“The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.
Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results.”
Tao Te Ching #36, translated by S. Mitchell
Healing T’ai Chi Exercise #28
The following exercise is from the Northern Star Qigong as described by Deng Ming-Dao in his wonderful book, Scholar Warrior. Once again we use reverse breathing. When inhaling, tighten your abdominal muscles pulling your diaphragm upward. When exhaling, relax your abdominal muscles below the navel only. This exercise has been modified to be used while seated.
Benefits – This exercise will stretch your back muscles gently while making your hip joints more flexible.
Posture – Sit with your back against the chair, feet shoulder-width apart and head held high. This is a relaxed posture but don’t allow yourself to slump.
Inhale as you bring your hands up to your sternum close to your chest, palms upward.
Exhale as you bend over slowly (one vertebra at a time). Touch the floor with your palms if possible.
Begin inhaling as you lift up slowly to return to an upright position.
Repeat at least 6 times concentrating on primarily on your breath.
Place the backs of both your hands against your lower back with knuckles facing.
Rub briskly up and down on both sides of your spine and down into your buttocks for a full minute.
Benefits: Whenever you feel your back muscles tensing or that first pinch of sciatica, sit down and take a minute to rub your hands along your back as described above. The friction from your hands will warm your muscles and prevent a debilitating backache or sciatic attack. Use as often throughout the day as necessary.
Warning – If you have disintegrating discs or fractured or broken bones, consult your physician before using this acupressure exercise.
Don’t forget to drink water at the end of your exercise session or any time you begin to feel thirsty. A Word of Caution…If you have or have had problems with your kidneys, please consult your physician regarding the amount of water appropriate for your condition.
Note: The exercises in this blog are intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.
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