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#406582 - 09/07/08 09:02 PM "Best" IMA for healing?
Demonologist437 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 159
Loc: Hodunk, Illinios
I understand that the word "best" often precedes either very short or overly conflicted topics in discussion, but I wanted to ask about how or even a specific IMA is "better" for healing/self-restoration?

I mainly practice what would likely be called "external"; Jeet Kune Do, Kali, and Eskrima with a small bit of a hybrid Japanese/Chinese system. Through that last one, I am learning bit by bit a Wuxing Quan focused cirriculum of Xing Yi Quan.
The more "soft", meditative training and forms are an absolute delight for me in light of the harder training I do.

I have also heard as most people that insofar as "self-restoration" and self-healing is concerned Taijiquan is better than more "martially" inclined IMAs like Pa Kua &/or Xing Yi.

Why it peaks me enough to even ask, is because as a kickboxer my back is put through the ringer. Also, I have the beginnings of a nasty pinched nerve in my back from overworking my right arm(the two weapon arts and all the jab work does the trick nicely) and an old injury from when i was trying to outsmart being stupid during a grappling match.

So, perhaps a better phrasing is if there is a particular IMA that is known for helping soothe the back & joints that is out there, if such a thing exists.

Further, even if so, is there a way a perosn can practice something like Xing Yi so as to foster that kind of soothing effect on back & joints, should I be ina situation where I could not immediatly find a solid instructor in a/the "better" art?

Thank you much ahead of time for any and all replies.
_________________________
"Success is a process, not a destination. Have faith in your ability."~Bruce Lee

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#406583 - 09/07/08 09:30 PM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: Demonologist437]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
the best IMA healing is the one you most believe in.

in order for any placebo to work, you have to believe in it.


looking at it from the physical side: does the movement of tai chi for seniors benifit them because it's an IMA? or would it benefit them the same by doing any non-impact movement exercise?

consider the possibility that the health benefits between tai chi for elders vs. line dancing for elders is the same.

in that light, your question is the same as asking "whats the best dance style for healing?"

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#406584 - 09/08/08 02:00 AM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
That is a poor comparison Ed, line dancing and Taiji are radically different in terms of usage and effect on the body, as would be yoga vs. line dancing or what have you.

I understand your skepticism about the "internal" part of internal arts, but that doesn't mean the beneficial physical effects of an activity like Taiji (or yoga or whatever) are just placebo.

It strikes me as ridiculous to ignore the obvious physical differences in the activities you mention.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/08/08 02:01 AM)

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#406585 - 09/08/08 08:15 AM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
'healing' and 'for health' are two different, but connected things.

are you suggesting Taichi (and by extension IMA) practitioners live longer or healthier than elderly who engage in some other regular physical practice?

into elderly age, there is nothing special about the particular movements that they are making in tai chi...it's the moving, stretching and activity itself that is the benefit. someone into elderly age reguarly doing taichi, or kata, or physical therapy, or dancing, etc. benefits from the act of moving around more than any kind of magical meaning to what those movements may have lore to represent.

looking at it that way, dancing has just as much 'healing' property to health as taichi, yoga, kata, aerobics, water exercises or any other recreational physical exercise.

pushing your arms out while in a semi-long stance will have the same health benefit whether a person thinks of that movement as 'moving their chi' or if they think of the movement as 'releasing the demons' or even just thinking 'pushing their arms out'. it matters less what they are imagining the movement to be as long as they are happy doing it.


see my point?

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#406586 - 09/08/08 08:30 AM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Interesting. I'd like to know what this POV is based on...whether it's scientific studies or your own long term experiences comparing forms of Internal Martial arts. What IMA have you practiced?

My own very limited 'experience' in the mind/body area tells me that for 'wellbeing', one's mindset is vitally important.

Quote:

it matters less what they are imagining the movement to be as long as they are happy doing it.


see my point?



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#406587 - 09/08/08 09:20 AM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I've been doing IMA since I was a kid when I first learned Sanchin.

"My own very limited 'experience' in the mind/body area tells me that for 'wellbeing', one's mindset is vitally important."

