adjusting the practice while injured

Home Forums Archive Dragon & Tiger Qigong Online Program Week 8 Q&A adjusting the practice while injured

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    I have a cast on my left leg that I have to wear it for 4 more weeks. I would still like to keep practicing, the way I can. I’ve read that Dragon and Tiger can be adapted for injured people, but I have not found further details on how to do that.

    I’ve tried just sitting in the chair with my leg extended and just following the pathways with my hands, mostly one hand at a time. But, my body alignments in this position are far from being ideal, and are more like the ‘collapsed, slouched and wrong’ position that Mr. Ryan is demonstrating in one of the getting started videos.

    So I am wondering if that is an acceptable way to practice, or if there is some other way to adapt the practice.




    Hi Paul,

    I’m sorry to hear about your leg and hope that your healing is going well.

    Hopefully you’ve forged ahead and discovered more about how to modify the form. It sounds like you were on the right track.

    Yes, if you sit down, your body alignments won’t be as good. But as always, just  do the best you can, given your limitations. As you know, Dragon & Tiger is very forgiving, and you can benefit even when not doing it well, and even when you’re doing it poorly.

    There is a nice section on the Energy Arts D&T DVD about modifying your form for restrictions due to injury, illness, or other reasons. It’s on the second disk and shows how to modify your form when standing, for Movement 3 in general, and when lying down.

    When you sit to do Dragon & Tiger, be upright and forward on the front edge of your chair, if you can. You want to be perched up on your pelvis with your spine long and stable like a piece of bamboo and your head gently lifted. Try to feel your sitbones pressing on the chair seat  (if you can, otherwise do less.) Then do the Movements as usual – and just leave out anything you can’t do.

    Follow your 70% of the moment – or your 40 or 50% in the case of injuries or chronic pain.

    Rather than shift your weight right and left from foot to foot, just shift your torso weight right and left from one sitbone to the other. (If you can’t sit up, just lean a bit to each side or forward and back to emulate the full D&T movement you’re doing). Turn just a tiny bit on your pelvis for Movements 2 and 7, but try not to twist your spine.

    Move your arms as usual as well as you can. Remember to only do with your more capable side what your less capable side can do. This is true unless one arm is in a sling or a cast, in which case move your free arm as usual, and imagine you were moving your restricted arm in the same way. (I know for you it’s your leg that is hurt, but I’m trying to lay out the principles for everyone)..

    Move your legs as usual as well as you can. For example, for Move 1 you’d lift and lower your heels and flex your toes as usual. Since you have a cast on one leg, you would move the free leg as usual and imagine the leg with the cast was moving (since your mind moves your chi, this will get a bit more circulation going through that leg). For Move 2, you could shift your weight to one sitbone, swivel your hips just a tiny bit, and do a simulated foot flick with your free leg and foot without lifiting it off the floor (the way you first did the Move 2 legs in the online lessons). You’d do less with your leg in the cast.

    So just be as creative as you can. Err on the side of doing less, until you’ve tried some things and ensure that you feel comfortable while doing them and afterward as well. Then you might try to do a little more.

    Have fun exploring. You can learn a lot about Dragon & Tiger by practicing this way, which will carry over into and inform your full practice when you resume it.


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