Posts Tagged ‘Fibromyalgia’

Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study

Fibromyalgia is a rheumatologic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that leaves those afflicted with fatigue, painful ‘tender points,’ morning stiffness, and difficulties with sleep and the performance of routine activities of daily life. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can be difficult to relieve medically.

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In other words, Qigong produced relief from symptoms that continued for 16 weeks after the patients discontinued the practice. This would be akin to having a pain medication that lasted for 4 months after one took it!

Another study at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and reported in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, reported that a mind-body approach resulted in less pain, fatigue, and morning stiffness than a course of drug treatment alone, and that “optimal treatment of FMS should include (these) non-pharmacological interventions”

Internal forms of Qigong can alleviate this type of soft tissue condition as they gently stretch the muscles without irritation or exhaustion, and allow the vital energy to move unimpeded in a balanced manner throughout the body. © 2009 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

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Plantar Fasciitis, Fibromyalgia, Tai Chi & Qigong

Monday, February 9th, 2009
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Q. Jeff asks: I have plantar fasciitis in both feet due to my tight tendons. My right heel is pretty sore from walking around barefoot during both Yoga and Tai Chi class. I wonder if I can wear any kind of soft shoe during either class?

A. Heel spur / plantar fasciitis (also sometimes spelled “fascitis”) is a condition where the bottom of the heel is extremely painful. A heel spur is a bony overgrowth and is usually a result of an inflamed plantar ligament on the bottom of the foot attaching to the heel. Constant pulling of this ligament irritates the heel and a bone spur overgrows as a protective mechanism. Thplantar fasciitis, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, t'ai chi chuan, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation,  60 second relaxation, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County ere is usually pain with the first step in the morning, some relief after activity, but pain returns after long periods of weight bearing activity. The plantar fascia is a tough structure, but can only stretch about 102% of its length before tearing. Its relative inflexibility incurs the absorption of tremendous force in the fascia every time the foot hits the ground

This type of condition is not well understood medically. It seems to be associated with obesity, poor shoe design, alignment of the heel, gout, pronation, and arthritis. According to Dr. Gabe Mirkin, “Doctors have no medications that help heal the plantar fascia. Surgery to cut the plantar, called fasciotomy, is usually ineffective and may even prevent healing.”

Plantar fasciitis also seems to be present in a number of individuals with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition of painful, stiff muscles and connective tissue whose medical etiology may involve auto-immune, central nervous system, and psychological or perceptual components. There is no medical cure for this condition, and patients are usually dissatisfied with their treatment options.

Here are some suggestions to improve Plantar Fasciitis (fascitis):
- Take a warm hip-bath before class to relax leg, and hip muscles.  If you are going to soak the foot, icing it down afterwards might be helpful.
- Keep these muscles warm when traveling to class.
- Slowly, gently, & Consciously “step into” the stiffness and pain.
- A TENS unit with a conductive sock  seems helpful to some people. The electrical stimulation may stimulate circulation and relax muscle tissue.
- At night, wearing a Strassburg sock or splint helps keep the foot flexed allowing the fascia to heal in a stretched position.
- Massage the arch of your foot with BioFreeze to relieve pain, turmeric may act as an anti-inflammatory.
- Relax your body and mind.
- Breathe deeply.

From an Eastern (both Taoist and yogic) perspective, the deeper causes may relate to a bioenergetic imbalance. There can be an underlying karmic imbalance within and between the first 4 chakras. This imbalance is further shaped and expressed through genetic and environmental factors. There is also the feedback loop of hypersensitivity to discomfort creating anxiety and emotional resistance, which in turn increases the perception of threat and pain and perhaps an involuntary subconscious tightening of the musculature which can further inhibit the flexibility of the affected area.

The systems of T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong that I teach are ideal for intervention in this process.

Consistent T’ai Chi & Tantric Qigong practice will:
- Improve biomechanical alignment and efficiency.
- Increase healing life force.
- Transmute underlying emotional issues.
- Improve flexibility and blood flow through gentle, conscious, weight bearing stretching.
- Increase empowerment, decrease anxiety and emotional resistance.

In regards to a shoe, though I prefer that you go barefoot to maximize pedal flexibility and groundedness, it would be OK to wear something with a soft sole and arch support. In addition to the cushioning support, some beneficial warming of the sole may occur. A T’ai Chi  shoe with a rubber sole and a thin orthotic insert would be ideal. You can purchase these shoes via the Internet or try them on at a martial arts studio. My students can get a discount at the Flying Dragon. They have Chinese sizes, so unless you know what your size is you might have to try them on. Also some reflexology and foot massage might be helpful.

With committed, daily T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong practice (more than once a day would be better,) you will soon experience some improvement. Though there can be some discomfort and resistance at first, the student who perseveres will notice definite progress. Copyright 2005, Keith E. Hall. Inner-Tranquility.com  All rights reserved.

