
Benefits – This exercise will center your energy and re-balance your body.
Hold your hands, palm up, just above your lap. Breathe in deeply through your nose while contracting your diaphragm. In this exercise – unlike the others – your diaphragm is not expanded during inhalation; it is contracted.
As you tighten your abdomen, raise your arms out to the side and up over your head to its center. Your palms are now facing the ceiling, fingers barely touching. (see illustration below)
Allow your arms to descend gradually in an arc out to the side. As you do so, exhale and relax the muscles of your diaphragm and abdomen.
Return your arms to the original position in front of the lowest part of your abdomen, palms up.
Repeat Centering Ch’i no less than 3 times before you begin your full exercise session, after each section of exercises and again at the end of the complete program.
Use the Bigger Rushing (LV3) acupressure point to enhance your exercise session. Michael Reed Gach in his book, Acupressure’s Potent Points, suggests the following method for stimulating this important point:
- Put your right heel on top of your left foot and rub back and forth in the area between your big toe and the second toe. Rub this important liver point for at least 30 seconds.
- Change feet now and repeat, using your left foot to rub the same area on the top of your right foot.
- Be sure to give equal attention to both feet for the same amount of time in each session.
Benefits -This liver point is particularly effective for fatigue, confusion, headaches, nausea and irritability.
~The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is no intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner. Please see your health care provider before beginning any new fitness program.~