Bike Clinic – Traditional Chinese Medicine

tools of the trade

Ashtanga Yoga ensenada prepared for clinicOne of the things I am most excited about is sharing what little kowledge I have in the field of Traditional Chinese Mediicne and acupuncture.  I do not say this to depreciate myself, its just that any sane man would consider his knowledge small when standing in the face of 4 thousand years of continuous learning.

By combining Tui Na or Chinese medicinal massage, moxa, acupuncture with needles, cupping and cranio sacral therapy, I seek t relieve whatever is happening to the person on the physical level, and the spiritual/mental level which in many cases, if not all, is the birthplace for the pains and symptoms of the physical.

To your left is Ashtanga Ensenada, Diana’s [partner on the ride] Yoga Studio, currently run by her student Oscar Olivares.  As you can see, setting is an important aspect in healing for the practitioner.  I use the Tibetan Singing bowl, incense, aromatic sprays concocted by Diana to bring about certain changes in the brain chemistry via the nostrils, anything to bring peace.  Many people today suffer from a simple lack of peace.

My tools:

Cupping set – Cupping is useful for a variety of conditions and especially in conjunction with increasing the flow of stagnat qi.

Moxa – Used to introduce energy to tired organs, help move qi and used during needling to blast energy right through the needle into the person in your care.  As an aside, it used to be smoked by sailors.

Needles – Direct stimulation of points to increase energy flow, direct energy flow, drain energy, simply move lethargic or stagnant energies.

Tui Na – Chinese medicinal massage which blends accupressure and meridian work to achieve health.

Cranio Sacral Therapy – A relatively new modality in that it was started around the turn of the century.  By passive application of pressure on the various points of the skull and with further practice, through various points of the back and sacrum, the practitioner can bring about huge relief to the nervous system and in a sense, re sets it.  Like rebooting a computer when it has had an unexpected failure.  This is an energetic and a physical practice removing blockages from the dural tube all the way to your higher self.

Bagua Zhang – This is the form of Kung Fu I studied and the first third of the practice is dedicated to exercises to help re shape and strengthen the joints, bones and muscles and how they all work together.  There will always be exercises given to patients in order to begin the stride towards preventative medicine and to really try and take their health into their hands, which is where it should always be.

tools of the trade

Qi Gong – Depending on the patient and the illness or injury, qi gong will be used as it is an extremely low impact exercise that is truly balancing to the system.  Comprised of individual exercises, it is much easier to learn than tai chi and thats why I use it here.

All of these things, minus the yoga studio, are carried by me wherever I go.  The clinic is by donation and no one is turned away.  Even if I was a billionaire, I would do it this same way [donation based] as there is something that I have yet to define when it comes to healing a person, them giving something in return and the results they get over the long term.

If we are in your area, we look forward to seeing you!

 

21. Know preventative maintenance for your body! Beginners Guide to Bicycle Touring… in CinemaScope!

kinetic-chain-of-joints-from-ground-up

The longer you stay on your bike, the greater the chance you will begin to create an atmosphere for injury to yourself due to the extremely repetitive nature of bicycling and the relative low impact.  Many people view low or no impact as the way to go and this is one of the reasons that they choose bicycling in the first place, it may very well be why you have chosen to go on your epic bike tour.

Lets look at the body quickly and explain some basic things to make sure you do not weaken yourself in the process of becoming stronger.

The body is a highly complex machine.  Every part of your body is based upon the components around it through a series called the kinetic chain.  To give a basic overview of the chain, its effects on the body, AND, a great place for you to start healing yourself, take a look down at your feet.  Notice the bones, the muscles, all of which are connected by tendons and ligaments.  Every time you step, a burst of force travels in an upward direction through your foot, shin, knee, hip, spine, all the way to your skull.  Now, depending upon how you walk, toes splayed out, slightly in, more on one side than the other, heel strike first, fore foot first etc., this will have a huge impact on how the energy moves through the body.kinetic-chain-of-joints-from-ground-up

The foot is designed to hit the fore foot first, on the two balls with a light heel touch and then off to the next step.  This is easily understandable when you look at the foot.  The shock absorption is in the front, not the back, in fact, if you land on the heel to hard, you will break the bone!  Modern shoes and ways of thought have us heel striking first, this is incorrect according to how you are MADE.  This is what matters, and this is why there is a resurgence of minimalist footwear, I say resurgence as native tribes have been aware of this forever, we are just coming online now and some companies are making a fortune off it!

So, depending upon how you strike the ground, a force moves through the body, incorrect walking and you could have neck and shoulder pains all related to your feet!  Idea number 1.  Start focusing on your posture and even if you wear regular sneakers, begin walking as you were designed, forefoot, light heel tap and next step.  It may be difficult at first, but that is O.K., take your time, someday you will die, it is best to walk to your grave correctly as it has impact on all other aspects of your life.

