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Yoga & Tai Chi/Problems with spine

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Question
Dear Dale Napier,

I have a small problem. I am a man aged 25 and have several issues regarding my health.
I feel reoccurring pressure in my spine and it makes a cracking noise from time to time. I have a feeling my spine might of been out of alignment. Also my knees crack a lot when I simply walk. I think this comes to early for a guy of my age and I was wondering if there were any prescriped diet tips and movement(postures, flexibility or anything that comes up) that will be of any help.

Regards Dion

Answer
For pressure on your spine, yoga spine flexing can help tremendously, especially the Bridge and Shoulder Stand.  Side to side flexion will help as well: Tai Chi and/or yoga are good for these issues, but make sure the teacher is real, not a strip-mall yoga school.  If you have pain, see a chiropractor.  If you were much older I would say see a physician, but I suspect you just need exercise.  Same for the knees.

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Dale Napier

Expertise

Tai chi chuan (taijiquan), chi kung (qigong), internal alchemy (nei gong).

Experience

Practicing tai chi since 1977, teaching since 1998; chi kung and internal alchemy, training since 1995, teaching since 1998.

Organizations
Vice President of American Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan Association.

Publications
New book - Tai Chi In Your Life: 8 Principles That Can Change Your Life While Learning and Growing with Tai Chi. Articles - Kung Fu Magazine, Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Journal of American Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan Association

Education/Credentials
Primary teachers: Certification by George Ling Hu (Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan, taught by Wang Yen-nien). Jampa Mackenzie Stewart (chi kung, internal alchemy, senior instructor for Mantak Chia). Other teachers with less exposure: Jeff Bolt (Northern Shaolin Kung Fu), Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming (Chi Kung), Master Wang Yen-nien (internal alchemy), Raul Shelton (Shorin-Ryu karate), Dr. Glenn Morris (Bujinkan ninjutsu and budo). Lesser training in judo and taekwondo.

Awards and Honors
Gold and silver medals in various tai chi competitions (forms, pushing hands).

Past/Present Clients
Currently teaching at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center; formerly taught at the University of Houston-Downtown.

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