Stretching East to West

In the Orient, exercises are traditionally done for longevity & health. They include stretches that strengthen particular organs by helping the flow of Ki (Japanese word for Qi) in the body. Ki can be used generally to describe the flow of blood, oxygen & nutrients though muscles as well as energy in meridians. Meridians are lines that have been mapped out in and on the body by many ancient and modern cultures. Shizuto Masunaga, a professor of psychology and Shiatsu practitioner in Tokyo, adopted a series of stretches from the Japanese Exercise system known as Makko Ho. Today Masunaga’s Makko Ho stretches are widely associated with Shiatsu, a form of Eastern Bodywork that uses touch and pressure to balance the body. By doing associated stretches in conjunction with Eastern bodywork, treatments are better administered. Results from doing Eastern type stretches include flexibility, exercise & injury recovery, improved organ function as well as a sense of well being.

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