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Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study

 

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Fibromyalgia, T’ai Chi and Qigong

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Fibromyalgia, T’ai Chi and Qigong Q: Sarah writes: I would just like to introduce myself to the group as a new comer. My name is Sarah and I am a 29 year old Fibromyalgia sufferer. Three years ago after an extremely difficult time in my life I developed Fibromyalgia to a point where I also lost a lot of my muscles and was practically wheel chair bound. However, I joined my local pain clinic where together with medication I was introduced to alternative therapy. I was always a believer in aromatherapy and had been practicing this on myself for some time with some quite effective results. My pain clinic then introduced me to Tai Chi Chuan and acupuncture.

I have been practicing Tai Chi for 8 months now and WOW what a difference to my life it has made. I am now fitter than I was before my illness and although I still have a few worse days and some amount of pain my life has become completely fulfilled and manageable…I meditate daily and am a calmer, surer, more steady and patient person than I ever was before. I have 3 children and they are amazed at the difference in me now and the amount of patience that I now have. So to all you suffers out there, there is hope, believe me.

A: Thank you so much, Sarah, for sharing your story. Qigong (Chi Kung, Chi Gong, Chi Gung) and T’ai Chi (taiji), which is a form of Qigong, have tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, t'ai chi chuan, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation,  60 second relaxation, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, The secret, Yoga Nidra, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County proven remarkably effective at controlling various forms of stress, pain, autoimmune disorders, among many others. These practices create vitality, empowerment, groundedness, serenity and freedom.

Forms of Qigong and T’ai Chi Chuan are often recommended for persons with cardiac conditions, allergies, asthma, addiction, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other symptoms of stress and aging. These practices are also a good complement or introduction to Taoist Tantra and Kundalini work.

T’ai Chi is one of the Master forms of Qigong in that within its practice is contained most of the higher aspects of Qigong. This makes T’ai Chi tremendously efficient, albeit quite subtle and complex. Of course benefits are readily apparent to those who invest commitment in mastering it’s complexity.

I have taught these forms for over 30 years and over that time period a couple of dynamics have become apparent that I would like to comment on, i.e. Intent and Practice.

Intention The character of one’s Intent will shape and direct the life force and consciousness that is created. This is a very personal issue, though I believe it is up to the teacher to attempt to set a general tone in this regard. In my classes I endeavor to focus on rejuvenation, open hearted empowerment, and evolution in the spiritual sense. I also seek to present the esoterica of the Taoist, Yoga, Tantric, and Bioenergetic traditions in a manner that is non-sectarian, non-dogmatic, and readily available to the western mind set.

Spiritual Practice The quality and quantity of time put into your practice is crucial to receiving any benefit, let alone mastery of these forms. T’ai Chi, Tantra, and Yoga are Master Systems for health, longevity and Enlightenment. As such, they are complex and demanding, especially as they evolved in a cultural and historical framework radically different than our current Western experience.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that as our pace of daily life continues to increase, people seem less empowered to create significant blocks of time to pursue their own healing and awakening. We seem to know, or notice, less about ourselves, our world, and the ramifications of our actions. The faster we go, the less we know. This is the paradox of the “information age.” There is faster and easier access to data, and seemingly less and less Wisdom in its application. Click the remote, surf the next website, scan the next radio station, walk or drive nattering on and on with our cell phones… Our constant mental and physical movement betrays a deep restlessness, and perhaps a shark-like fear that stillness is death.

Spiritual Tradition Many Teachers are most comfortable within the structure of their traditional schools and lineages. Most of the time this is perfectly acceptable and efficacious in that one attracts students mainly from the spiritual tradition or religion indigenous to that culture. More problematic is the process of transferring practice and wisdom cross-culturally.

The dilemma is that although a tradition may have precepts and practices invaluable to the modern western world, its cultural trappings ensure the assimilation of its wisdom will be difficult, if it’s wisdom is recognized at all. My teachers have mainly been Masters who came to the U.S. to bring the insight and technology of their respectful schools to Westerners. These Masters were motivated by the dire need to bring wisdom to the most technologically advanced and spiritually confused populace in history. They knew that it may be that our personal and planetary survival would require an acceleration of awakening, and that cultural and religious predilections would make this much more difficult. Knowing the limitations of our material civilization, they decided that long-established cultural and religious methods were inappropriate and inefficient. We needed to get it, and get it fast!

If it takes more than 10 minutes, I’m outta here! Would you wait more than 10 minutes in line at the 7-11 or McDonald’s? When was the last time you watched a music video that eschewed strobe-like edits for a clear steady view of the artist? Or waited patiently, without fidgeting, at a traffic light, DMV, or in a waiting room?

Often it seems our patience and attention span is decreasing so profoundly, it will soon be measured in nanoseconds! I love the practices of Qigong, Tantra, T’ai Chi, Zen. Yet, I am painfully aware that our mind-set requires a non-traditional and efficient methodology adapted for westerners. That is not to say that one cannot accrue benefit through a traditional technique, many have. I am merely observing that to attain the deepest benefit of these conventional approaches requires a lot of time and commitment, hours each day, and our material culture is not very patient or supportive in this. We feel we have “no time.” Really what is going on is that we spend all of our waking time in outwardly directed agendas. Nonetheless, this is how it is for most of us.

