“…Cane and exercise band routines were used by bed bund debilitated patients to increase overall strength and improve independence in ADL. An additional benefit observed was the restoration of hope and positive self esteem…”– Dr. Irving Kaufman, MD. Board Certified Family Practice and Geriatrics
We talk about Cane Chi a lot in our blog articles. We do so because Cane Chi is one of the building blocks of cane based Self-defense. Dr. Irving Kaufman also found Cane Chi to be rejuvenating for activities of daily living. Cane Chi is the discipline of The American Cane System that is an exercise system, not a martial art. It is not comprised of fighting techniques, nor battle strategies. Cane Chi teaches poses and movements that develop body strength, flexibility and endurance. Students enjoy side benefits such the promotion of positive attitudes. An exercise program is at its most effective, when it follows stretches. What follows is details on the importance of stretches.
The Importance of Stretches in Cane Chi
One of the most beneficial exercises for the body, stretching relaxes tightly knotted muscles. It simultaneously helps increase blood circulation to those muscles. The combination serves to relieve cramping, stiffness and avoid injuries from later exercise movements.
Before beginning any exercise regimen, it is important to warm-up your muscles with similar low intensity movement Stretches. Cane Stretches are designed to warm up the body and its muscles before more vigorous exercises.
How & When to Stretch
If a stretch hurts, you have moved too far into the stretch and need to ease back until the pain subsides. When you reach the point where the stretch doesn’t cause pain, breathe again. Relax and allow the stretch to complete. 60 seconds is the optimum recommended time to hold each stretch. However, If you can only hold a particular stretch for 15 seconds, repeating it three more times can still achieve the 60 second optimum. If 20 seconds, repeat the stretch 3 times to reach 60 seconds.
As important as the exercises you do is the way you breathe while carrying out those exercises. Keep your breathing steady and constant. As you exhale, try to sink deeper into the stretching pose. Breathe in deeply as you try to fill your lungs with as much air as possible. Do NOT hold your breath. Deep breathing is part of strengthening your lungs and healing your body.
Using the Cane in your Stretches
Though you might think stretches are as beneficial without the cane, you could be wrong. Using the cane holds your arms in a certain attitudes as you carry out the stretch. In fact throughout the series of stretches and isometric exercises, your cane will become your best equipment. Using it, Grandmaster Mark Shuey will take you through stretches using your cane to benefit several areas of your body. You will stretch your triceps, shoulders, wrists, elbows, Pectorals and deltoids. Then training will continue with floor or seated stretches of ribs, laterals, spine, hamstrings and calf muscles. In fact, name a muscle group. Cane Chi will guide you through stretching it.
The exercises that follow stretches are all part of the Cane exercise, wellness and rehabilitation system. Grandmaster Mark Shuey live streams a hybrid of yoga and Cane Chi training several mornings a week. Contact Mark for Virtual Dojo class Pricing and schedules and more information on the importance of stretches.