Rami's Blog

Like the Yin-Yang, Eastern Martial Arts and Western medicine are two halves of a whole. My mission is to preserve the ancient mind-body tools, and pass them on to you.

 

Freeing the Skeleton by Moving the Upper Body

Just one more week! One more week before we take our holiday break for the year. We've gone over how these body marker movements can release your skeleton from unneeded stress in the last two blogs here and here. We began with the lower body, then moved up to the core. All that is left is to gently move the upper body and we will have gotten to everything!

Moving Technique to Compliment Body Marker #7: Swinging Arm Rotations

This is a great movement to help you loosen up the entire shoulder girdle and upper body, but I'm still going to include two more movements you can do in addition to this to really release your soft tissue tension. A note on this exercise: sitting or standing is fine. Standing is not the "next level" of this exercise, because it has nothing to do with the legs. As always, I encourage you to stand if you can.


Moving Technique to Compliment Body Marker #8: Move your Head Like a Pigeon

This exercise also uses circular rotation to help you loosen up your soft tissue, but maybe not in the way you expect! The circles you do during this exercise are forward and backward, not left and right. Don't forget to relax your face and shoulders here! We don't need to add more tension while we're trying to get rid of it!


Moving Technique to Compliment Body Marker #9: 40% Effort Movements

I invented and tested these movements over the years with the help of my students who have arthritis in their arms and wrists. Pay close attention to the wrist movement that I do later on in the video. But don't skip the other movements! The finger movement especially can help to loosen the soft tissue in the forearms and relieve wrist tension.


That's all for this week! Next week we deliver the full "Freeing the Skeleton" guide, and then we're off for the holidays.

Happy stretching, deep breathing, empty your mind, strengthen your energetic system, and evoke your spirit!

Freeing the Skeleton with the Body Markers: Arms and Shoulder Girdle

Hello again Mind-Body students! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

We are closing in on the end of the year here, and only have three "stationary" body marker stretches left. Once we complete those today, there will be another three blogs on some moving variations for these body markers. Then, the final blog of 2017 will be the series blog for all 9 flexibility body markers, stationary and moving. After that we have our holiday break for a few weeks. Time flies!

If you've missed part 1 and/or part 2 of this body marker series for releasing the skeleton from soft tissue tension, check them out now!

Body Marker #7: Shoulders

The shoulder is an incredibly complex joint, with lots and lots of soft tissue around it that can become stiff and frozen for many reasons. Because of this, we like to do 4 different postures of stretches that enables you to stretch the joint in every direction. Use a belt or a rope if you need help maintaining the stretch! Remember, 80% effort!


Body Marker #8: Neck

Modern day life creates a huge amount of stress on our neck, with desk jobs, computer use, cell phones, driving, and more. I developed these three postures for the neck to help free it from the soft tissue strain it can experience on a daily basis.


Body Marker #9: The Wrists

You may not think they are that important to stretch, but think about it! We use our wrists for just about everything we do. If you allow your forearm and hand muscles and tissue to freeze around your wrist, you will not only find it harder to do daily tasks, but you will experience a lot of pain as well. Don't let that happen: use this simple stretch to release tension in the wrist. You can do it sitting, or standing while using a wall.


And that's it for the stationary body markers for flexibility! We'll see you all again next week!

Happy stretching, deep breathing, empty your mind, strengthen your energetic system, and evoke your spirit!


P.S. BLACK FRIDAY SALE!!

All of my Udemy courses are currently on sale for the shopping holiday! If you haven't yet bought them, you should definitely do so in the next 4 days, before the sale ends! Each of the courses is currently just $10! Many of the courses have several hours of content in them. It is a great deal, but only available for a couple days!

Tell your family and friends to make free Udemy accounts and buy them as well! There is no better time to start a new Tai Chi program.

If you have already bought my courses, thank you! Please write a review on the Udemy website if you found the course helpful. Reviews are the best way to help new people on Udemy find my courses.

Release Neck Tension, Fix Migraines

Welcome back Tai Chi students! This week, we are revisiting a stretch we did on the blog nearly three years ago, so that all our new readers can benefit from learning it, and the ones who have seen it can have a healthy reminder (as well as learn some new information).

So let's talk about the neck. Most of us lose full range of motion in the neck simply because we do not use it enough. It's like the old saying goes: if you don't use it, you lose it. The neck is designed to turn 90 degrees to the left and 90 degrees to the right, but most people can only turn 45 degrees to each side. When turning your head around on your neck, you should be able to see the back of your shoulders.

While you are doing this stretch, the body will try to take shortcuts at certain points, when you cannot turn any more with good alignment, and it will tilt the head toward the side of the turn (bringing your chin closer to your shoulder). Make sure you maintain correct alignment and keep the chin parallel to the floor. Doing the stretch with a friend or family looking and helping you maintain alignments goes a long way. 

Use the block, a book, or any other object to help keep the neck and head straight. Without the block, the neck and head will extend forward toward the wall, which will brake alignments.

Also: focus on moving up through the neck more than on turning around. What I do is use the inhalation to lengthen through the neck upward (like there is a string pulling on the tip of my head from the heavens) for about 9 inhalations. Inhaling helps with the upward movement and releasing shoulder tension. Then, after 9 inhalations, I slightly turn on an exhalation. 

Remember the 80 percent effort rule! Less is more when it comes to stretching, especially the neck!

And that's it! Happy stretching, deep breathing, and empty your mind!

Office Exercise Series: Elbows Over and Behind

Hello again, mind-body students!

We continue with our second new installment in the Office Exercise Series this week, moving on two a two-part stretch that you can call "Elbows Over and Behind."

This stretch is great for relaxing the whole upper body, as well as beating that regular 2-3pm slump that many people who work in offices get. Rejuvenate your energy stores and focus your mind by doing these two exercises and you'll see results in no time!