Monthly Archives: February 2018

I Can’t Remember if I’m in Pain or Not.

Memory & the “Moment”.
The part of our brain that memorises events could never be said to be reliable; we remember the parts we want to remember (and even then those parts might be inaccurate), we give more importance to some memories than to others, and over time, even those can change – ‘bad’ memories taking on a rosy hue!
So with all of that going on, how do we “live in the moment”?

Pain.
In the case of pain, we know that something’s hurting (maybe physical, perhaps emotional), but to ‘get out of’ the pain-situation and back into the more comfortable-situation of which we have a vague memory, i.e. to relieve the problem, can be tricky.
So, our memories tell us that there’s an alternative, a preferable one that stems from the time before the pain.

Making ourselves healthily more uncomfortable.
Plenty of people take up yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais, tai chi or qigong in an attempt to improve their health; this could simply be because they want to improve posture or coordination, have more energy, improve muscle-tone or balance, or perhaps it’s because they suffer from back pain, migraines, musculoskeletal disorders, arthritis, Parkinson’s, or any other number of reasons.
My interest in this is that, by trying to better our health, we often unintentionally bring pain or discomfort on ourselves; having done that, we then want to get back to the same state of comfort we were in before we began the new health regime, but at the same time, we want to keep the newfound health that we may (or may not) have acquired.

Hoping for the best.
At the start of this term, two people came to try out a class, both suffering from different problems – one from recurring migraines, and the other from ME.
As usual, I warned both of them to take things very easily, to sit down as often as they wanted, not to push themselves, and that there was no competition involved – in short, to only do as much as they were able.
The next day I received emails from both; one had a sore neck (the person who suffers from migraines), and the other had a hip that was uncomfortable.  Both won’t be returning.

If it sounds as though I’m moaning about this, I’m not – the choice was, and is, entirely theirs; I know that I did everything possible to make their experience a positive one.
However, what I do know is that, as soon as you start to try to change stuff about yourself, to ‘improve’ yourself, or to take control of your health, things change, and change can often be uncomfortable, and can happen in parts of you that you didn’t anticipate.

The Comfort Zone.
Our ‘comfort zone’ is where we are at ease with our situation and environment, it could even be uncomfortable (comparatively).  Most people try to live in this ‘comfort zone’, hoping that things will stay as they are for as long as possible, whilst at the same time waiting for the (perhaps) inevitable change which they feel to be out of their control.

So, how DO you do something about it?
If you currently have pain somewhere that, as far as you know, has arrived out of nowhere, how do you relieve it (without using painkillers)?  One moment everything was fine (comparatively again), and the next it wasn’t.
Nearly everyone wants to get rid of that pain, but as soon as you try to feel your body back to its previous state you’re definitely not ‘living in the moment’… you’re trying to bring back what you think you’ve lost – attempting to go back in time.
Isn’t this the fear of the loss of the ‘comfort zone’ – the fear being that it will never return?  In your memory, how your situation or environment used to be was a lot better than how it currently is.

Falling into the old habits.
As an example, I have recently had a pain in my upper back somewhere between T2 & T4.  I wasn’t entirely sure why it started, and because it was tiring I wanted nothing to do with it.
So I tried all the usual things: I ignored it, I tried gently stretching it, I breathed into it, I put heat on it, I practiced a lot of Alexander Technique, I took it for a steam & sauna, I focused on consciously relaxing it during everyday actions (walking, sitting, etc.), – all to no avail.
Finally the penny dropped and I realised that, because of a number of changes that I’d been working on recently (postural etc.), other things were bound to alter.  It then started to get better… and I realised that this had finally happened because I’d accepted it and thereby brought it into the present – I’d allowed it to be, rather than trying to change it.

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James Drewe teaches Taijiquan and Qigong in both London and in Kent. Details of weekly classes can be found on the website, and there are classes for 2-person Taijiquan on one Saturday a month.

CONTACTS:
http://www.taiji.co.uk
http://www.qigonghealth.co.uk
Email: taijiandqigong@gmail.com
Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308

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Aspects of the Yang 24-Step Form with Master Huang Ping

Aspects of the Yang 24-Step
with Master Huang Ping

– Saturday 24th February 2018 –

10.00am – 4.30pm

This course will look at various aspects of tai chi using the 24-Step as the working tool.  It is helpful if you know the form, but not essential that you are familiar with the entire form.

The aim isn’t to learn the form, but to take a detailed look at various parts of it, e.g. opening & closing, using the centre, and understanding how the body works efficiently, comfortably and effectively within movements.  With this in mind, participants are very welcome to ask any questions about the movements including their applications.


  • Venue :   The Abbey Community Association, 
                   34 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU
  • Time   :   10.00am–4.30pm [Doors open at 9.30am]
  • Cost    :   £80
  • Tube   :   Westminster, or St. James

Master Huang Ping was born in Yunnan Province of China, and was first introduced to Wushu at the age of eight. At this age, she was taught Wushu basics including stretching, stance training, footwork, kicking and hand drills.
By the age of 10, Huang Ping had caught the eye of the Yunnan Provincial Wushu Team Coach and was invited her to join the Yunnan Wushu Team.  She was taught the arts of Bagua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan, Tong Bei Quan, Chang Quan (long fist) and Tai Ji Quan, and many weapons forms.

At the age of thirteen, Huang Ping took part in her first senior All China National competition, and over the following years took part in many All China National competitions.  Considering the intense competition and high skill level within a country of over a billion people, this was no mean feat and is testimony to Huang Ping’s skill and dedication to her Wushu training.

In 1979, Huang Ping joined the China Wushu Team, and in 1987 became a coach for the Yunnan Wushu Team.  In 1991, she was selected as a Top Judge for National Competitions, and in 1994 she coached the Burma Wushu Team, taking them to compete in the 1995 South East Asian Competition held in Vietnam, and in the 1996 All Asia Competition held in the Philippines.
In 1997, Huang Ping returned to China to continue as coach for the Yunnan Wushu Team. 
She came to the UK in 2001, where she now lives and teaches.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

James Drewe teaches Taijiquan and Qigong in both London and in Kent. Details of weekly classes can be found on the website, and there are classes for 2-person Taijiquan on one Saturday a month.

CONTACTS:
http://www.taiji.co.uk
http://www.qigonghealth.co.uk
Email: taijiandqigong@gmail.com
Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308

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