Using Tai Chi to soothe neck and shoulder pain

Tai Chi is known as the “Supreme Ultimate” mind-body art in China.

It was developed thousands of years ago as a system of health preservation, fitness and self-defense. It is described in the West as “moving meditation” because the movements, when coordinated with correct breathings, lead the practitioner into a meditative state of gentle relaxation.

In today’s video, Dr. Luke Jih, Director of the Golden Light Institute for Body-Mind Advancement, will show you four exercises drawn from Tai Chi movements that will help release stress and tension in your neck and shoulder, while improving overall range of motion. This series of exercises follows naturally from those shown in one of his previous videos.

Exercise 1 — Arm raise and twist

From the same position, raise your arms straight up above your head along the front of the body.

From a relaxed position, inhale and you slowly raise your arms up with palms facing, up and then along the sides of your face. Continue raising your arms all the way up above your head as far as you can reach.

Form the extended position you will pivot your waist to the left to help the right arm reach even higher. Then pivot your waist to the right to help your left hand reach even higher.

Repeat the pivot and reach a total of five times. When done, allow yourself to relax totally and arm to just drop by their sides. This will feel great in your next and shoulders.

Exercise 2 — Arm circle with waist pivot

For this exercise you will pivot your waist while drawing circles with your arm along one side.

To begin, place your left hand on your left hip and extend your right arm up in front on you, then up over your head and, as your waist pivots back your arm will move to the back and lower then come back up in front. That sounds complicated here, but watch the video to see how easy it is!

Inhale as you raise your arm up and over and exhale as you lower your arm and bring it back to front.

Do a set of five rotations and then switch arms and repeat.

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Exercise 3 — Stretch and unfold arms

For this next exercise you will essentially be stretching your arm behind you and the unrolling it forward, like a mini scroll.

Inhale as you raise your arm up behind you, palm forward. As your arm reaches its height turn your wrist over. Exhale as you unfold your elbow and wrist to the front. Review video for details.

Do a set of five and then repeat on the other arm.

Exercise 4 — Shoulder shrug and drop

To complete this set of rotational exercises you will want to relax the shoulders and neck. To do this simply stand with arms by your side. Inhale and you raise your shoulders up as high as you can, then exhale quickly as you allow your shoulders to drop back down.

Do this 10 times.

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.