Exercise #217 – Exercises and Acupressure Points for Muscle and Joint Pain, Part 8

Welcome to Healing Tai Chi

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…award-winning blog of seated Tai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong exercises for people of all ages and levels of fitness to manage stress and balance mind, body and spirit.


This week’s exercise continues the loosening and energizing of the neck and head.  Breathing in to the targeted area aids in relaxing and sending ch’i  to both neck and head.  Remember to consult your physician before practicing this exercise particularly if you have had an injury or surgery on your neck.

Head tilts and circles:

  1. Begin as usual sitting in a comfortable chair, back supported completely by the back of your chair.   Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.  Take 6 to 12 slow breaths in and out through your nose.
  2. Breathe in through your nose while your head is upright.  Breathe out through your nose as you tilt your head to the left.  As you bring your head back to the center, breathe in and again.
  3. Breathe in again and then tilt your head to the right.  Continue alternating left and right for a total of 6 times.
  4. On the 6th tilt (your head will be bent toward your right shoulder), circle your head toward your chest as you breathe out.
  5. Continuing to circle your head to the left, breathe in through your nose again and return your head to the upright position.   Repeat for 6 circles.
  6. As you breathe out, tilt your head to the right then left and so on for 6 tilts.
  7. On the 6th tilt your head will be bent to the left.  Circle your head toward your chest as you breathe out.  Halfway through the circle, begin breathing in as you return your head to the upright position.  Repeat for 6 half-circles (do not circle your head to the back just toward your chest).

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Window of Heaven (TW 16):

  • Locate the acupressure point labeled TW16 on the illustration above from Michael Reed Gach’s book, Acupressure’s Potent Points.
  • The points are located one to two inches behind your earlobes where there is a small indentation.
  • Press firmly on both sides with your thumbs for no less that a full minute while breathing slowly and directing your focus to these points.

Benefits:  These effective points help to relieve shoulder and neck pain, a stiff neck and headaches.

Don’t forget to drink water after you finish the exercise or at any time you feel thirsty.  Word of Caution…If you have kidney problems, follow the advice of your physician as to the amount of water you can safely drink.


This blog is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.

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