Blog Entry Health & Healing, Education, Youth Development

Health and Healing Strategies: Managing "Back-to-School" Stress

by ​Dr. Phyllis Hubbard

School is now in session, and I’ve already heard too many people use the term “back to the daily grind.” Here we are, the ground force working in the field of Black Male Achievement. In addition to the heightened workload that comes with the “back to school” flow, we must also move through an array of stressors triggered by racial and other social injustices. How can we do the work effectively without grinding, wearing ourselves out? We can learn to allow stress to move through us without getting stuck in us. We can learn to give from our excess instead of our essence. If I have $5, I can’t give you $10. Before we give out, we must first nourish in.

How we choose to respond to each given moment will determine whether we run our day or our day runs us. We can be proactive by choosing to oxygenate and energize our minds though a rather unusual, but highly effective brain massage technique: balancing on your toes!

When you stand on your tip toes, you are stimulating the reflex points for and energizing your brain, and your pineal, hypothalamus and pituitary glands. 

It's on the Tip of Your Toes ...

I often teach a Qigong exercise called "Balance on Tip Toes." This exercise energizes and regulates energy throughout your brain and entire body. It also enhances circulation, mental focus, acuity and concentration, helps remove writer's and other mental blocks and will energize your brain during work or study sessions.

Here's How to Do It

  • Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent
  • Tuck your tailbone under
  • Gently pull your shoulders up, back and down
  • Tuck your chin in slightly
  • Ladies place your left palm over right palm
  • Gentlemen place your right palm over your left palm
  • With palm over palm, cover your navel center
  • Begin to breathe slowly and deeply
  • Inhale, slowly rise up on tiptoes, balance for three seconds
  • Exhale, slowly lower your heels to the ground, repeat at least three times 

Most people who take my Qigong classes cannot balance on tip toes with good posture (as pictured above) for more than a second or two. However, with time and practice, you'll be amazed and how your balance will improve and you'll also develop strength and endurance in your calf muscles.

For now, begin by simply working on your posture and gradually increasing the time until you can balance on tip toes for a minute. Take your time, be gentle with yourself and with your practice. Stay in the moment as every day will yield a different response. At this point, you can gradually transition into a standing meditation where you can hold the position for as long as needed to energize your body. Practice at least 3 times a day, whenever you need a break during the day or when you are having difficulty concentrating. Enjoy in radiant health.

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