Fatigue has become a common phenomenon across age groups today. The word itself refers to a feeling of extreme tiredness as a result of mental and/or physical exertion or illness. In this competitive world we tend to constantly push our limits, living from deadline to deadline. We give ourselves little time to recoup mentally. Driven by adrenaline we try to excel and increase our level of performance and aspirations. Initially it all feels great. Youngsters participate in myriad competitions and study for one thing after another. The corporate dishes out one presentation after another running after promotions and incentives, and so it goes on up the ladder.
But slowly, what has been pushed behind starts coming to the forefront and makes itself noticeable. It starts with just feeling tired. Very soon, the tiredness refuses to leave you alone. No amount of physical rest provides relaxation – your mind is in hyper-drive now and cannot slow down. You start feeling sluggish, your thinking processes get affected and soon you’re worn down with mental fatigue. Even though the mind wants to stop thinking, it becomes very difficult to actually do so. However, this can be avoided if one consciously takes care of one’s self at both, physical and mental levels.
Taichi imbues calmness and stillness of the mind. However, it does not happen in an instant – it starts with standing in the Taichi posture. When the correct posture is maintained, the meridians open and energy starts moving through these. Over a period of time, the energy is able to dissolve any blockages and enhance good flow. With the posture, visualization also plays a big role. In order to visualize, one needs to focus and concentrate. The more one does that, the more one is able to tune in to the energy. Thoughts coming to the mind are not discouraged. They are allowed to come and fleetingly pass. Eventually these thoughts start receding and give more room to just focus on the breathing and feel the energy changes in the body. Qi-Gong Meditations, which are a part of Taichi, have the wonderful effect of calming the mind and bringing it back to the point of focus. Basic meditations increase concentration levels. The advanced meditations enhance the harnessing and cultivation of Qi.
Taichi is best done slow. The slower the move, the more energy you will harness and cultivate. As you keep on focussing on the moves, the body will slow down. Automatically the breath will synchronize with the movement. This not only slows down the physical body but even works on the mind. It starts winding down all the hyperactivity in the brain, giving it time to heal and rest. As one progresses, one will find a slow but noticeable change within oneself. The sluggishness goes away, providing room for mental clarity and lucidity. You feel rejuvenated and fresh, both in body and thought, as if you’ve just awoken from a wonderfully restful sleep! With the continuous practice of Taichi, you will notice that you are able to deal with stress better, and not give in to anxiety and agitation, and most of all, you will cultivate the marvellous ability to take everything in your stride and not get that perturbed.
Here are some Qi-Gong Points that you can use at home if you’re feeling mentally stressed and fatigued. (However, please note that one would still need professional attention and monitoring and that this is an adjunct not a substitute for medical protocol and follow up.
Massage the point between the eyebrows with your middle finger. Do this for 3 minutes clockwise and then 3 minutes anti-clockwise.
Massage the point that lies in the centre of the chest, in line with the nipples, for 2 minutes in clockwise and then for 2 minutes in an anti-clockwise direction. You can do this thrice a day. In cases of extreme stress, you can repeat this for a larger number of times.
Keep your palm 2-3 inches below the navel. Breathe normally with intent that as you inhale, the lungs fill with maximum capacity. When you inhale, feel your stomach protruding out a little. As you exhale, feel it contract.
Remember, ‘If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place’ – Lao Tzu