The disease of old age, the Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor will tell you, is Qi deficiency and Blood stagnation. While Qi deficiency is best treated with acupuncture, herbs, and nutrition, Blood stagnation requires something else, movement. What we call old age is mostly the body adapting to laziness and lack of movement. Weight training and aerobics are necessary components, but to allay the aging process and to retain youthfulness, the movement required is of a special kind: a combination of joint mobility and muscle flexibility.
Qigong from China, and yoga from India have long understood this, and recent science in Russia and the U.S. have supported this. Flexible muscles and mobile joints allow proper blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Toxins are easily and regularly expelled from the body, wounds and traumas heal, and we feel a sense of well-being and ease. That tired look and stiff gait we associate with age is completely avoidable. But we must make an effort to move.
These are two distinct goals, though one can creatively combine them. Joint mobility requires moving all joints through the entire range of motion on a daily basis. Some, such as Russian surgeon Dr. Janda, recommends moving each joint the full range of motion the same number of times as your age. Others, such as Z Health practitioners require a far modest number. Joint mobility drills are easily added before your regular workout or first thing in the morning to wake everything up.
Most people are familiar with stretching, even though most avoid it. It is best done after you are warmed up or at the end of a workout.
We often recommend Ginastica Natural, or “natural gymnastics,” to our patients. It is a full system of strength, mobility, flexibility, balance, and stamina, based entirely on natural movement patterns. Many find Ginastica Natural resembles a fluid yoga mixed with gymnastics. The originator of Ginastica Natural, Prof. Alvaro Romano, is offering a seminar in Los Angles on Sat, Aug 14, 2010 from 10am-4pm. Cost is $175.
You must practice moving your body in every which way it was meant to move or YOU WILL LOSE IT.