Steel Bar Wrapped in Cotton

Poet Linda Addison recently thanked me for introducing her to Bone Breathing. Years ago she was diagnosed with osteopenia, a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is sometimes a precursor to osteoporosis. a serious loss of bone mass that makes bones highly susceptible to breakage. She credits Bone Breathing and taijiquan with a correction of her her current state of good bone health. She is not alone. May others have experienced profound improvement in bone density. One of the promises of taijiquan is to develop bones that are like “steel bars wrapped in cotton.” Muscular tension is… Read More

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I have been accused by some friends as being annoyingly positive. They will be complaining about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I’ll ask, “So what was the better time and place to be a human?” The 1940s, perhaps? When 50 million people were killed in the Second World War? Or the 1950s, when we had regular drills in school where we were told to put our heads under our schooldesks in the event of a nuclear attack by the evil commies? I agree with president Obama: if you didn’t know who you will be… Read More

Unhitched and Untethered

I watched a lot of westerns when I was a kid. Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Hickok, Have Gun Will Travel…the list goes on. It was a staple of our meager television diet when there were only three channels available and the world was seen in black and white. One thing always puzzled me as I watched this feast of oatburners. The cowpoke would ride up to the saloon and would loop the reins over the hitching post to park his horse. No sailors knot required. Not even a granny knot. Just once around that post and this half-ton… Read More

What Just Happened? (A session with Rick Barrett, RPP)

“What just happened?” My clients are often at a loss to explain (to themselves and others) what exactly occurred in one of my sessions. Many experience a deep, profound healing and want to share that experience with others. But when they try to articulate what happened, words fail. What comes out sounds either too prosaic or too far out. Most don’t even try. My healing sessions don’t easily fit into conventional models. I don’t diagnose and I don’t treat health problems directly. I am not a doctor. I don’t prescribe. I don’t “heal” people either—at least not in the usual… Read More

“Light, Lively, and Connected Throughout”

“Whenever one moves, the entire body must be light (qing) and lively (ling), and must above all be connected throughout (guanchuan)…There must always be completely one qi.” Taijiquan Jing, attributed to Zheng San Feng If you want to take your game to the next level, these words from one of the most important of the Taijiquan Classics are where to begin. Nothing else gives quite so much bang for the buck. For the martial artist, this is like upgrading your heavy, clunky medieval suit of armor for a light, soft textile vest. Sure, the metal armor looks cool, but it… Read More