Written by Gioia Zhang
Translated by Yuqing Yang
Now it is time to introduce the Fourth Section: “Stretch Backwards for Physical Weakness and Sickness”
Physical weakness and sickness (五劳七伤, the Five Lao and Seven Shang) refers to strains on your heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys and any one of the following seven emotions being impacted in a negative way: happiness, sadness, grief, fear, shock and longing. This section helps to stretch your chest and belly by rotating your upper limbs. Turning your head to the left and right can stimulate the Da Zhui acupoint and various acupoints on the back, which helps prevent physical weakness and sickness. In addition, it also improves blood circulation in your neck and brain and strengthens your central nervous system.
This section is divided into the following steps:
- Straighten your legs and stretch them, lift your center of gravity while straightening your arms, fingers pointing downwards, eyes straight ahead.
- Open your arms out to the sides, palms facing outwards, turn your head to the left, pause for one second and look to the left behind your back.
- Bend your knees slightly, bring your arms back in and keep them by your hips, fingers pointing outwards, eyes straight ahead.
- Doing this section once to the right and once to the left counts as one repetition, three repetitions in total.
- At the end of the third repetition, bend your knees slightly
- Tips: keep your chin tucked in, correct your head posture, relax and lower your shoulders, try to keep your body still during the head movement, make sure your arms go all the way back when stretching them out to the sides in order to get a full stretch.
Try to avoid the following mistakes:
- Do not move the center of your upper body backwards and keep your head as still as possible during the body movement
Try to move your head and open your arms to the fullest.
We will now move on to discussing the Fifth Section: Move Your Head and Legs to Reduce Heart Fire
Heart Fire is the result of excessive fire elements in your heart. This section intends to simulate your spine and governor meridian to purge this heat and reduce heart fire. At the same time, it will increase the flexibility of your neck, waist and hip as well as strengthening the muscles in these areas.
This section is divided into the following steps:
- Move your center to the left, step to the right with your right foot while raising your hands above your head. Bend your fingers, fingertips facing each other, eyes straight ahead.
- Bend your knees and do the horse stance while lowering your arms. Rest your hands on your thighs slightly above your knees.
- Raise you center of gravity slightly, then move it so that your upper body leans towards the right. Bend over and look towards your right foot.
- Move your center of gravity to the left while moving your upper body to the right. Turn left, bend over and look down towards your right heel
- Move your center to the right and get into the horse stance while tilting your head backwards; straighten your upper body, tuck your chin in, eyes straight ahead.
- Repeat the section to the right. Doing this section once to the right and once to the left counts as one repetition, three repetitions in total.
- After three repetitions, move your center to the left, take back your right foot, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, at the same time, lift both your arms above your head, palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly, place your hands in front of your stomach, fingertips facing each other, eyes straight ahead.
Tips: when doing the horse stance, your upper body should be straight; when you turn your body, make sure to stretch it lightly.
This movement is very difficult, and you will exercise many joints and muscles. Please study the steps carefully and practice them multiple times.
The human body is a marvelous system that links the heavens and nature. Regulating your meridians is crucial for your health, so try to do some stretching exercises during your work breaks. You can even do them while sitting on your chair at your desk! It will help to relax your muscles.
*Heart Fire is a term used in traditional Chinese medicine and is used when someone is diagnosed with an excess of energy which can lead to disruptions in the patient’s health, be that physically, psychologically or spiritually. Emotional tension is the most common underlying factor in this condition. Click the following link for a fuller explanation of heart-fire, the causes and symptoms – https://healingpointacupunctureclinic.com/blog/heart-fire-summer-element.
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