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April 22, 2014 at 4:03 am #129049
What is your experience with bulging discs having the ability to being healed? L2, L4, and L5 all have bulging discs. This has been a chronic condition since childhood (worsening from lifting heavy objects for too many years).
I have been practicing the Yang Style Long Form for over 20 years, and find that the nerves in the Lumbar will get aggravated by the practice at times. So I started researching alternatives and found your website and info on the different styles coupled with your experience with the Wu Style having a greater ability to heal the lower back. I started learning and practicing the Wu Style Short Form in November with Phil McKee.
Currently I am practicing both the Wu and Yang Styles, with more emphasis on the Wu based upon your assessment of styles. I am also practicing Energy Gates Qigong. Please give your opinion for what the focus could be, what would be beneficial, and any other tips and advice for the potential to heal this area.
FernApril 22, 2014 at 7:22 am #134395
Your question may be directed to those with more TaiChi experience, but being as the “integrative-aspects” of NeiGung (health-healing-strengthening) has been an interest of mine… and espec spinal; I’ll just offer my two-cents.. (good luck in your healing&practice).
I haven’t seen as much actual bulging disks, but bindings and weakenings of the spine (both internal to it, as well as the ligamental-connections into the Torso structure).. I’ve found the evenness of the entire spinal-fluid as a whole (gently engaged, but made so that it is smoothly felt all the way through- no focus points in any part of the spine- in the sense that it can be felt in jts, like knee, vs the entire “leg” felt as a solid and yet connected-alive form.
If this might resonate-click with what you exper, try and do (even if just as a separate drill) movements creating a linkage down to floor and back up to top (head and/arms-hands).. with no engagement felt in the spine- espec in the area you mention- but even in other areas (I’m grasping how to describe this, so it isn’t direct, but I sense that you might need to introduce to your system a way of integrated strength that you may not be expecting).. ie your body-mind may just assume clearly a connected-strong structure implies the spine is integrated such&such (which stresses it). … in the same way that a twist in knee jt could be “wired-in” for one that has an error there..
or contrarily-ex the idea of “no-pain-no-gain” (obviously there needs to be a feeling of “work”… which is actually tension- vs 70% rule… ie as discussed in Bruce’s Opening the E-gates Ch on “errors in the chigung” … I found a good sense of if you find another assumed that you don’t experience, that might help see a way to stop adding tension-blockage (which “may” -if my comments are at all approp to your-sit- not be in your pattern).
Anyway- if this helps, or perhaps clicks anything with your instructor- good luck (i know that jts in gen, connective tissue, and Spinal-structures in particular can be built=up strongly by the system Bruce teaches, but “the ___ is in the details” as they say… so many other ChiGung/TaiChi systems may seem to be teaching the same thing, but usually miss these nuances to really drive the healing in.
[Have you experienced/contacted any other EnergyArts cert instructors? -never know what one can see-]April 29, 2014 at 3:08 am #134396
Thanks for your input Gary. I asked Phil, the Wu style instructor, for his feedback, and he said some people use a slant board to lengthen the spine so the discs would be more apt to go back between the vertebrae. It would be a continual process and something that may never heal totally. He doesn’t know anyone that has actually used it though.
I have experimented with some of your ideas, thanks for the tips. Basically, when I do the Yang style slow set, fast set, hard set, etc., the back will sometimes get aggravated. Not all of the time, and sometimes I don’t know as I do the set. But when I know that it is happening, I use different methods to re direct or lengthen or something else to flow energetically in an easier manner. What helps the most is lightening up the crown and lengthening the lower back to create more space between the vertebrae and consequently, the discs. But it continues to occur over time so I thought to ask if someone knows anyone personally that has healed through Qigong or Tai Chi.
Kind regards, FernMay 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #134397
For the last weeks, experience sciatica due to three herniated discs and 2 bulging discs in the lumbar region. A reclining table has provided some relief yet I have not given it enough time or regularity to judge of its long lasting efficiency. I practice Yang style long form almost daily and have found that, while he first 15 or so postures are quite painful, my pain alleviates and leaves me almost pain free at the end of a third repetition. I am contemplating commencing to learn the Wu style short form within a month or so, depending upon my ability to alleviate my current condition.
In 2011, I beat a very pessimistic diagnostic of drop foot with about 2 1/2 to 3 hour Qigong a day. My foot is now totally operational, if only with a little numbness and slight lack of strength (which diminishes each day that I practice). Thus, I can tell you that thee is definitely a way trough spinal issues via the energy arts.
I am very much interested in the ‘Bend the Bow Spinal Qigong’ and hope to catch a reasonably close seminar sometime in the near future. As this technique can be dangerous if not learned properly, I fully appreciate the necessity to acquire it from an experienced teacher face to face.
Wishing you luck and strength on your path to healing.
PierreJune 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm #134398
Do you remember what you did for the foot drop? I’ve had sciatica for about 8 months. At first had little feeling or control over my foot, that has gotten better with qigong and yoga, however, still have low back pain and intermittant numbness in foot. Any suggestions are welcome.June 4, 2014 at 11:07 am #134399
Let me preface my statement by saying that my sciatica is due to a herniated disc that presses on the nerve root. Yours may be different and thus you must ensure that the activity you undertake is safe for your origination cause. Also, I am in no way shape or form trained in the medical field so my experience is one acquired via research practice,, trial and error. In general, your body is very good at telling you what is good or not for it.
