What is the first thing you do when your body feels off, when you feel pain or discomfort? Do you look in your medicine cabinet for some relief? Instead of reaching for a pill, you can check inside a meridian medicine cabinet, like the one found inside the book, Meridian Exercise for Self-Healing
by Ilchi Lee.
Meridian exercise comes from Asian medicine, which says that you have channels, meridians, running through your body through which subtle life energy flows. Disease occurs when the flow of energy through these channels becomes sluggish or blocked. This disrupts the harmony of the body and impedes the body’s ability to regulate and care for itself, leading to malfunctions. Energy that is stuck or stagnant can become hot or cold, and related areas can feel painful. This most often happens at distinct points along the channel where energy enters and leaves the body.
Treatment for any ailment, then, involves breaking up blockages so that warm, clear energy can travel through the body easily. Acupuncture uses needles to target specific blocked points on the meridian channels, and meridian exercises do this as well. Through mindful stretching, breathing, tapping, rotation, vibration, and acupressure, you can be your own home healthcare provider and treat your energy blockages. Armed with the knowledge in Meridian Exercise for Self-Healing, you can pinpoint the problem and use related exercises to open the right meridians and energy points.
1. Finding the right exercises for you.
Meridian Exercise makes finding the exercises you need easy. Its over 200 exercises are organized by the systems of your body, such as the nervous system, endocrine system, and digestive system, and then by common diseases that might occur there, such as headaches, diabetes, and constipation. Colored tabs on the edge of each page allow you to thumb quickly through the book to the system you need.
If you’re not quite sure exactly what problem you’re having, but you know it has something to do with your stomach, go to the section on the digestive system and read the explanation of the underlying causes of digestive issues from an energy perspective. Read through the descriptions for each illness as well, and you will get a sense of what might help you.
Once you identify the issue and find the right section, choose the exercises among the many available by seeing which you are capable of doing and which seem to best target where you feel pain or tension.
2. Recommendations for doing the exercises.
The exercises are explained with colored photographs and step-by-step instructions. Rather than doing many of the recommended exercises for your issue for short periods of time, it’s more helpful if you do a particular exercise for a longer period with strong focus. Doing this is the same as using a magnifying glass to aim sunlight on something flammable. With time and concentration, you can create fire. With time and concentration, you can focus enough energy on your blockages to dissolve and open them. So keep doing an exercise until you feel a real difference in your body. Each exercise also has a recommended number of repetitions or length of time for you to do it, but suggests doing it longer as you become better at it.
Unlike relieving pain, solving some kinds of symptoms, like high blood pressure, takes time. You will need to do the meridian exercises consistently every day. The exercises may make you feel generally better in the short-term and then normalize your blood pressure or other symptoms in the long-term. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, you may need to make meridian exercise part of your normal self-care regimen, such as a healthy diet and aerobic exercises.
3. Developing a daily routine.
If you need to do a set of exercises for more than one day to solve the problem you’re having, choose a convenient time of day to make them routine. Common times to do them are after you first wake up or before going to bed. The time you choose may depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Bedtime is a good time to do meridian exercises if you are trying to relax because of anxiety or high blood pressure or if you suffer from insomnia. If you have something like fatigue or constipation, meridian exercises in the morning may help you get everything going. If you have a problem with digestion, you can try doing one or two meridian exercises before each meal in addition to a longer practice at another time.
The length of time you practice during one session can depend on your schedule, but ten to twenty minutes is enough to have an effect. If you want to go deeper or make greater progress, try practicing for a half hour to an hour. You can also train for a longer period of time one or two days a week while maintaining a daily practice of ten to twenty minutes. For chronic conditions, consistency is most important for maintaining and improving your health. Even if you don’t have much time, try to practice for at least five to ten minutes a day.
Meridian Exercise author Ilchi Lee has recently suggested doing one minute of exercise at the top of every hour to stay healthy. These short intervals, while only adding up to ten to fifteen minutes per day, can help you stay active and bring your attention back to your health and wellness throughout your day.
By making meridian exercise a regular part of your daily life, you’ll be far less likely to need to reach into your conventional medicine cabinet again. However, Meridian Exercise is not designed to replace the care of a health professional when needed. If you are being treated by a professional, let her or him know about all of your exercise and health habits so she or he can provide you with the best treatment.
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