Joined: 09 Nov 2004
|Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:25 am Post subject: Dealing with back problems and other movement issues
|zhukov wrote: |
|I have been wishing I could do physical yoga for years. I did used to do Yo Chi which combines yoga and tai chi and is an excellent way to do both types...gentler than regular tai chi. I really liked it very much when I could do it.
Unfortunately my back problems don't allow much of any type of excersise except walking nowdays
I was going to post something about food, and the bigger topic of giving oneself permission to break BK rules and practices after a period of devotion.
I myself was western-strict, would not eat my mother's cooking, even vegetarian, because she didn't do it the BK way.
But about Zhukov's back problems.. I'd like to offer a brief plug.
First, walking itself is great exercise. Studies have shown that walking reduces incidence of dementia and other declines in mental functioning among the elderly. Both of my parents are in their 70s, active, and credit lengthy morning walks (along with a healthy, mostly vegetarian diet) for keeping them healthy.
As a way to influence longstanding postural habits responsible for sustaining current discomforts, I think you also might find it worth looking into the Feldenkrais Method as a potential alternative. You can find books--such as the easy-to-read volume Relaxercise--or may be able to find a decent practitioner in your area. Group classes are cheap, involve moving and feeling rather than the conventional looking and imitating, and you might also benefit from hands-on individual work by a practitioner.
The principles draw on an understanding of how a child or adult acquires new movement skills, applying them to bring change in the brain's own control mechanisms, rather than to strengthen muscles or enforce a particular ideal as a postural discipline.
My colleagues and I work with clients ranging from developmentally delayed infants, to elderly suffering strokes and degenerative diseases, to musicians, athletes and other performers, including many who consider themselves healthy.
It has been helpful to me, personally; I can now move heavy objects, am free from previous back and neck spasms, have made significant progress in skills in swimming and music.
There is definitely something odd in my back--a vertebra that seems out of place--and I am sure that a doctor could take an Xray or MRI and explain that that deformation is the cause and possibly surgery as a cure.
I have taken another path, training my spine to respond better to shifting of weight and movements of my head, arms and legs, replacing muscular effort by better skeletal support, coordination, orientation, timing, etc.
The medical profession is beginning to recognize this quality of work, but remains biased to a specialist offering surgery and drugs versus generalists such as myself, Chiropracters, accupuncturists, etc. who help the person's system adapt to its environment through a variety of gentle, consensual and non-invasive means.
btw, I've been at it about ten years now, about as long as my stint with the BKs.