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Runner's Cool Down with Qigong Mindful Stretching

In this video Tom Eddins, L.Ac. covers a simple yet effective way to cool down and lengthen your muscles while also developing greater body awareness. Using qigong principles, he walks through a routine for lengthening the different musculo-skeletal lines reflected in the acupuncture channels. This qigong cool-down for runners is an excellent way to contain and balance the qi that is effectively scattered by running. In other words, when we run we spread out the flow of blood and fluids in the body and this is seen by the red in our face and sweat on our skin. One problem runners often face is a tendency to be cold when they are not running. If this is the case they often need to find ways to move and get the blood flowing while not overworking the cardiovascular system. Developing body awareness through mindful movement exercise like qigong or tai chi is a helpful place to start. These post run exercises also help to prevent cramping in the muscles by encouraging an awareness of how blood gathers in the belly of the muscles with repetitive use and therefore needs to be spread to the edges and into the tendons to prevent subsequent soreness. In this way the video adds a layer of awareness to the practice of "stretching". In other words, we should stretch not so much to stretch out the muscles like a piece of putty but to squeeze blood into the dense tendinous parts where they attach to bone. These tendinous areas tend to get brittle and dry and prone to injury when not kept well moistened and nourished by the blood and with the repetitive contraction we do during exercise we are gathering blood into the belly of the muscles. Therefore stretching with awareness and intention after exercise facilitates the muscles becoming more supple rather than stiff. If you like this video please subscribe to my channel. Also, if you're interested in learning more, there is an ongoing qigong / tai chi class at Alchemy Center for Healing Therapies, always open to beginners on Wed. morning's 10-11am and Thurs. evenings 5-6pm. Call Tom at (828)773-5032 for info.

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