The most common area that people hold stress and tension is undoubtedly the neck, shoulders and upper back. If you need some comic relief, just take a look at the way some people drive with their shoulders up around their ears while they hold on to the steering wheel for dear life!
However, it’s not only moments of intense, accute stress that causes this reaction, but all the micro-movements in reaction to minor inconveniences and setbacks while we stare at computer and television screens.
Poor posture and repetitive movement using improper body alignments have resulted in back, neck and shoulder pain that has become pandemic in the West. It’s not only affecting adults, but our youth as well. The symptoms are caused by prolonged sitting, usually starring at computer or television screens, and recurring micro-movements operating keywords, remote controls, clicks on the mouse and more. With each passing year, we are only becoming more reliant on technology, so although prevention is key, the solution (at least in part) must also include ways to expel tension and pain once it has become lodged in the body.
Check out my video with practices for a healthy spine, including an exercise you can try with a training partner to get accurate feedback!
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.
In my 2011 Five Element Qi Gong retreat in Crete, I discussed ways to restore balance in and revitalise the body. One method for fretting out imbalances and getting real about your practice is training with a partner, which accomplishes three important goals:
The question of how long to train Tao meditation and energy arts is one of the most frequestly asked questions.
I advise all students, but especially beginners to qi gong, tai chi, bagua or meditation, to mind their two-thirds of effort in mind-body-qi, and save 45-minute to hour-long practices for many months (or even years) down the line, once they have a solid foundation in nei gong. Otherwise, you may injure yourself or build up too much internal resistance and stop practising.