About 1300 years ago, a great Chinese physician wrote, “Flowing water never stagnates, active hinges never rust.” The human body is designed for movement, when little or no movement occurs, the body systems break down. Exercise keeps the spine and joints (hinges) supple, and promotes a healthy flow of blood, lymph, and water to all parts of the body. It also helps with elimination of wastes by sweating and bowel movements. Constipation is one of the deadliest problems for your body, and exercise is a terrific remedy for those who experience it. (The elimination process is 20% chemical and a whopping 80% mechanical, meaning movement). One of my favorite types of exercise is qi gong (chi gung), in which the channeling of full diaphramatic breathing is channeled into the varioous parts of the body to promote the flow of chi, the vital life force. The slow movements of qi gong are done with a calm, clear mind.

Too many times I see people on a treadmill or a stationary bike, etc., with an iPod on or watching TV. I don’t understand how they can truly be one with the exercise, when the body is doing one thing and the brain is doing something different. I love the feel of my heart beat, breathing, sweat, and energy when I exercise.

Health tips: According to Neal Barnard, MD, if you experience muscle or joint pain, certain foods make excellent painkillers. Take 1/2 to 1 tsp of ginger daily, dry or fresh, cooked in recipes or boiled in tea. Ginger also helps nausea and motion sickness too. Green leafy veges and beans also aid muscle soreness or arthritic pain. These foods can worsen pain: dairy products, chocolate (especially for bad migraine), eggs, citrus fruits, meat, poultry, fish, and wheat. Speaking of migraines, vitamin B-2 seems to be as effective as drug treatments, with fewer side effects. In a study, sufferers took 400 mg of vitamin B-2 daily for four months, and more than 50% of these people reported at least half the number of headaches they had experienced without the vitamin.

Stay well, John R. Blilie, M.S.