We are, both physically and psychologically, the sum of the small but significant steps that we take in our everyday life. At the end of the day, our health depends on these tiny lifestyle changes that we managed to inculcate into our lives. How long and how well we live will depend on these choices. It is generally held that to maintain a comprehensive and integrated life, four primary elements should be considered. The first is our skin, and then the food we eat, the mobility of our limbs, and finally our psychological health.
Nishi Shiki or the Nishi Health System is a series of health exercises or laws that are supposed to activate several functions of the body and mind. It lays stress on correct posture too. It was invented long ago, about 90 years back, but is still very relevant to our current health.
Sleeping The Right Way
The system lays stress on the right posture and also on the surface on which we sleep. Only a firm surface can maintain the spinal cord. As we sleep for almost 8 hours a day, the right posture rejuvenates the spine. The spine has to stay aligned. Sleeping on a soft surface will cause the spine to sag leading to the degeneration of the nerves. It is an open invitation to several ailments. A hard surface coupled with the right headrest like a roller placed beneath the third and fourth vertebra protects the functional activities of the skin and stops the liver from being sluggish. The veins are stimulated allowing the blood to flow more freely towards the heart. The intestines are also stimulated.
Goldfish Exercise (Kingyo Undo)
This exercise rectifies the spinal column. It is a method of stimulating the circulation and the movement of energy throughout the body. Lie down with the body completely relaxed and supine. Clasp your hands behind your neck, the elbows raised slightly. Rock your hips on each side with your hands. This rocking movement is transmitted throughout your body. This exercise focuses on the spine which is important because our basic nervous system functions through the spinal canal and so if this system is stimulated, then the whole body feels alive.
Get The Blood Flowing (Mokan Undo)
This exercise is based on the theory that the capillaries provide the true driving force of the circulatory system. This exercise compensates for the obstruction of circulation in the four limbs resulting from our wrong posture. This exercise involves lying on the back on a hard surface keeping the spine straight. Place a roller under the neck in the same position as the first exercise. Raise all four limbs pointing upwards and relax completely. Then, shake both hands and legs with a 60-minute interval.
Joining The Palm And Soles (Gassyo Gasseki)
Join both hands at the palms as you lie on the ground. Slide your hands horizontally. Simultaneously, join your feet at the soles and slide them likewise. Stay in this position for around ten minutes and rest at intervals of 2 minutes. As this exercise also requires you to maintain a straight spine, you need to lie on a hard surface. This exercise effectively stimulates the coordination between your body components mainly the muscles and nerves, and the blood vessels around the pelvis thighs and abdomen.
The Core Pendulum (Hifuko Undo)
Sit on your knees while centering the hips. It is the Japanese style of sitting. Swing the upper part of the body on either side for 10 minutes. When upright, pull in your abdomen and as you swing away from the vertical, pump out.
The purpose of these exercises is the maintenance and recovery of good health, as conceived by Dr. Katsuzo Nishi. The secret to a longer and better life lies within us and the solution is simple. Try these exercises and watch your health improve.