Welcome to Healing Tai Chi!
…the award-winning blog of seated Tai Chi and Qigong exercises to inspire health care professionals, caregivers and individuals seeking to balance mind, body and spirit.
“Wield the Tao of the ancients
To manage the existence of today
One can know the ancient beginning
It is called the Tao Axiom.”
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that we have been stretching muscles, releasing energy and relieving the pain of arthritis in the upper body for the last few posts. We are now going to address the lower body to make the lower back, hips and knees more flexible and less painful. As always, if you have very severe arthritis, have had a recent injury or surgery, please consult your physician before beginning these exercises. Approach every new exercise cautiously by listening to what your body is telling you.
Lower back stretch:
- Begin as usual with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, back fully supported by the back of your chair.
- Breathe in and out through your nose slowly and thoughtfully counting breaths for 6 to 12 controlled breaths.
- Breathe in through your nose as you lift your trunk as high as is comfortable.
- Breathe out through your mouth and roll downward beginning with the lowest vertebrae opening your spine to allow the energy to move through.
- When you have completed your outward breath and have lowered yourself as far as possible (if you’re quite flexible, your head will be between your knees), Don’t worry about how far down you can bend, just relax and let your body move naturally.
- As you breathe in again through your nose, roll slowly back up to the original position (do not arch as you are bending down nor as you are returning to the upright position).
- Breathe out through your mouth again as you arch carefully backwards. Make sure that you are on a sturdy chair so there won’t be any chance of tipping over backward.
- Return to the upright position as you breathe in through your nose. Repeat the roll down and up and the arching backward for at least 3 times each session.
- Locate the acupressure point labeled B 48 on the illustration above from Michael Reed Gach’s book, Acupressure’s Potent Points. click on the picture to enlarge it for more accuracy.
- This point is about midway between the top of the hipbones and the bottom of your buttocks. It is one to two finger-widths from the large bone at the base of the spine.
- Fist your hands and lean back against your knuckles to get the best pressure for these two points. If you are particularly sore in this area, ease off by moving yourself slightly forward.
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.
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Seated Taiji and Qigong
Guided Therapeutic Exercises to Manage Stress and Balance Mind, Body and Spirit
Cynthia W. Quarta
Foreword by Michelle Maloney Vallie
Published by Singing Dragon
Paperback: £15.99 / $24.95
February 2012, 246mm x 173mm / 10in x 7in, 208pp
ISBN: 978-1-84819-088-7, BIC 2: WSTM VFMG VFJD
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This week’s exercise video:
The exercises in this blog are intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.