Opening the Joints
A simple Qigong set for people who have not exercised recently
Purpose of this set
This Qigong set is very easy to learn and simple to perform. It is helpful in mobilising the joints, gently increasing stamina and limb control without excessive strain or equipment. It is accessible at a very low level of fitness, making it especially useful for rehabilitation, or as a preparatory activity for people experiencing joint discomfort. When performed rhythmically, and, to music it is enjoyable and beneficial for physical and mental health.
This set is effective, without requiring participants to understand the methodology of internal arts or harmonizing the breath, intention and movement, however it is at its most effective when performed according to the principles of internal arts.
This set can be practiced as a general warm up before other gentle activity, perhaps Tai Chi, or on its own, for a longer period. For safety, add a more demanding Qigong set, to better prepare muscles and tendons, before performing vigorous training.
Benefits of training
Performance of this set will benefit circulation in general and to the joint and cartilages in particular, it will also improve muscle response and tone. Performed slowly with the inclusion of internal art principles, in particular the integration of visualized intention, harmonized breathing and movement, respiratory function can be measurably improved and the relaxation response is more effectively initiated. If practice is continued for more than 15 minutes, it can trigger the release of endorphins, which will improve mood and help to alleviate pain for a while.
An anecdotal example of benefits
Originally I used this set in conjunction with a Tai Chi form which I modified to be performed from a sitting position, for geriatric and mobility impaired people. I had particularly effective results at the Vauxhall Centre, in Norwich during the mid 1990s. The group included many hemiplegic students, and people with other disabling conditions.
Stamina and respiratory function were noticeably improved over the first three months. An increase in self-confidence and a more positive frame of mind in the group generally, was an observable added benefit, These results were influenced erhaps through increased social activity, or a perceived increase in personally managing some of the side effects of long term disability.
When I was unable to lead the group due to a career change, they became self determining, arranging their own sessions within the facilities, hiring their own instructors, and contributing a number of articles to specialist and general media outlets.
Opening the Joints Qigong sequence
The sequence may be performed head to toe, or as shown here, from the ground up, or in any order which suits.
Perhaps the easiest way is to lay comfortably on a soft warm floor, supporting the neck, knees or back if needed, and to work your way gently through the sequence.
Remember to start at 70% of capacity, and work gently, but consistently.
Breathe with the movement, and stay focused upon the area being worked.
Stop if you feel pain.
Don't expect to do as much every day.
Golden Rooster School
274 King Street
Norwich, NR1 2BL
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