Makka HO Stretches. Yours in health and prosperity. Frank Panetta. Shiatsu Practitioner

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1 Makka HO Stretches Specific shiatsu stretches use the body's own weight, applying pressure to the meridians as you lean this way and that way. By stimulating meridians, shiatsu stretches may assist in freeing up blocked energy and drawing it toward areas of weakness, thus releasing tensions and limbering you up. It is important to remember, when practicing the Makko-Ho exercises, that what matters is the action of beginning the stretch, not how far you can stretch. If in this exercise you can only lean back onto your palms, simply hold that position and stretch, breathe and relax. The more you practice, the easier the positions will become. Yours in health and prosperity Frank Panetta Shiatsu Practitioner

2 Shiatsu Stretch 1: Bend Forward, Arms behind Back Begin in a standing position. Inhale and place your hands behind your back and interlock your thumbs. Exhale as you gently allow your body to hang forward from your waist, allowing your arms and thumbs to raise up behind you, toward the ceiling. (You'll feel as though you're hanging from the ceiling by your thumbs.) Exhale as you hold this position. Inhale and straighten up. Repeat this stretch three to five times. Shiatsu Stretch 2: Sitting, Legs Tucked Under Sit on your heels with your feet crossed, toes over toes, and with your back straight. Relax and breathe. Put your arms behind you and your palms flat on the floor, then lean back, keeping your buttocks touching your feet and your knees together. Avoid arching your back. You should feel a stretch along your thighs as you hold this position. Relax and breathe. If you don't feel the stretch, then bend your arms and rest on your elbows.

3 Next, exhale and bend forward until your head comes as close to the floor as possible. (Skip this step if you are pregnant, since bending forward will compress the area around your uterus.) Relax and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, then sit up and inhale. Repeat this stretch three to five times. If leaning back on your arms is easy to sustain, try to sit between your legs with your buttocks touching the floor and then lean all the way back until your back is resting on the floor. Relax and breathe. Then sit up in stages: First prop yourself up on your elbows, then up to your palms and then back to a full sitting position. (If you suffer from any weakness or pain in the knees, skip this exercise.) Shiatsu Stretch 3: Sitting Position Sit on the floor, with your legs drawn in and the soles of your feet touching. Inhale deeply and relax as you press your knees to the floor. If this seems difficult at first, gently push your knees with your hands or elbows. Next, sit on your heels, bring your palms together in front of your heart, with your elbows out and fingers touching. Breathe in. Exhaling, extend your arms out to your sides and flex your fingers as though you are pushing away ten-ton weights. Then inhale as you return your hands to the original position. Repeat this three to five times.

4 Shiatsu Stretch 4: Bend Forward, Legs Out Sit on the floor with your back straight and stretch your legs out in front of you, keeping your feet flexed toward your body at a 90-degree angle. Inhale when settled in this position. Exhale as you allow your body weight to pull you forward, and gently reach out to grab the soles of your feet--or your calves or knees, if that's as far as you can comfortably reach--so that you feel the stretch in your upper thighs. (If you are pregnant, stretch forward from your buttocks, without letting your torso collapse, bend or sag over your legs, so that you feel the stretch in your upper thighs.) Inhale and straighten up. Repeat this stretch three to five times, each time holding the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, while continuously relaxing and breathing slowly and deeply. Shiatsu Stretch 5: Legs to Sides, Bend Forward Sit on the floor with your legs as far apart as possible. Inhale and extend your arms toward the floor. (If you're pregnant, stretch forward without letting your torso collapse, bend or sag over your legs and without rounding your back.) Exhale and bend forward so that your head touches the floor (or in that general direction). Hold and relax for 15 to 30 seconds. Inhale and return to an upright position. Exhale and stretch to the side, over your left leg, and stretch your right arm over your head, to your left. Breathe deeply as you relax for 15 to 30 seconds. Then inhale and return to the center position. Repeat on the opposite side.

5 With your legs in the same position, exhale and turn your torso to the left. Leaning across your left leg, stretch and exhale. Hold this position and breathe, for 15 to 30 seconds. Inhale and return to an upright position. Repeat on the opposite side. Then repeat these step 5 stretches three more times. 161 Canterbury Road Toorak Victoria 3142 Phone: (03) Website: Bookings: REMEDIAL & SPORTS MASSAGE DEEP TISSUE THERAPEUTIC CUPPING SHIATSU STRETCHING EAR CANDLING ACUPUNCTURE TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ECLIPSE THERAPIES ABN

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