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AikiWeb System 03-31-2007 02:37 PM

"Blending Physical Therapy with Martial Arts"
 
Posted 2007-03-31 13:37:36 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://clarkson.edu/news/view.php?id=1736

This article entitled "Blending Physical Therapy with Martial Arts introduces us to "Leslie Russek, an associate professor of physical therapy at Clarkson University and a chief instructor at North Country Aikido" who uses aikido principles in physical therapy. She says, "For example, in physical therapy, when I am laying my hands on a person to stretch out a muscle, I have to be relaxed for them to relax. If I touch a person when I am tensed, they'll tend to be tensed. In Aikido, it's exactly the same way. The same physical skill and the same sense of connecting to a person from my center that is used in Aikido are used in physical therapy."

What are your thoughts on taking aikido principles to such fields as physical therapy?

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SeiserL 04-01-2007 10:09 AM

Re: "Blending Physical Therapy with Martial Arts"
 
[quote=AikiWeb System;174194] What are your thoughts on taking aikido principles to such fields as physical therapy?[quote]
IMHO, the application of Aikido principles is everywhere. I would agree with the relaxed, connected, moving from the center, and extending energy (ki/intent) works wonders in physical and massage therapies. It helps if the person on the receiving end reciprocates too.

Avery Jenkins 04-05-2007 08:02 AM

Re: "Blending Physical Therapy with Martial Arts"
 
As a doctor who regularly performs both manual medicine procedures (chiropractic) and energy-based procedures (acupuncture), I have found my aikido training to be very helpful.

While this is beyond the realm of physical therapy, it is not simply in the application of procedures that I find aikido training applicable, but also when I am taking a history or performing an examination. At those times, it is very helpful to "blend" with my patient, which often results in more information or better communications as well as improved insight into the factors which are influencing their health.

Like most chiropractic physicians, I treat many more conditions than just "bad backs," and frequently those conditions are complex and chronic, and usually poorly managed, if managed at all, by mainstream medicine. Accurate diagnosis in these cases is more complex than just examining a lab or diagnostic imaging report. So I'll take any data I can get.

Avery

Aran Bright 04-17-2007 09:23 AM

Re: "Blending Physical Therapy with Martial Arts"
 
I am a massage therapist and while I like to focus on the more clinical aspects of that discipline the skills and intuition that you develop in aikido training carry over very well.

I am sure there is a large number of people who train in aikido and work in massage and other manual medicine fields such as physiotherapy and acupuncture. Understanding the 'ki' phenomena as well adds an extra dimension to your skill base and allows you to work longer hours with less fatigue. Weight underside is an important principle and when done correctly can trigger spontaneous releases of muscle locked in spasm.

The flip side of this is that I also think that the manual therapies are a good option for those that may like to consider aikido as a career option, I don't know if there are that many opportunities to be a professional instructor but this style of work allows for a flexible schedule that could allow you to fit in teaching around treating. That added to the fact that you can put into practice your aiki principles on a daily basis can make for a pretty good mix.

I would highly recommend massage or any other form of bodywork to those who love aikido, you'll be amazed with the similarities.


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