#WellnessWednesday 7 – Circle Qigong: Exercise 3 – shoulder circles

Office work is your (working) life? This loosening exercise is especially useful for those who work at the desk a lot. – Often, your shoulders will tense up after some time. To prevent hardening of three muscles, neck pain or headaches, you should get up for some minutes from time to time and mobilise your shoulders.
In this #WellnessWednesday, Tsui will show you how to do it properly.

Shoulder circles in two directions

  • Move your shoulders pulling them up from the back and let them circle down in the front.
  • Move the shoulders up in a semi-circle in the front and then, at the back, down in another semi-circle.
  • You may choose the number of repetitions to your convenience. It is advisable to change directions after a few times.

Exercise as long as it is convenient in the circumstances – e.g. when you are making a tea of coffee for yourself or when waiting for some copies. Quiet surroundings and enough time for a real session of exercises would be ideal, but a few repetitions now and then will make a real difference for your wellbeing.

Some additional tipsshoulder circles

The movement in this exercise is rooted in the shoulders. Hands and arms are fluffy, but not limp. They move, following the shoulders, so that the whole shoulder girdle is engaged.

After some pratising, you may just visualise the circles and concentrate on a round big movement. If muscles and sinews are not yet loose enough, you may hear your shoulder working. This is normal and will stop when you practise regularly. Rule of thumb: the more awkward the movement, the more necessary the regular repetition.

Physiology of the shoulder and positive effects

The exercise will be particularly effective, if you stand upright and hold your head high and unmoving. This way, the shoulders may circle while the ribcage and head are standing still. Thus, the shoulder blades will glider over the ribcage. – The muscle groups which move the shoulders (and the arms as well as ultimately the fingers) are engaged. At the same time, the upper body does only move as much as the circling movement of the shoulders requires. The remaining torso stays still and thereby provides a stabilising counterbalance to the movement.
The findings of Chinese medicine suggest that some of the upper meridians are passing by the shoulder area – a thorough mobilisation of the shoulder girdle is meant to loosen the whole area and to encourage the flow.