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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Create More than Muscles with your Workout

Apr 05, 2011 06:42PM ● By James DeFillips

There are many aspects that are equally important in affecting a real overall change in your health and well being. Diet and nutrition, avoiding pollutants to the body, and implementing a program of body cleansing are all factors, but a vital and often overlooked component is proper conditioning. For example, most modern exercise programs concentrate simply on muscular strengthening using weight or resistance and the cardiovascular benefits of increased heart and vessel activity.

Chinese martial arts use a different approach. Thousands of years ago, a prince from India came to the Sholin monastery in the Song Shan Mountains of China to teach the resident monks a series of health- and life-giving exercises. These movements are based on a principle called tendon changing, and are the origin of all modern martial arts. The intent of tendon changing is to systematically strengthen the joints and connecting tissues of the body. It also stimulates the nervous system and bioelectric pathways in order to affect a change in the body as a whole. Change is gradual, and slow at times, but deceptively powerful when practiced in a focused and consistent manner. This transformation is an integral part of why Chinese martial arts will yield results so different from your typical gym workout.

The joints of the body are very resilient in the young, but as we age, we abuse and ignore the maintenance of these important moving parts. Also, as our ability to rejuvenate decreases, these parts may start to restrict movement and other motor functions. This can quickly lead to increased limits of physical activities, a more sedentary lifestyle and increased ease of injury. In fact, the ease of injury is one of the main reasons that people are less likely to maintain a consistent or regular exercise program.

In the traditional methods of tendon changing, the use of proper stance, posture, and very precise movements are combined to recondition the connecting tissues and joints to begin strengthening the whole body. When the body is trained in this manner, the muscles and nerves are stimulated in a less direct method. They react to that stimulus by strengthening themselves in order to help support the increased muscular activity. Notably, this process does not work in reverse. Strengthening the muscles does not consistently cause a strengthening of the joints or internal organs.

In addition to the mechanical and bioelectrical benefits to the entire body, another part of these exercises is the proper use of breathing and activation of the internal organs and pathways. With consistency, this training has been beneficial in reducing conditions such as nervous tension, rheumatism, ulcers, and high blood pressure. It is also helpful in improving blood circulation, regulating metabolism, and strengthening the immune system. These benefits represent a crucial difference in the potential results from a whole body fitness program such as Chinese martial arts over a typical workout or those with a more limited focus.

Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi of Melbourne offers a professional and safe setting in which both adults and children can realize their fitness goals. Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi is located at 662 N. Wickham Rd. in Melbourne. For more information call 321-255-1048 or visit

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