Putting Down Roots
It all starts at the ground.
Hello IRQTC community and welcome to this month’s training tips newsletter. First, I would like to thank all of you who shared heart-felt comments about last month’s Smiling Tips newsletter. The topic of stress born illness, both mental and physical, is very close to my heart and I am so glad that others felt it to be meaningful too. This month we take a closer look at the classic Tai Chi saying:
“Tai Chi forces are rooted in the feet, released through the legs, steered at the waist and expressed in the fingers.”
This concept is central to Tai Chi movement and can take years to appreciably integrate; however, starting small has enormous benefit with these hallmark principles. When the feet are connected and rooted to the ground, energy transfer from muscular contraction in the legs is more efficiently propelled upward in the body. Unsure footing and slippery surfaces disperse energy in all directions resulting in a loss of power and accuracy, both important concepts in functional movement. Beginning in the Tai Chi stance with feet slightly wider than hips, focus energy (weight bearing) through the ball of the right foot. Next move that focus up around the toes, then down the right lateral foot and around the heel. Now transfer your weight bearing focus from the medial right heel across to the ball of the left foot and then carry that energy around the toes, down the lateral aspect of the left foot, around the medial left heel and back across to the ball of the right foot. With enough practice, this figure 8-pattern will naturally travel upward into the hips, Dantien, and shoulders highlighting how high quality attention to forces rooted in the feet create high quality movement in the trunk, arms, and hands. For more on this easy exercise to begin finding rooted movement, just click the video. Do you have a question, comment, or announcement? Share it with your IRQTC community and together we can become the change we want to see in health care.