We have all seen the ‘Stand up to Arthritis’ campaign on the television, the advertisement would not be there if this condition didn’t affect a lot of people. It is easy to be blasé about arthritis until it affects you or a family member. The impact of not been able to move can have a devastating effect both mentally and physically.
Arthritis can affect people regardless of age, it strikes in varying degrees from slight joint pain to life changing crippling pain that stops the individual from completing movements that most of us take for granted. It is important to remember that the human body was designed to move.
I have been teaching T’ai Ch a long time and I have witnessed people gain greater flexibility in their joints. Not by forcing the joint to move but by building on our gentle flowing movements in patient stages. Tiny movements, that in themselves may seem insignificant, but with regular practise make an amazing transformation in the mobility of the joints and the body as a whole.
I am not suggesting hours of practise, just little and often throughout the day. Initially I would advise that you choose one of our Arthritis specific exercise and practice this daily for at least a week. You will pick up movements relatively quickly and any movement will be beneficial but ideally the movements should be accompanied by the specific breathing techniques that we teach. People underestimate the importance and effectiveness of breathing correctly. I have witnessed the successes that people have had from implementing the breathing techniques whilst teaching the Health Arts in classes and also when working in pain management clinics. I have also benefited personally as I have practiced the Lee Family Health Arts for over thirty years and have enjoyed years of good health without the need for medication or medical attention.
The breathing exercises and generally breathing correctly has a calming effect on the mind, which in turn eases stress and anxiety. Stress can sometimes compound the condition of someone suffering from arthritis. Experience has taught me if you don’t move a joint the joint will cease up. This in turn will have a knock-on effect on the rest of your body as it tries to compensate for the joint that is no longer functioning properly.
The LFA Health Arts also offer dietary advice in the form of the Chang Ming Health diet. This is a diet that was bought out of China in the early nineteen thirties by Chang Kam Lee and adapted for the West. Western scientific research has also agreed that adapting your diet and making some slight changes can help to improve your arthritis. I am not suggesting that you change your diet overnight. What I am suggesting is trying a few simple changes and see if they work for you.
The LFA is also able to teach you acupressure points to help alleviate pain and aid mobility. I would personally recommend a ginger compress; I have used this many times and found it very effective for pain relief. I have also applied a cabbage poultice to swollen inflamed joints, again to alleviate pain and reduce the swelling. Again I can teach you these methods and once learnt you can take them with you wherever you go,
I offer one to one online assessments via Zoom or other video messaging apps where I can guide you through a personalised plan of gentle exercise, simple food swaps and pain management techniques. If you are able to attend an LFA weekly class or monthly course I can guide you through your training personally.
If you are worried that you can’t stand please don’t be concerned, the LFA T’ai Chi Health Arts can be practised from a seated position. Simply let us know that you suffer from arthritis and the restrictions it places on your movements and we can tailor the exercises accordingly.
We all have choices when it comes to our own health, whichever route you take I wish you a healthy life.
Take care of you.