How to Treat Morning Stiffness and Rigidity
What is the cause of morning stiffness?
“I’m just getting old,” is what many people with morning stiffness say, but old age alone is not the only cause of morning stiffness, pain and rigidity.
However, from a physical therapy perspective the causes may be because of more varied reasons:
- We spend the whole night almost immobilised
- Our body loses heat
- Our tissues condense during the night
These all lead to old patterns, scars or injuries tending to be more easily discernible. It is when you first wake that your body readily shares its true degree of fragmentation, revealing different degrees of discomfort and pains.
Your body and mind as a psycho-physical unit
It is important to understand that from the perspective of this ancient medicine the mind and body function as a psycho-physical unit.
The best analogy to describe the Three Treasures and how we can take care of them is that of a candle. The wax and the wick of the candle represent Jing. It is the main component of the foundation for the other treasures.
The quality of the wax and the reserve of the wax available for burning determine the life of the candle.
Maintenance of your body
An ancient Chinese medical manuscript The Mawangdui Shiwen 刑德, Ten Questions, buried in a tomb, sealed in 168 BC was discovered in Changsha, Hunan, in 1973, shows us the importance of morning and daily maintenance:
“Chi that has been kept overnight is ageing. Fresh Chi creates a long life. The one who is good at putting the Chi in order, causes the Chi that has been kept overnight to disperse and fresh Chi to be collected in the morning. ̈
To expand these observations: the physiological condensation of the tissues and the expansion of the discs during the night, making our spine much stiffer in the morning and therefore, more vulnerable to damage, and the Chi that has being kept over night is ageing tell us that loosening up the body and freeing up the Chi flow while we are still lying down first thing in the morning is literally a smart move.
“I was in a pretty bad shape, stressed, tight, exhausted and my blood pressure was 23 | 13. I was about to explode. I decided to look for help and in my first session with Aline my blood pressure went to 15 | 9. She taught me her laying down Chi Gung bed exercises which I have been doing every day and my life has changed immensely. Nowadays I am much more tranquil and relaxed, my legs feel elastic as never before, my cycling is much more powerful and the soreness after my workout has disappeared for good. It’s fantastic!!!”
-Ivan Oliveres, 44 years old (Carpenter)
Text | Written by Aline Tisato with extracts from her upcoming ebook IGung.
Edit | Mandy Keillor
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