In the next part of our preparing and recovering from surgery series, we will learn the second pair of alphabet stretches (the Y and the I), as well as a unique and relaxing movement that loosens the chest, abdomen, and shoulders very well.
As you continue to stretch the muscles and soft tissue in the shoulders and chest, and are able to lean into the doorway you are using while performing the M and the T stretches, you can advance to the Y and the I stretches.
The Y and I stretches are more intense, especially on the shoulders and the upper back. If you can't do them yet (especially if you are in recovery, rather than preparation for surgery) then stick to the M and the T. Hold each stretch for 2-3 minutes. And remember, breathe deep!
Next, we'll do the Turn and Twist motion, which I teach to my patients with frozen shoulder, rotator cuff issues, and any other shoulder or chest issues. While you are performing the motion, gradually work your way up. When you reach the point where your arms are at the same height as when doing the T stretch from before, complete 10-20 repetitions, and then slowly work your way down. Use the movement like a Tai Chi form, breathing deeply and emptying the mind.
In the next installment, I'll show you two beautiful exercises that come directly from Tai Chi and Qi Gong, one of which you do with a friend. Stay tuned!
And Happy Stretching!