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A Little About Tai Chi

A Little About Tai Chi

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Tai-chi is an ancient and dedicated Chinese martial art taught for fighting as well as longevity of life. The name translates into grand ultimate boxing. The origin of Tai-chi is a little unclear due to the fact that it dates back to the beginning of early Chinese writing. The founder is said to be Chang San-Feng. It is believed that he had a vision of a crane trying to attack a snake, but the snake would evade and strike back, and this became the basis on which Tai-chi came to be.

The art was developed for fighting and also to help one become one with the universe. In addition to the traditional forms, there are newer forms dedicated to relaxation, stress relief, as well as forms for dancing and ceremonial events.

Many people use Tai-chi as a way to manage stress. It is also used to promote better flexibility and balance. Through the use of slow deep breathing along with the use of circular motions, there is very little impact on the body. Each session is non-stop, moving from one pose to the next.

Many people look to Tai-chi to help with stress and to add calmness to their day. Tai-chi can be very rewarding and a relaxing part of your life, helping you improve both your physical and mental health. If you are thinking about trying Tai-chi, contact for us for information and class schedule!

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How Much Stretching Is Enough?

How Much Stretching Is Enough?

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Flexibility is defined as the ability to move joints at their full range of motion, and is important for several reasons. Without enough flexibility, daily routines become difficult and, over time, the body begins to compensate leading to improper joint mechanics. Maintaining a flexible body decreases physical pain and prevents injury.

Research suggests that the risk of injury is reduced when people follow a proper flexibility-training routine. Regular flexibility training can also help reduce stress in active muscles and relieve tension in overused areas. Flexibility is also a form of active recovery that improves mental states and helps soothe unstable emotions.
If you find yourself experiencing any of the following, it may be a good indication for the need to begin implementing more flexibility training into your fitness program.

Joint stiffness, poor posture muscle or joint pain, chronic stress, back, shoulder and neck pain
For guidance, I have adopted the concept of FITT for flexibility training, as follows –

Frequency
Generally an 5-10min flexibility routine four to seven days a week is recommended. It is also ideal to conduct flexibility training pre and post workouts.

Intensity
Stretching should never be painful – stretches should be held to a point of slight tension. Proper breathing is highly important to optimize the stretch – practice a big deep inhale with a 1 second pause followed by a slow long exhale with another 1 second pause between breaths.

Time
The length of a stretch depends on both the type of stretch and activity. In general, a flexibility routine should last a minimum of 5 minutes and should target the major muscles groups. At a minimum, static stretches and poses should be held for 30 seconds.

Type
The best flexibility training programs incorporate multiple forms of stretching based on the goals and needs of the person. The timing and the types of stretches utilized should be based on the findings of an evaluation, the goals of the program and when the stretches will be used. The four types of stretching used at Achieve Wellness to accompany self-myofascial release (foam rolling) are static stretching, neural-muscular stretching, active-isolated stretching and dynamic stretching.

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Meniscus Injury & Prevention

Meniscus Injury & Prevention

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, with more than 3 million reported cases annually in the US. The Meniscus is a C-shaped disc of cartilage that cushions the femur and tibia at the knee joint. An injury can occur when there is a tear in the cartilage due to incorrect movement or improper weight distribution. When this injury happens the cartilage cannot support the weight between femur and tibia. An example of this would be twisting or rotating the knee while keeping your foot planted. Elderly and those who play sports are at an increased risk for injury. Symptoms can include pain or swelling around the knee joint, a clicking noise, and/or inability to bear weight on the affected side.

There are training and strengthening techniques that can be used to help prevent and also heal a meniscus tear. Assessments can be performed to see if there is pain when certain movements are performed involving the knee joint. If a tear has happened, you need to strengthen and recondition the muscles around it in order to prevent the injury from worsening and to help it heal. Stability, core, and balance training would help assist in preventing a tear from happening. When performing exercises, keeping the feet straight and the knees in line with the feet will help ensure the knee is moving correctly. Focusing on good form and posture will help maintain proper movement patterns which will decrease the risk of injury.

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