Got the Flu? Do 5 Dahn Yoga Exercises

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Winter means flu and cold season. To protect yourself from the flu, keep your immune systems healthy. Drawing from traditional Asian health practices, Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga, indicates that the cold and damp energy conditions in the air cam enter your body and lead to the flu. Releasing this negative energy can be achieved through exercising the meridians (energy channels) and acupressure points. Lee describes five exercises, which when done daily during the flu season, can help your body sidestep or stop the flu.

5 Dahn Yoga Exercises for flu

There is merit is viewing the flu in terms of traditional body-mind energy principles, which have been practiced in Asia for thousands of years. In contrast to Western medicine's viral model of the flu, Oriental medicine holds that when energy conditions in the air are cold and damp, then this cold energy can enter your body.

The winter season is here, which means it is the flu-and-cold season too. With no guaranteed vaccine against the flu and colds, avoiding and recovering from them is an annual occurrence for you and your family members.

According to Ilchi Lee, president of the University of Brain Education (South Korea), "The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to keep your immune system strong. It is your greatest ally in both preventing and treating colds." He points to overexertion, fatigue, minimal exercise, poor eating and excessive stress as the usual causes of a weakened immune system.

To prevent the flu, it is important to combine consistent exercise, adequate rest and a positive attitude. As for treatment, you can get relief from the symptoms by boosting your natural healing capacity.

Lee advises, "There is merit is viewing the flu in terms of traditional body-mind energy principles, which have been practiced in Asia for thousands of years. In contrast to Western medicine's viral model of the flu, Oriental medicine holds that when energy conditions in the air are cold and damp, then this cold energy can enter your body." Two areas of the spine -- around the neck and chest -- are the most vulnerable, so these sites should be warmly covered when outdoors in cold weather.

As Lee explains, "This inner coldness often throws the body's natural systems out of balance. If the blood circulation and energy circulation do not stabilize, this cold energy remains stuck in the body, which then can bring on cold or flu symptoms." Natural treatment involves releasing this cold energy from the body, through various exercises.

Lee offers a series of meridian (energy channels) exercises, based on Dahn Yoga holistic health training, which he founded. When practiced daily during the flu season, these exercises can help your immune system deal with the flu -- so you don't catch it, get it milder or get over it faster.

1. Breath work. Ideally, practice this breathing before sleeping. In a quiet place that is neither too hot nor cold, sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor in the half-lotus posture, straighten your back and relax your body. Once comfortable, focus on your breathing. Through your nose, inhale up to 80 percent of your capacity until you fill your abdomen. Hold your breath in your lower abdomen for a while. Exhale through your nose. Repeat this exercise until you begin to sweat. Afterwards, take a hot shower and rest.

2. Lung meridian clearing. To prevent and release energy blockages, stimulate the two acupressure points that mark the start of the lung meridian. These points are just below the collarbone in the hollows on both side of your chest. Make a fist with your right hand, with your thumb folded in, and gently tap the point on the left side by your shoulder. Do this for one to three minutes, and then switch sides. If this is too painful or feels blocked, rub these points with the pads of your fingers. Breathe naturally for one to two minutes. Switch sides.

3. Chest expanding. To enhance and strengthen circulation in the lungs, breath to expand your chest. This helps with coughs, bronchitis, emphysema, breathing difficulty and phlegm elimination. Sit in a large chair or on the floor, and lock your fingers behind your back. With your spine lengthened, but not rigid, gently bend your upper body forward from the trunk, while lifting both arms up toward the back of your head. Exhale while slowly returning to locking your fingers behind your back. Repeat three times.

4. Head turning. This exercise helps energy flow smoothly through your neck to enable the release of cold energy from the acupressure point at the base of your neck. Sit with your legs folded, with your hands on your knees. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel resistance. Then slowly turn to the left, breathing comfortably. Do this 30 times while concentrating on releasing blocked energy from the base of your neck.

5. Nose rubbing. To help clear nasal congestion, do this exercise in the morning when waking up. As you inhale, rub your hands together to create heat energy, concentrating on your middle fingers. Breathe naturally while you place your fingers on either side of your nose. Press and gently massage your nose with your fingers for five minutes.

For more information, Ask Ilchi Lee.

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Larry Rosenberg

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