My numbness in feet has not gone away completely, yet, I was able to regain control of my right foot, which three years ago I had lost for about a month or so, through Qigong and Taichi. I suffer from sciatica which is mainly located i my calves and manifests itself via cramp-like pain. I find that going through Yang style long form once alleviates greatly these feelings. I look forward to learning Wu style which I understand would benefit my condition even more.
One Qigong practice that helped me greatly is ‘Carrying the Moon’. Also, the practice taught by Bruce in ‘Opening the Energy Gates’ and greatly detailed in the online class ‘Five Keys to Taoist Energy Arts’ is very beneficial. I hope I can gain access to Bruce or one of his senior instructors in the near future to learn ‘Bending the Bow’ spinal Qigong face to face as I understand it would further my progress in resolving my lumbar problem.
Which yoga are you using? I am curious as I am fairly new to this practice and would benefit from any insight you may have.June 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm #134400
I have the piriformis syndrome of sciatica, but have an L4 disc that slips but has never actually bulged. I do the 73 form of Sun Style Tai Chi almost every day. I’ll check in to Wu as well as looking back at 5 Keys–do you remember what session of the 5 keys helped?
Is “Carrying the Moon” the practice of holding a “large ball” energy ball, not real ball, and turning side to side lifting it back and slightly up?
I am actually a yoga teacher and draw from different styles. The long slow holds of Yin have been very helpful, as is the alignment of Anusara. I have the piriformis syndrome of sciatica, but have an L4 disc that slips but has never actually bulged. A DVD practice I’ve found very helpful is that by Gary Kraftsow for low back and hip pain. You can get the DVD from Amazon or from Kraftsow’s website.June 5, 2014 at 10:25 am #134401
After I sent you the reply regarding yoga styles, I re-thought. From what you said, I assumed you already knew what aggravates a bulging disc… If you don’t already know all of the bulging disc movement precautions, I’d ask you to consult with your MD or if you have a physical therapist who has actually treated you. Forward bends can be very harmful if not done with modifications for your condition. If the disc bulges laterally, that creates different problems.. I’d encourage you to talk with someone who has seen your MRI before beginning a new practice.July 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm #134402
Thank you for your answer. My doctor suggested pills, shots and surgery, of course, and warned of impending doom. Of course, this is also what they said about my foot years ago When I practice something new, I always listen to my body and in particular to the sensation that the movement creates in my leg and lower back. If these sensations seem painful, or induce some numbness and tingling, or even worse, pain, I either stop or modify them so as to circumvent the undesired effect. I am convinced that time, effort and focus will relieve this condition.July 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm #134403
My practice of carry the moon is more of a progressive standing back bend, followed by a lowering of the arms accompanied with a draw of yank energy via the BaiHui and down the body, as an internal shower, all the way to several feet into the ground.July 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm #134404
Good luck and hope your practice might find adjustments through what you have been working on/are learning from Bruce…
Just to context my prior comments, I had a gteat amount of binding within and around my spine (espec top of neck up inside the skull- which is still unravelling-releasing by my practice, but also down inside the spinal-structure.. funny to realize how much I feel more and differently than I did when I started working this (the process of opening up wasn’t so pleasant (as not only pulling-contracted bindings is so and gradual.. but like an “arm” that has _gone to sleep_ awakening can have pins and needles feeling.. as well as just weirdness… the baseline “contracted into a solid mass” that the body does to protect itself (espec the spine does when unstabilized).. first is loosened before your start to reshape-reconnect… thus like how when you “untie a knot” you pull slack in the thread-rope together.. so InBetween each time you Loosen the knot you are “tightening it up”.. if that makes sense.
anyway- I find that of the teachers in this (other EA cert instructors I’ve known, as well as other athlete-coaches/systems) are in 2 groups: roughly those who have had a certain physical-destabilization (of whatever) and those that have not.
those who haven’t had their back “go out” can’t really get it (and, as you may know, the small muscles or even the facial/connective tissue that is part of the back/spinal-structure can be ‘hurt’.. but that isn’t the same is the spine itself… but if one hasn’t had that “toothace’ type jolt, it won’t really compute.
Just as if one has had a certain injury it is strange to coach one that doesn’t have that issue.
(as an example 2 extremes in terms of “Standing practice causing dizzy-destabilization”…. as that could be from CSF fluid eddy-surges or else inner-ear etc…
one that has had such issues, as well as contact with really strong chi/emotional-mental E movement would interp that differently, than those are are/have always been physically healthy and yet they have been energetically shut-down… they give the advice if you feel uneasy just sit down a sec. (as if the only possibility of such is trying to hard)..
relevance- if Spinal-structure destabilization isn’t taken into account, one could confuse/blend “over-exertion” of a taichi form, vs lack of alignment/lack of connection somewhere.. vs a systemic structural issue (ie something that is how your frame-system is vs just something that is in your movement.. ie change the movement and an alignment fixes, vs it being say spinal and/or hip connection having tip-tilts in it even if motionless (let alone twisting, leaning etc as in TaiChi Chuan , or as in a NeiGung form movement.
luck all- I can say my spine, my entire torso is changed from EnergyArts stuff (as I feel into the Water Method paradigm. vs being halfway inbetween… though it is a process), I haven’t found else that has helped directly in this way… not just spot-issues, but I feel more, more connected, and more say fluidlike (more so than just “looser and less pain” the changes are quite qualitative, which has been the trick part of it.. feels quite diffferent inside and out0. cheers
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