Running Injury Rehabilitation using Chi Walking

Posted by Katherine Dreyer on Mon Nov 1st, 2010, No comments (be the first!)

If you love running and depend on it to keep healthy, fit and maintain a positive attitude, getting injured can be devastating. If your running injury was not an obvious accident, like twisting your ankle in a ditch, it is most likely your running technique that is the culprit. No matter what the cause, once you’re injured, it is important to get proper attention from a professional and to make sure that your healing process supports good running habits in the future. If your injury is from poor habits, such as heal striking rather than a midfoot strike, too long a stride, or lack of pelvic rotation, you’ll soon be injured again if you don’t change your running technique.

If you’ve been injured, it might just be a blessing – improving your core strength, and learning to move with more grace and ease can deepen your self-awareness. Chi Walking will help you get moving again safely and gently, while you learn subtle movement habits that will improve your running.

Chi Walking has many of the same movement principles as the Chi Running technique and can be the best way to learn and practice the form focuses, which will improve your running. Learning Chi Walking can have a profound effect on how you move, because walking is such an integral part of your everyday life.

Chi Walking is done at a much slower pace, so the Form Focuses you practice will require a deeper precision than learning them while running. T’ai Chi as a martial art is fast and powerful, however it is practiced at very, very slow speeds, which is actually more challenging. At slow speeds, every incremental adjustment must be deeply felt and balance must be maintained more assiduously. When you speed up the process, by walking faster or moving into running again, that deep slow work will act as a strong foundation for sound movement.

What most people don’t realize is how important it is to move – as much as is safe – when you are injured. You’ll speed up your recovery by moving, maintaining circulation in your body, breathing deeply and keeping a positive attitude. Chi Walking offers a safe and gentle alternative to running when you need it.

We start all Chi Walking and Chi Running workshops by teaching good posture and overall body alignment. In that process, you’ll learn how to engage your core muscles to gain stability in movement. When you are injured, core stability is crucial to a healthy recovery, no matter what part of your body is injured. Most of us tend to overuse our legs while running and walking. We also tend to muscle our way through life, rather than using alignment and technique to run, walk, lift and carry. It’s no wonder we have achy backs, painful knees, IT Band syndrome and many other on the long list of misuse injuries.

As your injury heals, the transition from walking to running can be easy and gentle. You’ll simply lean a bit more and pick up your feet and start running gently, with a very short stride, in first gear to test your body and see if it’s ready to get started running again. You’ll get back to running with the Body Sensing skills, sound running technique and the know-how to get started running better than ever and prevent future injury.

 

Resources to help you master the Chi Running basics:

Tags

  • injury-free running,
  • injury recovery,
  • fitness walking,
  • posture,
  • alignment,
  • Healthy Movement

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