I’m taking your online 5 Keys Energy Arts program. It’s very good. Unfortunately, I am about 6 weeks in to a case of sciatica. I’m having to be very careful with what movements I make, and frequently don’t know until after I’ve made a movement that it’s going to aggravate the sciatica and leg and foot numbness. Are you aware of anything in these lessons that I should NOT be doing until the sciatica is completely gone?
Hi Pat, Having overcome certain spinal issues, including sciatica, I can happily say there is nothing in the programme that you need to avoid. It’s all about how you train. At different times, you may find that specific practices either a) open up your body and relieve the sciatica, or b) if you don’t train correctly or push your system, aggravate your sciatica. Both the Circling Hands and Cloud Hands exercises are particularly good for opening the lower spine, sacroiliac and hip joints, and therefore remove the pressures and contractions that cause the pain and numbness associated with sciatica.
All things considered, you must reduce your effort to 30% of your capacity, which is advisable for anyone in compromised health. Operating within 30% of your capacity allows you to exercise the body whilst putting zero strain on your system. After exercising, if you find that your practice has caused you a problem, you know you went beyond your 30% of effort. Of course, you then know that you must back off!
When you find your true 30%, you can exercise without problems, begin the process of releasing the deeper tensions inside of and open up your body. As your body stabilises, you can slowly (over many months), incrementally increase your effort up to your 70%. Understanding the Principle of Thirds from the perspective of the mind versus implementing it in your practice are two very different animals. See my blog on applying the Tao Principle of Thirds for more info, available at http://www.circlewalking.com/5483/philosophy-of-taoism/.
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