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 Gentle Movements and Postures, Part II  
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled The Healer Within by . View all columns in series
Please remember the guidelines for mastering the self-applied health enhancement methods (SAHEM). These movements are meant to be the seeds of your own inventiveness. Please, do not sabotage your mastery by thinking they must be done a certain way. Make it up, make it fun, spread the word. Learn from others, add favorites, steal from the masters; they are always willing to share. Be careful, honor your limits. Bring the breath and relaxation practices together with the effort of the movements, that is the balance. When you have made contact with the extent to which gentle movement has a profound health effect, you have become a part of the solution to the medical crisis. Note on the numbers: The suggested numbers of applications per day and the number of repetitions are present because we love and need guidance. However, everyone is unique, and the numbers are really up to you within the context of the guidelines about fun, limits, the comfort zone, etc. Enjoy!

6. Rotate the Knees - White Crane Encircling Knees
Begin with the feet together. Bend the knees. Bend the torso and cup the palms over the knee caps. Rotate the knees. Repeat, then reverse the direction. Relax the shoulders. Deepen the breath. When it feels appropriate, over time, sink further down and allow the circles to become more broad. Do not aggravate weak or injured knees. Honor the comfort zone.

Application Suggestions:

  • Health maintenance: 1 time per day, 10 repetitions each direction.
  • Health enhancement: 2 to 3 times per day, 10 repetitions each direction.
  • Disease intervention: Start slowly and build up to 3 to 5 times per day.
  • Getting started: 1 to 2 times per day.

7. Right and Left Curving of the Spine
Beginning from the preliminary position bend to the right. The right arm drops down along the side of the leg and the head bends toward the right shoulder. The upper left arm rises up on a line with shoulders and the hand and lower arm dangle form the elbow. Repeat. Inhale toward the upright, exhale toward the bend. Deep slow breaths. This is an easy but extremely important exercise for the muscles along the spine, the neurological reflexes along the spine and the connective tissue that holds the spine together.

Application Suggestions:

  • Health maintenance: 2 to 3 times per day, 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Health enhancement: 6 to 10 times per day, 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Disease intervention: Start slowly and build up to 10 to 15 times per day, 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Getting started: 2 to 3 sessions per day.

8. Front and Back Curving of the Spine Embracing Forcefulness
Beginning from the preliminary position, raise the arms upward. The upper arms move in line with the shoulders. The forearms and hands reach upward form the elbow. The hands reach wide open. The breath is on the inhalation cycle. The spine bends like a bow with the belly and chest forward. The head reaches upwards, tilts backward and the gaze goes skyward. The tail bone is lifted backward and upward. Then, on the exhale, the arms come forward and the hands clench into fists that close tightly before the eyes. The elbows remain bent. The spine reverses into the opposite bow with the middle back curved backward. The head is bent forward, eyes gaze at the fists and the shoulders are rounded. The tail is pulled under ad forward. This is the exhalation and is forceful. Repeat. This is a traditional martial arts power building movement.

Application Suggestions:

  • Health maintenance: 2 to3 times per day, 15 to20 repetitions.
  • Health enhancement: 6 to 10 times per day, 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Disease intervention: Start slowly and build up to 10 to 15 sessions per day, 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Getting started: 2 to 3 sessions per day.

9. Reaching Upward, Stretching Outward
Begin with feet together. With the inhalation, bring the palms upward. As they pass before the eyes lace the fingers together and turn the palms upward toward the sky. Stretch upward, hold the breath. Rise up on the balls of the feet. Hold for a moment. Unlock the fingers as the exhalation begins. Extend the arms form the heel of the palm, pressing outward, as the arms are lowered. Repeat.

Application Suggestions:

  • Health maintenance: 2 to 3 times per day, 4 to 6 repetitions.
  • Health enhancement: 6 to 10 times per day, 4 to 6 repetitions.
  • Disease intervention: Start slowly and build up to 8 to 10 times per day, 4 to 6 repetitions.
  • Getting started: 2 to 3 times per day.

10. Forward Bending Towards the Toes
This is classic toe touching. Feet are slightly apart. Bend forward slowly. Dangle, relaxed. Stay in the comfort zone. The goal is to place your palms flat on the ground and straighten your knees. This may take a life time to perfect. Patience an perseverance in the practice are the path.

Application Suggestions:

  • Health maintenance: 2 to 3 times per day.
  • Health enhancement: 6 to 10 times per day.
  • Disease intervention: Start slowly and build up to 10 to 15 times per day.
  • Getting started: 2 to 3 times per day, carefully.
      
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 About The Author
Roger Jahnke has been in the health field since 1967 beginning with body therapies, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation. He turned his attention seriously to Oriental medicine in 1972 with study at the North......moreRoger Jahnke OMD
 
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