Stretching Routine s
can be adapted and tweaked for any sport or activity. One thing most athletes do not take into consideration when training is that without flexible muscles (muscles that work in their full range) strength will be diminished. For a muscle to be strong and for a joint to have the proper range of motion the muscles that move that joint must be flexible and must be able to work in their full range. Take for example the hip joint. If an athlete’s hamstrings are tight (shortened) and his quadriceps are weak (from being elongated) then the ROM from his hip joints will be compromised. Or in the upper body you can have huge biceps and still have weak arm strength in certain ranges because the ROM of the biceps is limited and the triceps are more than likely weakend by being in an elongated position.
I used to think that just lifting weights and building muscle was all that was needed to be strong; that was until I discovered Makko ho or what is commonly referred to as meridian stretching. The meridian stretching routine is comprised on 6 stretches that correspond with the 12 energy meridians in the body. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine’s 24 hour cycle of chi these stretches can open up the energy meridians and allow your chi to flow more evenly through out the day and they are great exercises for flexibility .
The Makko ho stretching routine energizes and balance the body energy so that you can accomplish more throughout the day. My new book Body Energy – Unlock The Secrets Of The Chinese Energy Body Clock guides you through the Makko ho stretching routine also known as Japanese meridian stretching. Performing one of these stretches every two hours or all six stretches early in the morning and again late at night will keep your muscle flexible and your energy meridians open to help you stay healthy.
Body Energy Book now available at amazon.com here
View the video book trailer here:
Meridians Of The Body
are the pathways through which your body energy (chi) travels throughout the day and night. There are 12 major acupuncture meridians:
• Lung meridian (3am-5am)
• Large intestine meridian (5am-7am)
• Stomach meridian (7am-9am)
• Spleen meridian (9am-11am)
• Heart meridian (11am-1pm)
• Small intestine meridian (1pm-3pm)
• Bladder meridian (3pm-5pm)
• Kidney meridian (5pm-7pm)
• Pericardium meridian (7pm-9pm)
• Triple Heater meridian (9pm-11pm)
• Gallbladder meridian (11pm-1am)
• Liver meridian (1am-3am)
As you can see from the above list each meridian has chi flowing through it for a two hour time period throughout the day or night. This is called the 24 hour cycle of chi. Each meridian has a peak time and a low time of chi. At 3am – 5am your lung chi is at its peak and 12 hours later at 3pm-5pm it is at its low. Many things can be discerned from how you feel at what time of the day by knowing what meridian your chi is in at that time.
For instance if you feel sluggish getting out of bed at 6am then it is quite possible that there is an energy blockage in your large intestine meridian. Now I hear you saying, “doesn’t everybody feel sluggish getting out of bed in the morning?” I would agree with you that most people probably do, however, the main cause probably has more to do with what time they went to bed, their diet, and lifestyle (overall healthy or not). If you stay up past 9pm because you are watching TV or on the computer looking at facebook you are not giving your chi the right environment to complete its 24 hour cycle. You must at the least be fast asleep by 11pm (and earlier say 10pm would be much better) to allow your chi to work through the gall bladder meridian and the liver meridian. Additionally, staying up with the lights on fools your brain into thinking that it is day time and not nighttime. Your brain registers this as summer time (all year long) and tells your body to crave carbohydrates (read the book Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival for a very in-depth look at the science behind this theory).
So as you can see paying attention to where your chi is in your body during the day and night is an excellent way to be in tune with your body and health. For a more detailed look at each meridian you can read my book Body Energy – Unlock The Secrets Of The Chinese Energy Clock found here at Amazon.commeridians of the body