It is this kinetic chain that is responsible for moving energy correctly through the body as long as you are aware and working on your posture and foot strike.  This energy as it moves has another effect, either strengthening or debilitating.

It causes the bones and sinew to react and in the process strengthen, or, if you are moving incorrectly, to weaken.  This is why impact during sport is beneficial, again, if you are moving as you were designed, either by God or evolution, it doesn’t matter, you have a body that works best in a certain way.

This shock to the system, causes strengthening. In the case of long distance cycling, or any long period of cycling per day, like pro  or aspiring pro cyclists, they aren’t on tour, but they spend as many hours as you on a bike, you lose this as cycling is so very low impact.  One problem cyclists MAY run into is bone density issues.

Another issue is that of working a very specific muscle group for extended periods of time.  Many of you are right or left handed.  Take a look at your arms, one may be visibly weaker than the other.  This may manifest in your riding in different ways, the tendons in the ankle, knees and hips, the muscles in various parts of the body will become much stronger than a muscle group directly beside them.  This is counter productive to health as it physically imbalances you.  You do not want this as a person physically or mentally and the two are connected!  Further, when you strengthen one area and the area directly beside it is weakened, this will lead to an over emphasis of problems.  If we look at the knee and ankle, you strengthen in such a way as to push the pedals in a certain motion literally hundreds if not thousands of times per day, you become very strong for that motion.  As a human, when you walk, your body will be subjected to many different motions, such as twisting and turning, pitches in elevation on one part of the foot and not the other, next thing you know, you have a knee or ankle sprain simply stepping onto an uneven sidewalk!

So what do we do?

Everyday, stretch and engage in some sort of physical exercise which will incorporate your body as a whole.

Using Diana and myself as examples, Diana loves to run and is a Yoga practitioner/teacher, I like running and my Kung Fu practice.  Through these, we address all potential trouble areas.  We get the impact we need and because we are focused on our posture and using our Vibram minimalist running shoes, we are using our feet correctly thereby sending positive shock through out our bodies.  With the Yoga and Kung Fu, we take care of muscle strengthening and stretching.  Added to the cycling, we have become quite fit!

Of course we suggest either Yoga or Martial arts as they are tested by CENTURIES of practice and have changed millions of lives.  Whatever you choose as long as it strengthens your muscles wholly and stretches them, and you have something that will help maintain bone density, which coincidentally yoga does as stretching pulls muscles which in turn puts a stress on ligaments and tendons, which in turn put a stress on the…. BONES!  Positive stress equals strength, improper stress will bring about slowly decay and weakness, this is applicable to all aspects of your life and nature around you.  True story.

Whatever you do, do it regularly, we feel three times a week is a minimum, and do it happily, its your life, you are what you eat and your body is how you get around and experience, respect it and show it love!  You will only get this one and it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, no one else’s!  Go be Ninja!

Sweet day in the morning!

Great day yesterday! Got to run in the salt fields of Guerrero Negro, wicked cool spot, bittersweet,so much trash, tires, sticking thier heads out of the crystalized salt lakes…
Then we checked out the local veterinarians office where they are taking care of a blind Puma, kinda sad situation, its older and has some kind of epileptic fits, and, well, yeah.
We then went to the government offices to introduce ourselves and speak at the schools of the area. Unfortunately the schools are on vacation, there was some thought that we may be able to get into the University, so, the police loaded our bikes in the back of the truck and drove us out there, but, they too were out.
Whatever, got to get a police escort again, Im beginning to get used to this:)
Today we shoot a quick yoga video atthe salt flats and then get ready to Vamanos!
Took Tony’s boxing class last night at the Zumba Gym. WOW. We did a footwork, combinations class. Diana followed it up by teaching a 15 minute yoga class, thank god, I had trouble walking, trouble moving in general this am. Could have also been partly due to the fact we had some fun with Damiana Liquor:)
We leave tomorrow to head south, stoked to be back on the road.

Great day yesterday! Got to run in the salt fields of Guerrero Negro, wicked cool spot, bittersweet,so much trash, tires, sticking thier heads out of the crystalized salt lakes…
Then we checked out the local veterinarians office where they are taking care of a blind Puma, kinda sad situation, its older and has some kind of epileptic fits, and, well, yeah.
We then went to the government offices to introduce ourselves and speak at the schools of the area. Unfortunately the schools are on vacation, there was some thought that we may be able to get into the University, so, the police loaded our bikes in the back of the truck and drove us out there, but, they too were out.
Whatever, got to get a police escort again, Im beginning to get used to this:)
Today we shoot a quick yoga video atthe salt flats and then get ready to Vamanos!
Took Tony’s boxing class last night at the Zumba Gym. WOW. We did a footwork, combinations class. Diana followed it up by teaching a 15 minute yoga class, thank god, I had trouble walking, trouble moving in general this am. Could have also been partly due to the fact we had some fun with Damiana Liquor:)
We leave tomorrow to head south, stoked to be back on the road.