INFO@BRISTOLTAICHI.ORG 01934 621 184
About me (Mary - Mark's wife):
I took up Tai Chi as I had chronic fatigue and mental health issues 25 years ago, after completing a degree in Biochemistry. I looked at and tried a wide range of alternative therapies and this was the one that had the strongest scientific basis, and also the one the worked best. Pracising daily, just a few minutes even, has a MASSIVE effect on the immune system and how it functions. Now more than ever, we need that! I will be working with Mark to support as many of our students through this difficult time as possible. We have continued classes because while there is a risk of catching it, we firmly believe that the benefits of regular high quality practice outweigh these. We are likely to be forced to shut, though - and will go online with live classes and possibly videos this weekend (21st/22nd March)
Covid in 90% of cases causes a mild cold that is recovered from normally. In 10% of cases it goes into a second stage , after about 5 days, for unknown reasons. It seems that this response is related to an inflammatory response in the body, which tends to be provoked in people with a lowered immune system. For me, this means that anything you can do to regulate inflammatory responses and boost immune function has to mean you will react better when you get this virus (which most of us will!!)
Top Tips for practice:
1 - DO IT!!!
This one is surprisingly difficult for many of us. Set yourself a time each day - even if its just 5 or 10 mins. It helps if it is the SAME time each day - know that this is the most important thing for you and your family for that time.
2. Keep it simple.
You are FAR better off doing a simple exercise very well, than a complicated form. Practice the warm up exercises and standing, simple silkreeling done very gently. Do form just for relaxation and fun - you are not TRYING to do anything RIGHT!!!
3. Mental attidude is key.
What supports the immune system is turning OFF the stress based cortisol response. Cortisol is a hormone released by longer term stress responses, which strongly suppresses the immune system. It suppresses production of Melatonin in the body, which is a strong modulator of the inflammatory response.
This means that if you can turn OFF your stress hormones, you can boost your immune system - which has been exactly my experience over the last 25 year of practice. RELAX - this is not easily accomplished, and be learned and needs consistent practice to achieve! Complete all pracise with an attitude of KINDNESS to yourself, of the sort you would show to a loved one or child.
4. Balance IS relaxation.
Your fight/flight response is tuned to respond to your sense of balance BEFORE any other sense (if you fall and twist an ankle while chasing/being chased, you re dead!!) - this means paying attention to your sense of being balanced - feeling weight against the ground, while relaxing and focusing on internal sensations throughout the body sends a very powerful message to your body to STOP making stress hormones.
5. Where the mind goes the energy follows (and therefore the blood, lymph system, white blood cells and all the rest!)
Focus on any areas that feel discomfort and try to feel what is in there. Listen very carefully to any and all messages your body is sending you (in a relaxed, calm, kind way). Try to keep these areas moving gently using the various warm up exercises.
6. PRACTISE WHILE ILL - Small amounts but frequently - few minutes or even seconds every hour
If you are well enough to walk to the toilet, you are well enough to do 30 seconds standing, maybe a few minutes sitting - you can even do exercises lying down. Do this very, VERY gently - it will make you feel awful - but then you will feel better shortly afterwards. This is because it increases blood and lymphatic fluid (carries white blood cells to fight disease) flow around the body. This allows the body to dump toxins into the blood (thus the feeling awful), which then allows toxin removal. Staying still means these toxins stay at the site they are being produced - increasing the chances of an inflammatory response.
Scientific papers I have read recently indicate that high dose vitamin C reduce the chances of the secondary inflammatory respoponse, while ibuprofen for some reason seems to increase it. Use paracetamol if you HAVE to - but remember that a fever is your OWN body attempting to fight something off - unless it goes above 39C you will heal faster if you leave it to do it's job! Also remember to listen to your body about food - if you feel like not eating DON'T - your body knows what it is doing. Personally I would recommend bone broth with onion and lots of garlic and tumeric - but that's just me!!!!
Much love to all out there - please do get in touch if you feel there is anything we might be able to do - we can always do a video conference if you need support in this trying time xxxx