Some 16 years ago I had a workplace injury to my lower spine. The pain was often excruciating. Many times in the enduring of this injury I would often be bedridden for periods of 4-5 days at a time and I often could barely move. During this time, I refused to go under the scalpel but I did become reliant upon pain-killers – slow release morphine patches no less.
As a result of this deadly combination of events I became overweight. I could not exercise nor even walk around the block and I was often dependent upon a walking cane for mobility. Most movement and even standing for too long would cause pain and for my body to seize-up. Having previously practiced Taijiquan for some decades I could not even do preliminary exercises nor could I do the Taijiquan form itself.
Essentially, our practice is centered upon freeing the body-motion of all restraints, doing this, is essentially an internal process. We firstly find our center and then lengthen and clear the energy pathways of unnecessary tensions in order for the chi to flow naturally without obstruction from the tips of our toes, to the top of our head, and out into the fingertips. This is not wholly possible if, the method of practice is inconsistent and, the skeletal/physical alignments are not there to begin with. To be clear, if the physical body is misaligned so too is the internal chi. Ensuring the integrity of our skeletal alignments, physical structure and later our energetic connections, is not only important for the martial expression of Taijiquan but also for achieving radiant and robust health.
Inner Health Taijiquan 2016
John Hartley, Founder and Principal Instructor of Inner Health School of Taijiquan, Adelaide