INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW THERAPEUTIC GENTLE AEROBIC EXERCISE
Its one of Life’s simple secrets
By Mukunda Karmacharya, M.D., O.M.D., LAc, Dipl. Ac
I am very happy to introduce a simple and gentle aerobic exercise that can gradually assist in the prevention of illness as well as the improvement and restoration of full functional ability. I discovered this exercise in Nepal years ago and it has been very instrumental in my life and many of my patients.
Although this exercise was developed to benefit the chronically ill or injured, it is beneficial for everyone at any health level. People adhering to this exercise regularly will respond differently depending on their current condition. The exercise itself is unbelievably simple. Do not make the mistake of discounting this potentially life saving and life enhancing exercise due to its simplicity.
Myofascial are collagenous fibers in the body that are difficult to relax and extremely resistant to forceful stretching. This exercise is effective because it utilizes an extremely gentle pushing and pulling action which in turn brings about myofascial tension release. I do this exercise everyday upon awakening for 15-20 minutes.
The basic mechanics of this exercise result in the improvement of blood flow to the heart and other organ systems of the body, thus decreasing the diastolic blood pressure. It is an aerobic exercise like running, although much more gentler. Performing this exercise will improve overall blood flow and provide beneficial effects to the following body systems: organ, skeletal, muscle, soft tissues, and nervous systems.
Within a week (if performed daily), benefits begin first in the legs, then sacrum area, then move to the spine (thoracic vertebrae region) and finally to the neck (cervical region). Thus, the blood supply will be enhanced overall and gradually mitigate negative conditions.
This exercise can act like a “sleeping aid” to those who have problems sleeping or who wake up several times in the night. After doing this for about 10 minutes, you will find that you can then easily sleep. Also if you have a heart that races, doing this exercise for a few minutes will help normalize the heart beat. It may even assist in the prevention of strokes. On a couple of occasions, I have woken up frightened with a racing heart in the middle of the night. Within 5 minutes of performing the exercise, my heart calmed down and I went back to sleeping soundly.
This exercise is especially effective in helping bed bound patients in nursing homes to maximize their quality of life and the movement of their joints and spine, as well as rehabilitate their overall body. It may take a while to see major improvements but there will be an immediate gradual benefit to the physical, emotional, and psychological well being of a patient. The caregiver can initially assist the patient in their movements until the patient can perform them unassisted. Eventually, bed bound patients will be able to walk with assistance and then solo.
In light of eastern science, this exercise interacts with all meridians in the body: yin and yang as well as REN and DU channels. It enhances the flow of the blood and chi in the meridians. Normally the chi flows in all living things. When we are distressed, the meridians block the movement of the chi to some degree or even completely. This simple exercise greatly impacts the removal of these blockages. The alternating motion of the foot and hand brings about the movement of the blood and chi in the meridians and vessels in the body. Thereby releasing the pooling blood to the systemic fluid.
PERFORMING THE EXERCISE
To perform this exercise, lie on your back either on a firm bed or on a spread yoga mat on the floor. The body is positioned with the palms facing upward, parallel and close to the body with the toes facing upward as well. You may adopt the breathing of yoga or just normal breathing. While lying flat on your back, make a fist in both hands while relaxing both feet.
Flex your right wrist by pulling your fist towards your shoulder (keep your arms straight) and at the same time, flex your right foot by pulling your toes toward your knee. While flexing the right side (wrist and toes) the left wrist remains relaxed while the left toe is extended pointing down away from the knee.
Do the opposite of step 1 – relax the right wrist , extend the right toe (pointing down away from the knee). At the same time, flex your left wrist and point your left toe.
*Alternate between steps 1 and 2 for ten minutes. Ideally each repetition will take 15 count per 10 seconds depending on the individual’s condition. Eventually you will find your own comfort level.
**Ideally laying down is the best position, but this beneficial exercise can be preformed while standing or sitting.
Ideally this effort should be performed daily for 10-20 minutes preferably in the morning upon awakening.