A few months back I posted some how-to videos to help you balance your body in your qi gong, tai chi and bagua training. Now I have three steps you can take to start fixing imbalances in your body before they create greater health issues.
Three Steps to Body Balancing
First of all, many people are unaware of just how imbalanced their body may be. It could be that one side (left-right) or one half (upper or lower) of the body is more bound, less flexible or has a limited range of motion, or is generally less comfortable than the other.
Step 1: Start by doing a couple of experiments to see if both halves and sides of your body are equal in strength, range of motion, flexibility and comfort. You may find big differences as a result of impact trauma or from repetitive behaviours that have caused damaged and taken root over a long period of time. However, you may also find day-to-day osciallations as a result of the work you’ve done recently or for one reason or another. The point is, you want to do some tests and find out if one part of your body is compromised in comparison to all others, especially its counterpart.
Step 2: Once you know which side or half of your body is the weakest, then you want to enquire further about what exactly is your range of motion and comfortable level on that side/half.
Step 3: In any movement, go right up to the point where you feel strain or your nerves start to bite, and make a mental note of it. (Please move slowly and don’t use too much force or try to push through any feeling of pain.) This is your marker for 100% effort, which you never want to engage as you do any internal energy arts movement. Instead, you want to stay well behind this point, only going to about one-third of this range. This is true not only for the weak area, but also the dominant counterpart. If you continually exert your full two-thirds effort on the dominant side, then the weaker side can never “catch up,” so to speak. So you want to play to the two-thirds of your ability on your weaker side.
Relaxing the Nerves
During any movement, the intensity rises exponentially with every degree of increase in movement or effort. Many students find it difficult to go at a slow enough pace that their bodies can actually handle without revving their nervous system. While it may force the muscles and fascia to stretch faster for a greater, more immediate external result, it actually causes the opposite of what we seek to achieve in the internal arts: relaxation in movement, stillness and transitions between the two. Over time, the effect of clamping down and arousing the nerves will build in a glass ceiling and your overall practice results will be greatly diminished. Pushing through internal resistance is not sustainable.
Staying well behind the point where you activate any feelings of discomfort, hardness and especailly pain will pay dividens in the long game, and allow you to restore health and balance in your body. Watch my video to learn a few tricks…