In the words of my father, “If I had a dollar, for every time” I sidle up to a runner on my weekly group runs, and enquire about their well-being, only to hear, “it’s my ITBS”, “I have a sore knee”, “my thighs are burning”, “I have pain in my hips”…
At these times, I immediately want to know more, and want to begin to understand how this has happened. Because running is meant to be fun, right? Not something that will lead to pain. Solicited or not, I begin to watch these runners, and can identify what has gone wrong that they have ended up with these ailments. It is often really simple; “you are striding out in front of your body”, “you are heel striking”, “you are bending at the waist”…
When I offer this advice, I notice it is received with caution or even disbelief – how could modifying something so simple, lead to such great improvement? Interestingly, it can!
In 2014, at a visit to my physio - yes, it was Jason, he brought me over to his computer and showed me a website. On first glance, I thought, “how daggy – look at those runners, so seventies!!”. But, on looking closer, I realised Jason was showing me a website describing how running could be energy efficient and pain-free! From that moment, I was in!
What I became “in” was beginning a process called Chi-Running. This is a method that draws on the movement principles of T’ai Chi, where all movement is directed by the core, with the goal of having your arms and legs relaxed. Propulsion is created not by using the legs, but by using gravity or your lean – how good does that sound?!
Since the time of this random physio appointment, I have trained with a Certified Chi Running Instructor from Melbourne, have completed a Chi Running Instructor Course in North Carolina, and am now beginning to run workshops teaching the method. I really am keen to share how good running can feel when your posture is aligned correctly and you are not in pain. If this interests you, click on the following link that will direct you to workshop times coming up.
Workshop Times For Chi Running/Chi Walking
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Jason is the Leichhardt Physiotherapy's practice principal and has been practicing as a physiotherapist for over 16 years