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Blog: Odd Man Out
by #39531

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  • Odd Man Out by #39531
    • Qigong for Health by #39531  17 y
      • Tai Chi & yoga for 'bipolar'   by  #49630     17 y     1,509
        Subject:   Tai Chi & yoga for 'bipolar'
        Username:   #49630     contact #49630
        Date:   7/23/2005 11:50:21 AM   ( 17 y ago )
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        I've been visiting this site off and on for a few months, but I finally registered to respond to your post on Qigong and soft martial arts.

        I hope this does't veer to far from your topic, but I think it relates to it, and probably demonstrates just how powerful the soft martial arts and yoga can really be. I don't have much direct experience with Qigong, but I understand that it uses breathing exercises similar to those used in yoga, which I have been doing for some time. I also learned Tai Chi several years ago, and although I stopped doing it for a few years, I began again this past spring.

        I should start with a little about why I got started on this lifestyle. I am a musician, and about 15 years ago, my artistic nature was diagnosed as manic depressive and I was put on lithium. I HATED the effects of this drug... the sluggish thinking... the weight gain... the lack of feeling and emotion. It is everything that an artist should avoid. But, I didn't fight it. I knew I had issues to work out, and I began studying alternative methods to try to remove the cause of this "chemical imbalance" rather than adding more chemicals to restore the balance. I didn't immediately stop taking the medication, but I started learning about meditation and better nutrition, which led to yoga, which led to Tai Chi... anyway it led to a lot of reading and studying a lot of different things.

        I worked with yoga and Tai Chi and a much better diet for a few years and was eventually able to wean myself off of the medication. For the past several years I haven't been as active with Tai Chi & yoga, but I have managed to maintain what most would consider a "normal" life. Close friends who didn't know me in my troubled times are amazed that I was once diagnosed as bipolar, and say that I show no symptoms. I have managed to maintain a successful career in technology and receive awards regularly for the work I do. But about a year ago, I realized that I should migrate back to the Tai Chi and yoga and become more active on the music scene. I knew I still wasn't operating at 100% of my own potential, and I probably weighed about 290 lbs. At first I thought I was just trying to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure and drop some of my extra weight, but now that I've gotten back into doing Tai Chi and yoga on a regular basis, I have realized that I still had more room for growth on curing my "chemical imbalance". The lithium (as well as my own previous recreational drug use) had put a good part of my artistic side to sleep. Another part of my health regimen these days is a diet that is high in raw fruits & veggies, and occasional juice fasts or master cleanse. During a fast in June, I noticed a long forgotten but familiar taste in my mouth and some occasional muscle twitches. It took me a little while to realize it, but I believe my body was in the process of removing some of the lithium that it was still storing. Whatever it was, my brain seems to actually be working like it is supposed to now. I am finally beginning to experience life the way I wasn meant to... enjoying all of the beauty and growing from all of the pain. As for my songwriting, I've gone from staring at a blank page and wondering what I want to write about to watching words flow out on the page and then figuring out later what it's supposed to be about. Tai Chi and yoga (with the breathing exercises that are similar to Qigong) have been a HUGE part of this change in my life.

        Sorry if this post got a little long. I did want to tell enough of my own story to encourage others to check into some of the soft martial arts and yoga. As far as sharing resources go... I learned Tai Chi from video tapes, and yoga from books. (A couple of friends who have noticed my changes have since borrowed the Tai Chi tapes and yoga books to check into it themselves.) I would love to take some classes to learn more at some point, but these days I'm far too busy writing songs, playing music, and enjoying life the way I was meant to.

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