Heal Yourself the Chinese Way

Tons of medical research shows that the human body is capable of remarkable feats of self-healing. Self-healing happens automatically when you cultivate your body’s self-healing powers.

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Put the following techniques to work for just 10 to 15 minutes a day, and you’ll be more energetic and alert, and less vulnerable to illness and the negative effects of stress.

4 Simple Techniques

Chinese medicine makes use of four simple techniques for self healing: 1) deep breathing, 2) gentle movement, 3) self-massage and 4) meditation. Although these techniques can be done as often as you like, it’s a good idea to combine all four briefly first thing each morning.

Deep Breathing

Americans have forgotten how to breathe. We typically take very shallow breaths, which constricts blood vessels and contributes to high blood pressure. Shallow breathing also impairs immune function, by slowing the circulation of antibodies and immune cells throughout the body.

Consciously breathing slowly and deeply can counteract these physiological disturbances. Try this exercise right now:

Take a slow, deep breath through your nose. Allow the lower portions of your lungs to fill, and then keep inhaling until your lungs are fully inflated. Exhale slowly for 10 seconds. You can exhale silently or with an audible sigh of relief. Allow yourself to drift off into deep relaxation. You will benefit greatly from doing this breathing exercise multiple times throughout the day, but especially upon waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night.

Gentle Movement

Research confirms that easy, low-intensity exercise provides virtually all the disease-fighting benefits of vigorous exercise – with far less risk of injury to both your muscles and joints. The “flowing technique” is very popular in China. Here’s an example of what to do:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and shoulders relaxed. Let your arms dangle at your sides. Bend your knees slightly, move your tailbone beneath your spine so as to lengthen your back and lower your chin as if nodding “yes.” Rest briefly and inhale slowly, turning your palms forward and slowly rising onto the balls of your feet as you do. Raise your hands (palms up) to shoulder height, keeping your elbows slightly bent.

Turn your palms downward. Slowly lower your arms and exhale. Return your heels to the floor. As your hands pass your legs, allow them to swing back slightly while gently lifting your toes. Repeat 10 to 15 times, developing a gentle rhythm.

Self-Massage

Self-massage has been a powerful healing tool in China for thousands of years. Massage promotes general good health and relaxation. It also strengthens the immune system by increasing the number of natural killer cells in the body. Here’s a sample exercise that will “energize” your internal organs:

Place your palms over the lower edge of your rib cage, near the sides of your body but still on the front. Rub your palms against your boy in a circular motion, breathing deeply and easily as you do. Next, place one hand on your breastbone (sternum), the other on your navel. Rub in a circular motion with each hand. Move both hands to your lower back, and repeat the process. The Chinese believe that sending warmth into the organs improves health and heals disease.

Meditation

Meditation reduces blood pressure, dilates blood vessels and stimulates the production of essential neurotransmitters and hormones. One of the easiest and most powerful meditation techniques is mindfulness. Using this technique, you can free yourself of psychological and physical stress by focusing closely on a single bodily sensation.

Try this breath-awareness exercise: As you stand, sit or lie comfortably, focus intently on breathing through your nostrils. Your nostrils should feel cool as fresh air enters and warm as you exhale.  You can do this for up to 20 minutes. Focusing on breathing will take your mind off your worries, if only for a moment.

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