Stress Prevention & Reduction for Minorities: Part 6 – Yoga, Tai Chi, & Massage

YogaImage preview

Yoga is an ancient Indian body of knowledge that dates back more than 5,000 years. The word Yoga came from the Sanskrit word yuj which means to unite or integrate. In other words, Yoga is about the union of a person’s own consciousness and the universal consciousness.There are multiple branches of Yoga related to such concepts as Posture, Devotion, Self-Control, Mind, Service, and Rituals.  In Yoga, students gain breathing control as they slowly increase their breathing. By focusing on their breathing, they prepare their minds for meditation (a Quiet Mind).

Yoga breathing techniques were developed based on the concept that breath is the source of life. In Yoga, students gain breathing control as they slowly increase their focus on breathing. By focusing on their breathing, they prepare their minds for meditation.

There is a general misconception that during meditation, a person’s mind has to go blank, but this doesn’t have to be so. In meditation, students bring the activities of the mind into focus resulting in ‘a Quiet Mind”. As a result, physical poses and breathing techniques are designed  that develop awareness of the body.
In summary, Yoga helps people to focus, and relieve themselves from everyday stress.
6 Types of Yoga Information on 6 key types is provided on the Health Power website by clicking here.
Tai Chi

Tai Chi, a Chinese martial art, is often practiced to promote health and longevity. Its training forms are well known as the slow motion routines that groups of people practice together every morning in parks around the world, especially in China. Medical studies of Tai Chi support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy. Tai Chi chuan is considered a soft style martial art – an art applied with internal power to distinguish its theory and application from that of hard martial arts. There are many different styles of Tai Chi but most modern schools trace their development to the system originally taught by the Chen family to the Yang family starting in 1820.

Health Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is used to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve muscle strength and definition
  • Increase energy, stamina and flexibility
  • Increase feelings of well-being

Researchers have found that long-term tai chi practice also has some favorable, but not statistically significant, effects in promoting balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness, and in reducing the risk of falls by elderly patients.   More information on Tai Chi is provided on the Health Power website by clicking here.

Massage

Massage means the treatment and practice of manipulating or handling and shaping the soft body tissues of the body for physical, medical and in some cases, emotional purposes. During a massage, a therapist uses pressure and/or vibration to target certain parts of the body. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, fists and feet. It can be performed by such health professionals as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and massage therapists.The following things generally happen when one has a massage:

– The person who is to receive the massage first answers a few questions about the reason for the massage, and about the person’s physical condition. That’s because although massage is usually safe, there can be a risk of injury with some conditions;

– Then, the clothing is removed and replaced with a robe or towel. However, with a chair massage, the clothing is usually not removed;

–  One then lies down comfortably, often with background music playing;

–  Oils and/or lotions are put on the body; and

–   One experiences relaxation. There should be no significant pain from a message. If pain is being felt, one should let  the massage therapist know.

The typical massage lasts about an hour, but some may last up to 90 minutes. The person receiving the massage usually has to pay for it, and the price varies widely depending on a variety of massage types.

Much more information on Stress Prevention and Reduction is provided on the Health Power website.  Click here.

 

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