So, to “bring the mountain to Mohamed” so to speak, I have created a course of study that requires only 10 minutes each day. Mental, physical, and emotional health is quickly improved through highly effective Taoist, Bioenergetic, and Yogic techniques. Easy, efficient and powerful, it gets the job done in minutes. © 2002 Keith E. Hall. Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

See also: Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Plantar Fasciitis, Fibromyalgia, Tai Chi & Qigong.

.Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study

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Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Q: A.M. writes: I am a Fibromyalgia sufferer for 7 years now and I have been practicing qigong (not as regularly as I would like, but…) for the last 3 years. However I find that the most useful technique for coping with my fibromyalgia is meditation. It targets the pain directly and allowed me to stop taking marijuana for the ever-present nerve pain. Just knowing that I had some control over the situation was a tremendous weight off of my chest and it helped to end the vicious emotional cycle caused by feeling powerless. Now I have developed somewhat of a routine where I periodically use marijuana in conjunction with my qigong (because I find it twice or three times as powerful that way). I have all but cured myself but for some minor lingering pain. Right now I practice sporadically and my progress is relative slow but steady. Anyway, I am curious to hear any of your thoughts on the subject.

A: Yes, the combination of qigong and meditation can be quite effective, as the results in the original research project indicate. (see: Qigong & Fibromyalgia: From the Arthritis Care and Research study)
Tantric qigong, fibromyalgia, 8 Treasures, qigong for self mastery, eight section brocade, eight twists of silk, eight brocades, self mastery, enlightenmentI believe that fibromyalgia is characterized by a sort of energetic “congestion” that afflicts the muscles and nerves, and the noticeable symptoms are pain, fatigue, and stiffness. It seems to me that there are two categories of possible intervention here: treating the pain, and treating the underlying energetic congestion.

Blocking Pain
Interventions include the use of pharmaceutical analgesics, hypnosis, and guided meditation and visualization. The use of drugs in treating this condition is best discussed in a medical forum, however I will comment of the use of hypnosis and meditation.

The utilization of techniques such as hypnosis and meditation, particularly meditation that includes visualization, has been effective for numerous conditions, including pain reduction. While these modes of non-pharmacological analgesia provide a valuable alternative, especially where narcotics might be medically indicated, I would also like to observe that they do not necessarily treat underlying causation. Blocking pain is not always restorative, and can sometimes mask an ongoing disease process. It is difficult to make generalizations, since there are many forms and applications of these modalities. I would say however, that if one’s meditation is oriented solely towards pain relief, it is likely to be more palliative than curative.

Relieving Underlying Energetic Congestion
yin yang, tantric qigong, eight section brocade, eight twists of silf, ba duan jin, self mastery, enlightenmentQigong, as well as T’ai Chi Chuan, is a form of “Taoism in Action,” concerned with flow and balance. Just as the yin yang symbol intimates, there is a dynamic equilibrium between polarities, and from this derives all personal, social, and natural manifestations. Any disparity between these energies will automatically initiate a correction. The more severe the imbalance, the more rigorous and dramatic the adjustment. Since our American culture does not fully support deep, impartial inquiries into cause and effect, we often blindly intervene without any intuitive sense of the consequences. This leads to a certain ignorance in not only health issues, but personal, social, environmental, and political endeavors.

When I use the term “energetic congestion,” I do so in the sense of imbalance and inhibition of flow. This disruption of our natural state of grace results in all forms of dis-ease, physical and emotional; individual and social; in nature and in humankind. In addition to qigong, modalities that facilitate an efficient return to balance include T’ai Chi, acupuncture, Bioenergetics, and certain forms of Tantra and Kundalini Yoga.

Marijuana, though it has increasing medical applications, may not be the best treatment choice. Marijuana has little analgesic effect in a strict sense. It’s effectiveness may be due to its gentle sedative and muscle relaxant qualities. This certainly could decrease the aggravation of neuromuscular pain. One of the drawbacks to this approach is that marijuana tends to have a rebound effect as a relaxant. Just like pharmaceutical muscle relaxants, it has a propensity to have the opposite effect a period of time after it is metabolized, that is, it tends to tighten the muscles afterward. Progressive relaxation ( Journey to the primal Sea, At the Beach) is a technique with no rebound or side effects, and thus may be more efficacious in the longer term, at least as a muscle relaxant.

There are many forms of qigong. The Eight Treasures system of tantric qigong and energy yoga that I teach has a physical and emotional balancing effect that can be achieved in as little as ten minutes of practice each day, though longer practice may result in deeper benefits. This style of energy mastery is a balance of internal and external approaches. There is a meditative aspect and a more physical outer element. Gently stretching the muscles in coordination with the mind and breath, and without irritation or fatigue, allows one’s vital energy to move unimpeded in a balanced manner. This combination of gentle movement, attentiveness, and judicious activation of one’s life-force can alleviate energy blockages, and effect improvement on physical, mental, and emotional levels.

Note: Though the classes and seminars that I present are effective for a broad spectrum of persons, those with a specific acute or chronic physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual condition may need personal evaluation and enhancement of the standard training program. This is best effected, at least initially, through personalized consultation. (c) 2004 Keith E. Hall www.inner-tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

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