Exercises for patients – Neck and Shoulders

Japanese Acupuncture therapy can include needling, moxa, massage, exercise and lifestyle advice. There are many simple and beneficial exercises that you can learn yourself and then teach to your patients that improve the mobility and strength of joints, rejuvenate energy, calm the mind and build self awareness. This article looks at exercises to help release tight muscles in the neck and shoulders.

If you are anything like me, after a few hours of sitting in front of the computer your neck and shoulders start to feel tight, your mid back is painful, your breathing is shallow and your tired. Stretching is a good remedy for this, but something that people don’t really think of very often is simple movement. This is what Chinese style exercise is all about, invigorating the flow of blood through your muscles and joints with as little effort as possible. While doing these exercises you will find that your sore muscles and joints become looser and you’ll most likely learn a little bit about how your body likes to move as well.

Arms rising and falling from the hips
1. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your arms hanging loosely (as loose as possible)
2. Rock your weight backward and forward while bobbing a little bit up and down by bending your knees.
3. This should start to generate a little bit of movement in your arms, if not… let go of your shoulders until they start to move freely with the rest of your body
4. Feel the way you can time your forward/backward, up/down movement in your body to generate more momentum in your arms without adding any extra muscular effort in your shoulders
5. Make movement big, smooth and integrated.
6. STOP, at least stop moving your legs. See what happens to your arms. (Hint: if they don’t start to slow down then your doing it wrong)
* If that does happen to you, don’t worry… I was the same once. Keep practising, it’s not easy to give up control of your arms 🙂

Arms wrapping around on the turning hips

Or as I like to call it (The Karate Kid 2 tribute exercise)

1. The steps to this exercise are basically the same as the last. Except, instead of rocking back and forward you turn your hips from side to side. Watch the video and you will understand.

Check out Daniel san in action…

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