Systema to Reduce Tension
Systema , a Russian form of martial art, is a philosophy of life focused upon reducing tension in all aspects of your life. It is not directly obvious that any martial art would have application to medicine, but in this case it does. The number of medical conditions that would be improved upon if there was less tension in someone’s life is too numerous to count. And who wouldn’t want less tension in their life or agree that having less tension would improve quality of life?
According to Systema a key element in tension reduction is breathing. Not just breathing per say but with Systema there is a different focus on the quality, timing, and intent of breathing. This is different than Yoga, Pilates, or other disciplines that focus on breathing. In through the nose (to increase oxygen more quickly to the brain) and out through the mouth (to facilitate restoration in the rest of your body). At least as important is movement, which is initiated by proper breathing technique. In fact it is the act of breathing that initiates quality of movement as opposed to the more common perception that people breathe more heavily after movement.
There is another important element in the foundation of Systema; through breathing, movement, and tension reduction one can reduce fear and start to focus on enjoying life every day. Clear your world, change your word, and maybe change the world. Naturally there are several exercises and situations that are incorporated into Systema training for the ultimate purpose of self- defense however with Systema the focus is more on performing with relaxation (no tension) right from the start. It is not as important that you learn specific movements as it is that you learn to perform all movements with relaxation.
Since that is not so easy to accomplish reducing tension has to become a philosophy of life. Side effect include benefits such as improved endurance, balance, flexibility, self-esteem, and yes a sense of personal awareness that allows you defend yourself if you ever happen to be in an uncomfortable situation. Since so much of this is personal it is very important that you find a teacher who really knows what they are doing. Fortunately since reducing tension is one of the tenants of Systema most certified instructors should be able sensitive to individual limitations and needs. That too is a real plus as it means that virtually anyone can improve their quality of life by learning and practicing Systema. Since Reducing Total Load, the total number of things that do not allow someone to be well, is key to any treatment program at Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA we encourage anyone who wants to look at reducing tension in their life to explore Systema.
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