Archive for September, 2012

September 29, 2012

Take care of yourself, this fall and beyond.

The warm, sunny weather we’ve been enjoying this past week here in Portland makes it hard to believe that it’s fall. However, next week brings the first of October and most likely cooler, damp weather. It’s really important to take care of yourself during the seasons, especially as we transition between different kinds of weather. In this post, Michael Guida, one of our Amma Bodywork Therapy instructors, shares three simple T’ai Chi exercises specifically for your joints, to help keep you moving through fall and beyond. Keep reading below and check out the video!

Please join us for any or all of our community classes this Fall. In addition to T’ai Chi with Michael, we will also be offering Qigong, meditation, holistic nutrition and whole foods cooking. You can find the complete list with dates, times, class descriptions and more:

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Below three exercises recommended by Michael specifically for joint health and what he had to say about the benefits of each for this time of year.

Autumn is a natural time to be outside and active, whether it’s gardening, going for a run or heading out for a hike. Taking care of our joints is essential and doing exercises specifically to open joints helps us enjoy these and more activities all year long. Joint opening exercises range the joints in the directions that they normally move to increase circulation of qi and blood, but don’t necessarily focus on ‘stretching’ the muscles. Here are 3 basic examples where you can warm up major areas of the body simply. This is a great place to start for everyone, regardless of the activity.

Stand with your feet parallel and your arms hanging at your sides. Without engaging the shoulders or arms, rotate your hips & torso left and right allowing your arms to just flop and follow the movements of the hips. Like a washing machine rotate left and right. Do this for 30 – 60 seconds. This is great for opening the spinal joints, the hips and the shoulders.

Stand with your feet parallel. Shift the weight into the left leg and lift the right knee as far as you can while maintaining balance. Then point that knee out to the right as far as you can, then slowly lower the leg until the toe touches the floor. Then bring the leg back to center and repeat. If you are feeling adventurous reverse the direction. Do about 10 of those then switch legs. It is important that you move slow and controlled.

If you are doing things with your hands where grip is especially important (climbing, gardening, massaging, kayaking, fishing, etc…) it is a good idea to do some joint opening for your hands and wrists. Simply hold your hands in front of you and ‘shake them out’ as if you are trying to shake off water droplets from your fingertips. This can be pretty vigorous and you can repeat for 30-60 seconds. This is great to do before, during and after any activity involving heavy hand use. It is also good to do if you sit at the computer for long periods of time.

Michael recommends you take the time to do these before, possibly during, and after activity, to feel better during your activity AND help stave off injuries. After all….who wants to be sidelined during the fabulous fall season or ever for that matter?

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September 15, 2012

Video: How Rylen got into Chinese Medicine – and what she still loves about it

Check out this video to get to know Rylen and The Wellspring School a little better, and to learn more about Amma Therapy.

If you have any comments, questions, or thoughts after listening to Rylen, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at info@thewellspring.org, call (503) 688-1482, or stop by our beautiful new space in Northeast Portland.

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