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Old 09-23-2005, 11:02 AM   #11
cconstantine's Avatar
Dojo: Kinokawa Aikido
Location: Pennsylvania USA
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 49
Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea

There are many great hints above. I'll add these which I don't believe I saw mentioned...

- during your roll, make sure you don't have your eyes or head trailing behind. If your head trails, you get that whipped-on-the-whirly-ride-at-the-fair feeling; that'll make you dizzy every time. Your mental/visual focus should be forward through, and up/out of the roll as it finishes. Don't dive into the roll with your mental and visual focus pulled inward. A learning tool is to try to look at your belly button going into the beginning of the roll, then find the horizon in front of you asap, after your feet go over your head. Do not look down as you exit the roll this actually makes your head go through more rotation than your body goes through -- ie, you're extending the roll from the point of view of your inner ears.

- there is a pressure point you can use during recovery from dizziness, or discreeting between rolls while on the mat. About an inch below your zyphoid process (the lower tip of your sternum), apply gentle (a few pounds) pressure inward (toward your spine) and slightly downward toward your feet, with one or two fingertips. This is not a "ding, you're better" button to press, but works well in combination with key breathing in a seated position. Keep your eyes open but "dull" your focus so your eyes and eyelids relax.

- also the pressure point on the back of your head. Find the bone-point at the base of the back of your skull. Moving your head around slightly helps you initially figure out what is your skull and what are muscless and spine. Place thumb and pointer fingers on either side, and just below this point -- in a gesture like picking up a pinch of salt. (You want to appy the pressure to the nerves/muscles not the bone.) Place a few pounds of pressure inward towards your spine and upwards towards the top of your head. If you press too hard you're likely to give yourself a quick headache. Settle the pressure gently for 10, 20 or more seconds. Again, this pressure point works well while seated and breathing. If you have a student sitting, breathing and trying to stave off dizziness, you can place on hand on the forehead and apply the pressure *geeeeently* with the other hand.

Other than that...

Stick with it, but pace yourself! And you should *absolutely* consult your physician -- 50-ish is not "spry chicken" age. Make sure you don't have any latent medical problems.
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