Wake up your Qi!

In Chinese medicine, Qi is the life force which encompasses circulation and metabolism. Try this quick routine from Catalyst coach extraordinaire Jackie Kook to wake up your body in the morning:

If you ever got slapped by your mother for being lazy, that slap probably got you to get your butt moving! The slap is pretty universal for putting a person on alert from cartoons to athletes staying fast and loose, and in Chinese medicine, it can be used to wake up the Qi. And in the morning when it can feel particularly difficult to get going, slap yourself and you'll be more ready to take on the world! 

Don't bruise yourself. Just like the slap from your mother, this is a little love. This routine takes about 4 minutes. I do this everyday before my joint warm up and whenever I feel like I need to wake up and I don't have access to caffeine. 

1. Start at the arms. Slap down the inside of the left arm and gently pound up the back of the same arm. Repeat 3 times. Each pattern is 3 times before you switch to the other side. 

2. After the Left arm, it's the right arm, then the face, the head, down the back of your head, down your back. 

3. Be gentle to your head, no slapping here. Just rubs and circles to your forehead, scalp and neck. 

4. Next are the legs. Down the leg and up the leg to the chest, then on the right. 

5. End with some pats to the abdomen. 

6. Smooth it all out. 

Slap on the insides of the arms, legs, and trunk--these are the softer parts of the limbs and center. Pound gently on the backs of the arms, the back, hamstrings and quads--these are the muscles that tend to feel tighter or more congested. 

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