#wellnesswednesday Spine Qigong Exercise 4 – Swinging self-massage
A groovy spine exercise for all of you, but especially for those who felt that the third exercise of Spine Qigong was too technical. Some of you may know this exercise under the name of loosening exercises or even constant bear. Here, it is used to get your spine moving in a fun way and let your hands work on your upper body with a gentle massage. Thanks to Tsui for the demonstration!
Basic swinging movement from the legs
Start swinging your arms around a little by putting your weight on the right leg and at the same time turning your hip to the right. Turn back to the middle. Then change on your left leg, your hip turning to the left as well. If you turn your hip with care, you may feel a wringing movement down in your ankle, loosening it up as well.
Ready to take your arms with you?
Freely swinging the arms
Gather some speed and momentum, bit by bit, and let the arms swing naturally.
Awakening the Qi
At first, we touch the lower belly and the sacral bone simultaneously. The hands change with changing the leg. We concentrate on our lower belly area around our centre of gravity to give our movements grounding. The foot we stand on stays firmly down on the earth.
Touching the kidneys
We visualise the spine as central axis. Be aware that the axis is always moving with your weight shift. We may now add some momentum to our movements to allow the hand at the back to reach the opposite kidney.
Tapping the lung area
Giving yet a bit more impulse, our open hands may reach the upper part of our upper body. In the front, we lightly hit our chest below the collar bone. At the same time, we hit the ribcage in our back.
To massage our shoulders and neck, we need to use the full movement range of our hip joints. We also need to turn our spine axis a bit more vigorously.
Massaging the shoulders
A wide turn of our hip enables our hands to swing up to the shoulders. Let the fingers reach out and come down in the shoulder with a bit of force. Your hands should land on your shoulders – reaching down as far as possible to the back side of your body.
Massaging the neck
Giving our swing a slight spin inwards, we may now massage our neck with the back of our hands.
Tip: Loosening the cervical spine
Look forward constantly while swinging. Together with the swinging arms, you will create a passive movement to gently unlock the vertebrae of the neck.
It is up to everyone to regulate the intensity of this spine Qigong exercise: touching, tapping, massaging, hitting,… There are many possible intensities. Listening to your body will give you a hint as to what is right for you.
Beginning and ending the Spine Qigong Exercise 4
You may start very slowly, just by shifting the weight and turning your hip. Then, you may get a bit faster, when the hands move up the spine. The hands should land naturally on the desired spots – so if they do not end up quite high enough, just intensify your spin a bit.
In the middle, slowing down again, you may go through the hand movements in reverse order with lesser and lesser momentum until you are standing still again in the end.
Video Spine Qigong Exercise 4
More videos you’ll find on our Qigong Exercise channel!