Are You Walking Right?

Are You Walking Right?

Saturday, February 24, 2024

It is not the more the merrier

I met a group of ladies walking together at the park today, one of them had 3 times hip replacements. She told me that they walked 5 miles a day. I noticed that she leaned more towards the right side and both legs didn’t carry her weight evenly. From our short conversation I learned that she believes walking 5 miles a day is good for her. I told her after walking over 8000 steps, you put on more stress on your joints but not receive more benefits, she was very happy to hear that.

I want to share my personal pain expereiece to help you understand that sugery is not the right cure for pain. After turned 50, my knees started to hurt, so I went to a Chinese knee doctor. Back then I was puzzled about how many miles should I walk daily, here was what he said: “Our knees are like the tires on our cars, the more you walk the faster they worn out.”  I got it! I walk under 8000 steps, then do tai chi to strengthen my knees, hips and all joints. My knee pain was way gone. Another example was my frozen shoulder experience. Now I know all the pains were the signals of aging, and it usually comes up sooner or later after 50. My right shoulder suddenly felt pain without any injury. The pain was not bad, but I wanted to get better sooner. So, I went to a chiropractor for the very first time in my life. The lady doctor adjusted me. By the evening, my shoulder got so painful that I was not able to sleep that night. The rest of the nights, I had to hold something huge to elevate my right arm. One of my friends introduced me her favorite Chinese medicine doctor, Doctor Pei in Chicago, I gave him a call. He told me no need to go to any therapy, just move your shoulders as wider circle as you are able, as many times as you can. It didn’t take too long; my shoulder was healed! I could have surgery if I went to a western doctor.

 Pain is the signal that our bodies send to us, what is your first respond? Reach to pain killers, like doctors, all advertisements told us, and it is the easiest way to get temporary relief. Since the pain killers don’t really kill the pain, the pain persists, then cortisone shots,  and eventually your lovely doctor would suggest you get a surgery. There are too many unnecessary operations, shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, to name a few. I grew up in China, both of my parents never had any surgeries, nor people I know up to today who had hip replacement, knee replacement.  Compare to Chinese and eastern cultures, we have too many hip and knee replacement sugeries. To make it clear that I am not against necessary surgeries but use surgery as a method to cure pain. There are a lot of better ways to cope and even cure pain, tai chi is one of the best pain management methods, and it is very effective. When you have knee pain, don’t put on the knee braces and still keep walking like usual, it’s time for tai chi. The circular movements are designed to strengthen and lubricate your joints at the same time. In most age-related cases, tai chi can cure.

Now let's go back to walking. Do you know we should use our buttocks muscles instead of putting more pressure on knees to walk? According to Sun Ruifen, China National Bodybuilding and Fitness Coach, using buttocks muscle to walk can avoid knee overuse and injury. You can learn it in my tai chi lessons.

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