I agree, and a person can have a wonderful mindset doing water exercises or dancing with equivalent health benefits as tai chi. It's common sense - I don't need to read it in a study...although I'm sure there are lots out there.

my main point is, what someone attributes as being a 'higher meaning' to the movements they are doing, is less of an effect than the fact they are happy to do it in a social setting (assuming they are in a class) and are getting exercise (assuming the activity is physical).

the common sense part comes from imagining trying to reconcile a statement such as:
"tai chi elderly in China live longer and healthier lives than Okinawan elderly folk dancers."

now reconcile this: If diet and living condition were comparable, and if it were shown that Okinawan folk dancers lived longer and healthier lives than their Chinese tai chi counterparts.

what would be the common sense conclusion?


there is no conclusion. both groups are getting exercise and are happy doing it. one is happy channeling their internal paradigms and the other is equally happy and fit telling a story with body language.

The 'why' matters less than the 'how'.

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#406588 - 09/08/08 11:18 AM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: Ed_Morris]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Ed
You seem to be saying that it's irrelevant what exercise is done as they all have the same benefits? Tai Chi differs from most other exercise systems through its way of teaching movements and alignments that aim to prevent people from holding onto muscular tension. It promotes excellent posture, good balance and full breathing. It helps the practitioner to increase their mind-body connection more than any other system I know through mindful focus on postures and movements.

On the other hand maybe your line dancing classes do the same thing??

There is a wealth of information about the 'healing' aspects of tai chi and other forms of qigong on the internet and elsewhere. Personally if I wanted to know more about IMA for health this is the last place I'd look as I'm well aware that for most folk in these forums any discussion on internal martial arts is an excuse to air opinions about its ineffectiveness. No other form of martial arts seems to get the same response.

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#406589 - 09/08/08 07:30 PM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: puffadder]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
That's very interesting Ed... it is true that sanchin is a kiko (qigong), but it's more an "external" (waijia) qigong from the southern Shaolin traditions. So, to say that you've been doing IMA (neijia) since you were a kid when you first learned sanchin, is embellishing the truth somewhat.

I agree with your assessment that health and healing are two entirely different, but related things. Any form of regimented exercise can contribute to good health. But to answer Demonologist's question... there are many forms of IMA. Each proposes that their "method" is the "best"... or at least, in their opinion, the "best" way of doing it.

But as Ed said, doing it for health (which is the intended purpose of such exercises), is not quite the same as doing it for healing. You *may* be able to use such exercises to boost your general health and constitution, which would allow you to heal or recover faster. Or you *may* be able to use the personal results of such exercise to heal others.

As to what IMA can help soothe back and joint ailments... it doesn't work like that. You can certainly use specific IMA or even EMA exercises to strengthen the tendons and muscles which support your skeletal structure.

But the best advice I can give is go see a physician. It may be you are overtraining or stressing your body due to inefficient mechanics, or something a lot more sinister. Hopefully, it's nothing a good rest and some ointment can't fix.

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#406590 - 09/08/08 07:34 PM Re: "Best" IMA for healing? [Re: puffadder]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
all we have to do is show that Chinese seniors who do tai chi live longer, happier and healthier than Okinawan senior folk art dancers...or American seniors who swim regularly for that matter. I certianly am not claiming I can put that together.

It would be a difficult task to separate out the life styles and cultural differences, not to mention diet and poverty levels of each in order to isolate and compare the benefits of each activity. I mean, it's easy to say that Okinawans historically live longer than Chinese (which is true), but it's a leap to say that okinawan folk dancing therefore must have more health benefit (which is not necessarily true).

I don't know for sure which activity benefits health best...however, I DO know that physical activity benefits health comparred to no activity. It's my opinion that the difference between any activity vs. no activity is much much greater than the difference between whichever particular activity.


let's pretend we had the numbers and saw that some activity/exercise added 10 years of life on average.

then let's say we comparred tai chi with folk dancing and found tai chi adds, on average, 1 month more than the average folk dancers life....and further found that other physical activities were within similar.

a 10 year difference is significant, whereas a 1 month difference is not. That's a made-up example, but that's what I'm thinking.

similar to how you can't really compare in a question such as: 'which religion is the best for happyiness'. that question is unanswerable, but everyone has their own sense as to what the answer is.

It's my opinion that someone who swims everyday for 50 years will be healthier/stronger than someone who does tai chi everyday for 50 years. The happiness factor is perhaps connected, but a separate and more subjective measure.

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